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An illustrated commentary on the Gospels according to Mark and Luke (Volume 2) online

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to in Rom. 16 : 13 and 1 Tim. 1 : 20, or Acts 19 :
33. The wine mingled with myrrh, ver. 21, is the
same as vinegar mingled with gall (Matt. 27 : 4, note).
Mark alone mentions the hour of crucifixion,
the third hour (ver. 25), that is, 9 A. m. For re-
conciliation of this statement with John 19 : 14,
see note there. The reference in ver. 28 to the
O. T. prophecy is wanting in the best manu-
scripts, and is omitted by Tischendorf and Alford ;
the latter thinks it was borrowed from Luke

Ch. XV.]



2i And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who
passed by, coming out of the country, the father of
Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.

22 And they ' bring him unto the place Golgotha,
which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with
myrrh : but he received it not.

24 And when they had crucified him, they parted k
his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man
should take.

25 And it was the third hour ; and they crucified him.

26 And the superscription of his accusation was
written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

27 And with him they crucify two thieves ; the one
on his right hand, and the other on his left.

28 And the scripture 1 was fulfilled, which saith, And
he was numbered with the transgressors.

29 And they m that passed by railed on him, wag-
ging their heads, and saying, Ah. thou " that destroy-
est the temple, and buildest it in three days,

30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross.

31 Likewise also the chief priests, mocking, said
among themselves with the scribes, He saved others ;
himself he cannot save.

32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from
the cross, that we may see," and believe. And they
that were crucified with him reviled him.

33 And p when the sixth hour was come, there was
darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. •

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud
voice, saying, Eloi, q Eloi, lama sabachthani ? which is,
being interpreted. My God, my God, why hast thou
forsaken me ? '

35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard
it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.

36 And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar,
and put it on a reed, and gave" him to drink, saying,
Let alone ; let us see whether Elias will come to take
him down.

37 And' Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up
the ghost.

38 And the vail of the temple was rent in twain, from
the top to the bottom.

39 And when the centurion, which stood over against
him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost,
he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

40 There were also women looking on afar" off;
among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the
mother of James the less, and of Joses, and Salome ;

41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him,
and ministered v unto him ;) and many other women
which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

42 And now when the even was come, because it
was the Preparation, that is, the day before the sab-

43 Joseph of Arimathrea, an honourable counsellor,
which also waited w for the kingdom of God, came, and
went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of

44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead :
and calling unto kim the centurion, he asked him
whether he had been any while dead.

45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave
the body to Joseph.

46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down,
and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepul-
chre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone x
unto the door of the sepulchre.

47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of
Joses beheld where he was laid.

i Matt. 27:33, etc.; Luke 23 : 33, etc. ; John 19 : 17, etc k Ps. 22:18 1 Iss. 53 : 12. . . .in Ps. 22 : 7. . . .n ch. 1-1 : 58 ; John 2 : 19

o Rom. 3:3; 2 Tim. 2 : 13.... p Matt. 27 : 48 ; Luke 23: 44.... q Ps 22 ; 1 . . . .1 Ps. 42 : 9 ; 71 : 11 ; Lam. 1 : 12.... 8 Ph. 69 : 21.... t Matt.
27 : 50 ; Luke 23 : 46 ; John 19 : 30 u Ps. 38 : 11 v Luke 8 : 2, 3 w Luke 2 : 25, 38 x ch. 16 : 3,4.

22 : 37. The reference is to Isaiah 53 : 12. The
language of mockery in ver. 32, " that we may see
and believe," is peculiar to Mark. Observe that
this is the customary demand of infidelity, which
insists that faith shall rest always on sight.
Mark's account of the response to Christ's cry
(vers. 35, 36), Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani, differs
slightly from Matthew's. For a comparison of
the four accounts, see notes on Matthew. Mark
does not mention the earthquake and resurrec-
tion, described by Matthew, and attributes the
awe of the centurion to the sublimity of Christ's
death, not, as Matthew, to the portents which
accompanied it. It was probably produced by
both. The words "He so cried out," in ver. 39, are
wanting in the Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts,
and are omitted by Tischendorf and Alford.
Whether a part of the original text or not, they
correctly explain it. "Salome," ver. 40, is the
same as "the mother of Zebedee's children,"
Matt. 27 : 56. The addition of "many other
women who came up with him unto Jerusalem,"
in ver. 41, is peculiar to Mark.

