Mark 16:5

5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked,

Mark 16:5 Meaning and Commentary

Mark 16:5

And entering into the sepulchre
For the sepulchres of the Jews were made so large, that persons might go into them: the rule for making them is this F11;

``he that sells ground to his neighbour to make a burying place, or that receives of his neighbour to make a burying place, must make the inside of the cave four cubits by six, and open in it eight graves; three here, and three there, and two over against them: and the graves must be four cubits long, and seven high, and six broad. R. Simeon says, he must take the inside of the cave six cubits by eight, and open within thirteen graves: four here, and four there, and three over against them; and one on the right hand of the door, and one on the left; and he must make, (rux) , "a court", at the mouth of the cave, six by six, according to the bier, and those that bury; and he must open in the midst of it two caves, one here and another there. R. Simeon says, four at the four sides; R. Simeon ben Gamaliel says, all is according to the nature of the rock.''

Now it was in the court that the women entered, where the bier was to be put down by the bearers; and where they could look into the sepulchre, and the several caves and graves in it, and what were in them. So Maimonides says F12,

``they dig caves in the earth, and make a grave on, the side of the cave, and bury in; it.''

And there being a door into one of these caves, persons might enter in, and see where the graves were, and the bodies lay.

They saw a young man;
an angel; as angels used to appear in the form of men: nor is this any contradiction to John's account, who says there were two angels, one at the head, and another at the feet, ( John 20:12 ) ; since Mark does not say there was no more than one; besides, John relates what Mary Magdalene saw, when alone, and Mark what all the women saw:

sitting on the right side;
from whence we learn, on what side of the door of the sepulchre Christ was laid, according to the above description of one:

clothed long white garment: (See Gill on Matthew 28:3); which was as white as snow:

and they were affrighted;
at the sight of him; not expecting such a vision, but to have seen, the body of their Lord.


F11 Misn. Bava Bathra, c. 6. sect. 8.
F12 Maimon. Hilch. Ebel, c. 4. sect. 4.

Mark 16:5 In-Context

3 On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”
4 But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.
5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked,
6 but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.
7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”
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