Matthew 28:3

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.

Matthew 28:3 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 28:3

His countenance was like lightning
There was such a lustre and brightness in his face, that it glittered like lightning: such a description is in ( Daniel 10:6 ) ,

and his raiment white as snow:
the word "white" is left out in the Vulgate Latin, and in Munster's Hebrew Gospel: the angel appeared clad in white, as a token of the purity and innocence of his nature; and because of the victory and triumph of Christ over death and the grave; and that he might be known and taken by the women for a good angel, it being a commonly received notion of the Jews, that ministering angels were clothed in white F2.

``Said R. Ame to R. Levi, show me the Persians; he said to him, they are like to the mighty men of the house of David: show me the Chaberin, (another nation near the Persians,) they are like to destroying angels: show me the Ishmaelites, they are like to devils of the house of Hacsa: show me the disciples of the wise men in Babylon, they are like to the ministering angels.''

Upon which the gloss says,

``"to the devils", because they are clothed in black, and are like to devils; to "the ministering angels", (Mynbl) (yvwbl) , "they are clothed in white", and veiled like the ministering angels; as it is written in ( Ezekiel 9:2 ) , "and the man was clothed with linen": and it is said F3 of R. Judah, that he was veiled, and sat in fine linen fringed, and was like to an angel of the Lord of hosts: and elsewhere F4 it is said, who are the ministering angels? the Rabbins: and why are they called ministering angels? because they are fringed, as the ministering angels, in beautiful garments.''


F2 T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 72. 1.
F3 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 25. 2.
F4 T. Bab. Nedarim, fol. 20. 2.

Matthew 28:3 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.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.