42-47. The burial of Jesus. Compare
Matt. 27 : 57-61 ; Luke 23 : 50^56 ; John 19 :
36-42. See John for notes on what is common
to the four Evangelists. Nicodemus came with
Joseph of Arimathea (John) ; the tomb belonged
to Joseph (Matthew) ; and was in a garden near
the place of crucifixion (John). Mark and Luke

(23 : 53) describe the tomb. Only Mark narrates
Pilate's surprise at learning of the death of Jesus
(ver. 44). — The even was come. Here, evident-
ly, the first of the two evenings recognized in
Jewish reckoning, i. e., before sunset, because the
Sabbath began on sunset (Lev. 23 : 32). — The
preparation, that is, the fore-Sabbath;
or, as we should say, in analogy with our Christ-
mas-eve, Sabbath-eve. In the Syriac N. T. the
word "preparation" is rendered "eve." It
would appear that the close of Friday, perhaps
from the ninth hour, 3 p. m., was at first called
the "preparation," and that later the term ex-
tended to the whole of Friday, as in German the
usual name of Saturday is Sonnabend, i. e.,
"Sunday-eve." See John 19 : 31, note. That
the bodies might not remain on the cross over
the Sabbath, the Jews had asked to have death
accelerated (John 19 : 31), and now Joseph asks per-
mission to give the body honorable burial. —
Joseph of Arimathea. On his character, see
notes on John. — An honorable counsellor,
i. e., a member of the Sanhedrim and occupying
some station of honor or dignity. Luke adds
the information respecting him, that he was a
"good man and just," and had not consented to
the condemnation pronounced against Christ by
the Sanhedrim. — Which also waited for the
kingdom of God. That is, he belonged to
that portion of the Pharisees (Matt. 3: 7, note) who



[Ch. XVI.


AND when f the sabbath was past, Mary Magda-
lene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome,
had bought sweet spices,* that they might come and
anoint him.
2 And very early in the morning, the first day of the

week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the

3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll
us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre ?

4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was
rolled away : for it was very great.

y Matt. 28 : 1, etc. ; Luke 24 : 1, etc. ; John 20 : 1, etc.

were in expectation of the coming of a Messiah
to inaugurate the kingdom of God. Comp. Luke
2 : 25. — Went in boldly. Of course this ended
for him all position of honor in the Jewish court
and nation (John 9 : 22). Moreover it identified him
with a man crucified on a charge of sedition
against the Roman government. Mr. Farrar notes
a case in history in which such a request cost
the petitioner his life. — Pilate wondered if
he were already dead. Because crucifixion
is a lingering death, and rarely proves mortal
in so short a space. Christ had not been on the
cross more than six hours, probably not so long.
Comp. ver. 25 with 34. See note on Physical
Cause of Christ's Death, John 19 : 34, 35. —
Whether he had been any while dead.
Because he would make sure of his death. Ob-
eerve the incidental testimony that the resurrec-
tion of Christ was no arousal from a syncope or
fainting fit, as rationalistic criticism has some-
times regarded it. — He gave the body. Often
the privilege of burial was bought with a bribe
by the friends of the deceased. Pilate, as a
measure of relief to his conscience, gave the body
to Joseph.

Ch. 1G : 1-8. The resurrection of Jesus
Christ. See note on Matt. 28 : 1-17. Parallel to
the account here is Matt. 28 : 2-10 ; Luke 24 :
1-11 ; comp. John 20 : 1-10. For a comparison of
the different evangelical narratives of the resur-
rection of our Lord, and for the evidence of the
reality of that resurrection, see note on the Res-
urrection of Jesus Christ, p. 330. For notes on
what is common to Matthew and Mark, see
notes on Matthew. Mark here, as elsewhere,
furnishes some vivid details, which we should
not otherwise possess. — When the Sabbath
was past, Mary, etc., purchased aromat-
ics. It is not very clear when they were pur-
chased. The verb is in the aorist tense, not, as
in our English version in the pluperfect. The
indication here is, certainly, that this purchase
was made on the Sabbath, after sunset ; the in-
dication in Luke 23 : 55, 56, is that it was made
on Friday night, after the burial. It may be,
that the purchases were begun then, but not
completed, the evening coming on quickly, and
the shops being closed, so that the women had
to postpone the completion till the Sabbath was
past. — That they miulit come and anoint
him. An indication that they had no expecta-

tion of his resurrection. It was customary
among the Jews, as a mark of honor to the de-
ceased, after washing the corpse, to anoint it
with certain perfumes, or to enclose them in the
grave-clothes in which the body was wrapped.
They were sometimes also burned as an incense.
The hurried burial had not permitted this
anointing to be completed ; it had been com-
menced by Nicodemus at the time of the inter-
ment (John 19 : 39,40). Perhaps the women were
ignorant of that ; perhaps they wished to add
their own offerings. The aromatics employed
for this purpose appear from John to have been
aloes and myrrh.

