Matthew 28:1

1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

Matthew 28:1 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 28:1

In the end of the sabbath
This clause is by some joined to the last verse of the preceding chapter, but stands better here, as appears from ( Mark 16:1 ) , and intends not what the Jews call the sabbath eve, for that began the sabbath; but what they call (tbv yauwm) , "the goings out of the sabbath"; and as Mark says, ( Mark 16:1 ) , "when the sabbath was past": that is, when the sun was set, and any stars appeared. The Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel render it, "the evening of the sabbath"; and the Persic version, "the night of the sabbath"; but must mean, not the evening and night, which preceded the sabbath, and was a part of it, but what followed it, and belonged to the first day.

As it began to dawn;
not the day, but the night; a way of speaking used by the Jews, who call the night, (rwa) , "light": thus they say {y}, (rve hebral rwa) , "on the light, or night of the fourteenth" (of the month Nisan) "they search for leavened bread" And so the word is used, in ( Luke 23:54 ) , of the eve of the sabbath, or the beginning of it, as here of the going out of it;

towards the first day of the week,
or "sabbaths"; so the Jews used to call the days of the week, the first day of the sabbath, the second day of the sabbath take an instance or two F26

``The stationary men fast four days in the week, from the second day to the fifth day; and they do not fast on the sabbath eve (so they sometimes call the sixth day), because of the glory of the sabbath; nor (tbvb dxab) , "on the first day of the sabbath", or week, that they may not go from rest and delight, to labour and fasting, and die.''

On which the Gemara has these words F1;

``the stationary men go into the synagogue, and sit four fastings; (tbvb ynvb) , "on the second of the sabbath", or "week": on the third, and on the fourth, and on the fifth.''

Came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary,
the wife of Cleophas, and mother of James and Joses, with whom also was Salome, the mother of Zebedee's children, ( Mark 16:1 ) . There seems to be some difference between the evangelists about the time of the women's coming to the sepulchre. Matthew says, it was "at the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn; towards the first day of the week". John says, that "Mary Magdalene" came "when it was yet dark", ( John 20:1 ) , and yet Mark says, that they came "at the rising of the sun", ( Mark 16:2 ) . Though they all agree it was early in the morning: all they say is no doubt true, and may be reconciled thus. As soon as the sabbath was ended, the women set out on their journey, and as they went, bought spices and ointment to anoint the body with: they passed through the gates of the city before they were shut, and might stay some time in the suburbs; when Mary Magdalene, eager to be at the sepulchre, set out first, whilst it was dark, and came back and reported to Peter what she had seen, and returned again by such time the other women came, which was at sunrising. From all the accounts it is clear, that he rose, as is expressly said, ( Mark 16:9 ) , on the first day of the week, and which was the third from his death: on the sixth day, which was Friday, he was crucified, and buried that evening; he lay in the grave all sabbath day, or Saturday; and rose early on the first day of the week, before the women got to the sepulchre; who came thither, as it is here said,

to see the sepulchre:
not merely to see it, for they had seen it before, and where, and how the body of Christ was laid in it; but to see whether they could enter into it, and anoint the body with the spices and ointments, which they had prepared and brought with them for that purpose.


F25 Misn. Pesachim, c. 1. sect. 1. Vid. Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.
F26 Misn. Taanilh, c. 4. sect. 3.
F1 T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 27. 2. Vid. T. Bab. Nidda, fol. 4. 2. & 11. 1. & 67. 2.

Matthew 28:1 In-Context

1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
5 But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.