Matthew 27:60

Matthew 27:60

And laid it in his own new tomb
Christ was laid not in his own, but in another's tomb; for as in his lifetime he had not where to lay his head; so when he was dead, he had no sepulchre of his own to put his body in: and moreover, this shows that as he was born for others, and suffered and died not for himself, but them; so he was buried for them, as well as rose again for their justification: and it was a "new" tomb in which he was laid, in which none had been laid before; and was so ordered by providence, for the confirmation of the truth of his resurrection; for had another body been laid there, it might have been said that it was that, and not his that was raised. The Jews distinguish between a new grave, and an old grave F14:

``a new grave may be measured, and sold, and divided; an old one may not be measured, nor sold, nor divided: there is a new grave, which is as an old one; and an old one, which is as a new one; an old grave, in which are ten dead bodies, which is not in the power of the owners, lo! this is as a new grave.''

Which he had hewn out in the rock; it was usual with the Jews to make their sepulchres in rocks:

``in the midst (of the court of the sepulchre, they say F15) two caves are opened, one on one side, and the other on the other; R. Simeon says, four on the four sides; Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel says, all are (eloh ypl) , "according to the rock";''

i.e. according to the nature of the rock, out of which the sepulchre is hewn; see ( Isaiah 22:16 ) .

And he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre;
for the sepulchres were made with doors to go in and out at: hence we often read F16 of (rbqh xtph) , "the door of the sepulchre"; and this was not only the custom of the Jews, but of other nations also F17: the stone rolled to the door, was what the Jews call, (llwg) , from its being rolled to, and from the door of the sepulchre; and which, they say F18, was a large and broad stone, with which the mouth of the sepulchre was stopped above: and it was at the shutting up of the sepulchre with this stone, that mourning began F19; and after it was shut with this sepulchral stone, it was not lawful to open it F20: now this was done by Joseph, to preserve the body from any injury, either from beasts, or from the Jews:

when he had so done, he departed
to his own house; for the sabbath drew on, and there was no more time to do any thing more in this affair. The Syriac version reads these last clauses in the plural number; "they rolled a great stone, and they put it" and they went away; intimating, that Joseph did not do this himself; the stone was too great; but by others, or with their assistance. It may be observed, that all this was done on a feast day; on one of the days of the feast of the passover, when no servile work was to be done; and yet this was agreeably to the Jewish canons, which say {u},

``they do all things needful for the dead on a feast day; they shave his head, and wash his clothes, and make him a coffin; and if they have no boards, they bring timber and saw boards of it, silently within doors; and if the person is a man of note, they do it even in the street; but they do not cut wood out of the forest, to saw planks of it for the coffin; nor do they hew stones, to build a tomb with them.''

In this case, there was no need for the latter, because the sepulchre in which the body of Christ was laid, had been hewn out of a rock before; but the body was wrapped in a clean linen cloth, and wound up in it with myrrh and aloes to preserve it, and was interred; and so the women on this day, prepared spices and ointments, to anoint it with; though they rested on the sabbath day according to the commandment; but then as soon as that was over, though it was a feast day, they came to the sepulchre with their spices and ointments, ( Luke 23:56 ) ( 24:1 ) .


F14 Massech. Semachto, c. 14. fol. 16. 2.
F15 Misn. Bava Bathra, c. 6. sect. 8.
F16 Misn. ib. & Bartenora in Misn. Ohalot, c. 15. sect. 8.
F17 Vid. Kirchman de Funer. Roman. l. 3. c. 15. p. 438.
F18 Bartenora & Yom. Tob. in Misn. Ohalot, c. 2. sect. 4.
F19 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 47. 2. Maimon. Hilchot Ebel, c. 1. sect. 2. & c. 2. sect. 8.
F20 Vid. Buxtorf. Lex. Rab. p. 437.
F21 Maimon. Hilchot Yom. Tob. c. 7. sect. 15.
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