2-4. They came unto the sepulchre at
the rising of the sun. Matthew says, "As it
began to dawn"; John, "When it was yet dark."
This discrepancy is only verbal ; the language
describes the same substantial time, and differs
only as we should expect the language of inde-
pendent writers would. At sunrise is in popular
language equivalent to dawn (judges 9 : 33 ; Ps. 104 : 22).
John's language is the most minutely accurate,
and he is the one most likely to have been accu-
rately informed. The women came probably
before the sun was fairly up. — Who shall roll
us away the stone? The language here ex-

Diagram of Jewish Sepulchre.

actly corresponds with the known structure of
the Jewish tomb and door, one of those incidental
evidences of the authenticity of our Gospels with
which they abound. The form of the ordinary
Jewish tomb will be best understood by the an-
nexed plan. It consisted of a chamber or cham-
bers, A, B, C, cut in the rock, from which openings

Ch. XVI.]



5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young
man sitting on tne right side, clothed in a long white
garment ; and they were atfrighted.

6 And he saith unto them, lie not affrighted : Ye seek
Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified : he is risen ; *
he is not here : behold the place where they laid him.

7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that
he goeth before you into Galilee : there shall ye see
him, as he said unto you.

8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sep-
ulchre ; for they trembled and were amazed : neither
said they any thing to any man ; tor they were afraid.

9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of
the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of
whom he had cast seven devils.

io A nd she went and told them that had been with
him, as they mourned and wept.

n And they, when they had heard that he wasalive,
and had been seen of her, believed not.

12 After that he appeared in another form unto two*
of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

13 And they went and told it unto the residue ; nei-
ther believed they them.

14 Afterward he c appeared unto the eleven as they
sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief' 1 and
hardness of heart, because they believed not them
which had seen him after he had risen.

15 And he said unto them, Go* ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature.'

. b Luke 24 : 13. . . c Luke 24 : 36; 1 Cor. 15 : 5. . . d Luke 24 .

. e Matt. 28 : 19 ; John 20 : 21. . . f Rom. 10 : 18 ; Col. 1 : B.

branched out, about two feet wide and three
feet high. These, called loculi, held the bodies
of the dead. Sometimes, but probably only at
a later period, they were found as indicated in B.
The interior of such a tomb is represented in
a cut illustrating the resurrection of Lazarus,


and accompanying John, ch. 11. Sometimes,
doubtless, the tomb consisted simply of the
cave or larger chamber, without the accompany-
ing loculi. The door of the cave consisted, at
least in some cases, of a circular stone, like
a mill-stone, which could be rolled across the


doorway, closing the aperture, or rolled back
into a niche, cut in the adjoining rock to receive
it, so as to leave the doorway open. The accom-
panying plan and picture illustrates the method.
The picture is from the tombs of the kings, still
existing in the neighborhood of Jerusalem. The
opening of such tombs is generally low, so that
on entering them it is necessary to stoop (Luke
24: i2; John 20:5, n). In the case of Jesus, the
anointing had not been completed, and if there
were loculi, the body could hardly have been laid
away in one of them, for Mary Magdalene, with-
out entering the sepulchre, saw two angels sitting,
one at the head, and the other at the foot, where
the body of Jesus had lain (John 20 : 12), which
they could not have done, in the loculus.
The facts, then, would appear to be that the
women, coming to the sepulchre early in the
morning to complete the anointing, feared that
they could not roll back into its niche the golal
or circular stone, the groove into the niche gen-
erally inclining upwards, so that it required
considerable exertion of strength to roll back the
door ; that when they came they found it already
rolled back, and entering in they saw the
young man (ver. 5), the angel of Matthew (ch. 28 : 2).
Whether he was sitting in a partially reclining
attitude on the door when they entered, and was
not disclosed to them till after they entered, or
whether Matthew's statement of his sitting on
the stone is merely indicative of his previous
posture, as a symbolic act of victory over the
grave, is a matter of conjecture merely. — And
when they looked, etc. These words are
correctly placed in our English version in a '
parenthesis. The narrator breaks in upon his
narrative to set in contrast with their anxiety
the unexpected and supernatural removal of the
stone. The moral has often and fairly been
drawn, that when Christian love undertakes a
difficult duty, God will remove the obstacles
which are too great for its own strength.

5-8. A young man. That there were two
is evident from John 20 : 12 ; that they were
angels, appears from Matt. 28 : 2 ; see note there.
—Clothed in a long white garment. Liter-



[Ch. XVI.

16 He? that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved ;
but he 1 ' that believeth not, shall be damned.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe : In
my ' name shall they cast out devils ; they shall speak J
with new tongues ■

18 They shall take up serpents ; k and if they drink
any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they 1 shall
lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19 So then m after the Lord had spoken unto them,
he was received up into heaven, and sat n on the right
hand of God.

20 And they went forth and preached every where,
the Lord ° working with them, and confirming the word
with signs following. Amen.



n it •



Arts 16 :




: 9 ; 1 Pet

.3 :


h Joh

1 12 :48

2 Thess

2 : 12.

..i Lu

ke 10


Acts 6 :




: 18'




ts 2:4; H

: 46;

1 Cor.

12 :


. 1,

ike 10

: 19;

Acts 28 .

5 1 Acts 5 :

15, 16

28 :


James 6

. 14



1 :

2, 3

, L


24 : 61...

n Fs

110 :

1 ;

1 Pet. 3 :



3 : 21

Acts 6 ; 12

14 : 3

; Heb

2 : 4

ally, a stole (Gr. otoXij). See ch. 12 : 38-40, note.
— Be not affrighted. The angel's reassuring
response to the women, who started back at the
unexpected apparition. — And Peter. Observe
that as Christ's first appearance is to Mary
Magdalene (John 20 : is), out of whom he had cast
seven devils, so his special message is to Peter
who had denied him. " Tell Peter, for it will be
news more welcome to him than to any of them,
for he is in sorrow for sin ; and he will be afraid
lest the joy of this good news do not belong to
him." — (Matthew Henry.) — They trembled and
were afraid. Rather, Were in an ecstasy or
in a maze; a commingled feeling of fear, awe,
hope, and strange expectation is indicated by
the language here and in Matthew. — Neither
said they anything to any man. That is,
on their way to tell the disciples. See Matt.
28 : 8, note.

ASCENSION. — Christ's first appearance is to the
woman to whom he has shown the greatest mercy
(9). — The mistake of mourning : it weeps at the
grave of the risen (10, 11). — the reproach of
Christ's church: its slowness to believe (14).—
The commission of Christ to his church : its field
is the world ; its work is to preach the gospel ;
its congregation embraces evert creature ; its
offer is a free and full salvation ; the con-
dition of salvation 18 faith in christ and con-
fession of and consecration to him i the conse-
quence of rejecting christ's proffered salvation
is eternal condemnation.

The question whether this passage properly
belongs to Mark's Gospel or is an addition by a
later hand, is one of the most difficult in Biblical
criticism. I shall here state briefly the reasons
for and against its authenticity, and then my own
conclusion. I. External considerations. It is
found in the Alexandrine, Ephraem and Cam-
bridge Manuscripts (see Intro., pp. 23,24), and in the
Vulgate, Ethiopic, Curetonian Syriac, Peshito,
Jerusalem Syriac, Memphitic and Gothic Ver-
sions. It is wanting in the two oldest and most
valued manuscripts, the Vatican and Sinaitic. If
not a part of the original Gospel, it must have
been added at a very early date, probably during
the first century. II. Internal considerations.
Verse 8 ends so abruptly as to forbid the idea
that this was the close of the original Gospel.

The last word in the Greek is a connective par-
ticle. "For they were afraid" is literally, They
were afraid for (icporlovvro yuo). If Mark's Gospel
really ends here, it must be either because he
was suddenly interrupted, or because his original
close has been lost. On the other hand, the lan-
guage in the Greek of the last eleven verses is
unlike the rest of Mark's Gospel. " No less than
twenty-one words and expressions occur in it
(and some of them several times) which are
never elsewhere used by Mark, whose adherence
to his own peculiar phrases is remarkable." —
(Alford.) To which add that the summing up of
verses 19, 20, is unlike Mark, who is pictorial
but unsystematic, and that the language of verses
15-18, compared with Matthew's account of the
same commission to the eleven (ch. 28 : 18-20), indi-
cates a less accurate and authentic report of this
legacy of our Lord to his church. See notes
below. III. Opinions of scholars. The genu-
ineness of this passage is affirmed by Mill, 01-
shausen, Eward, Lachmann, and Schaff; it is
doubted or denied by Griesbach, Ewald, Meyer,
Tischendorf, Tregelles, Lightfoot, and Norton.
For an elaborate discussion of these and other
conflicting testimonies, see James Morison's Com-
mentary on Mark ; he concludes that the passage
is genuine. The weight of authority internal and
external, appears to me to point to the other
conclusion, viz., that Mark's Gospel either was
abruptly broken off by some accident, or its close
was early lost, and that verses 9-20 were append-
ed at a very early day, probably during the first
century, to give completion to the book. The
question is one of secondary importance, since
all that is essential in spirit and substance in this
passage is to be found elsewhere in the Gospels,
in accounts whose authenticity is undoubted.

9-11. The details of this appearance are given
in John 20 : 11-18. See notes there. On the
character of Mary Magdalene, see Matthew 27 :
56, note. Of the fact here stated, that Christ
cast seven devils out of her, we have no informa-
tion except the statement here and in Luke 8 : 2.

12, 13. This is a brief recapitulation of an in-
cident recorded more fully in Luke 24 : 13-35.
See notes there.

14. This appearance is more fully described in
Luke 24 : 36-49, and John 20 : 19-23. See notes

Ch. XVI.]



15-18. This commission is repeated more
briefly, but I believe more accurately, by Matt.
28 : 18-20. See notes there. At least it appears to
me that they are identical, though all commen-
tators do not so regard them. Matthew indicates
that it was given in Galilee. Mark connects with
it the ascension, which took place from the
Mount of Olives (Acts i : is). But neither asserts
definitely the location. This can hardly be the
same interview reported by Luke (24 : 45-49). That
our Lord should have prepared the eleven for
the last commission, by previous instruction, is
what we might reasonably expect. — Into all
the world. Comp. Matt. 13 : 38. —Herald
the glad tidings. This was the first commis-
sion of the apostles (Matt. 10 : 7) ; they were now to
be more than mere heralds of a coming Gospel —
they were to be instructors of the people in the
principles of a Gospel which by his death Christ
had finished, which was no more coming but had
come (comp. Matt. 28 : 19, note). It appears to me that
the author of this passage has failed to recognize
this change in the apostle's work, which Mat-
thew's report clearly indicates. This variation
between Mark and Matthew, is one of the indi-
cations that we have not here an authentic
report of the original commission, but a sum-
mary made up by a later hand. — To all the
creation. This is equivalent to " all nations " in
Matthew. "True," asALford says, "all creation
is redeemed by Christ (coi. 1 : 15-23 ; Rom. 8 : 19-23) ;
but the Gospel can he preached only to man. —
He that believeth and is baptized shall be
saved. Believeth, i. e., has faith in and trusts
himself to Christ as preached in the Gospel ; and
is baptized, publicly acknowledges that faith, and
is consecrated to and enters upon a new life in
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (John 3 : 5, 6 ;
Matt. 28 : 19, note) ; shall be saved, from both the present
dominion and the future penalty of sin (Matt. 1 : 21 ;
Rom. 8:2). — But he that believeth not shall
be condemned. Not he that is in doubt or
perplexity, as the disciples in vers. 11, 13, but he
that refuses to open his heart to the influence of
a living and present Saviour. The declaration
here is parallel to and interpreted by John 3 :
18, 19 ; comp. John 15 : 22 ; Heb. 2 : 3. Observe,
then, that not every belief saves (James 2 : 19), nor
does every unbelief bring into condemnation (John
20 : 25-27). Observe, too, that by implication bap-
tism is not essential to salvation as faith is. One
may be baptized and yet not believe, as Simon
(acu 8 : 13 ; is : 23), or believe and not be baptized, as
the penitent thief (Luke 23: 43). — In my name
shall they cast out devils. For fulfillment
of this promise, see Acts 5 : 16 ; 8 : 7 ; 16 : 18.—
They shall speak with new tongues. See

Acts 2 : 4 ; 1 Cor. 14 : 22, and notes at these places.

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