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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 27

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Verses 1-99

27:1, 2. From Mark 15:1.


(M) 1. And when it was morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death.] Mk. has: “And immediately in the morning the chief priests, with the elders, and scribes, and all the Sanhedrin, made a council.”—πρωίας δὲ γενομένης] for Mk.’s καὶ εὐθὺς πρωί. Mt. substitutes δέ for καί, and omits εὐθύς, as often.—συμβούλιον ἔλαβον] see on 12:14. Mk. has συμ.ποιήσαντες. Mt. here, as in 26:47, omits καὶ γραμματέων, and adds after πρεσβύτεροι, τοῦ λαοῦ. He omits καὶ ὅλον τὸ συνέδριον as superfluous, but adds, perhaps as compensation, πάντες before οἰ�Mar_10, Luk_1 (20:20). Mt. adds also the clause, κατὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ὥστε θανατῶσαι αὐτόν: cf. 26:59 ὥστε: with the infinitive here expresses purpose; cf. Moulton, p. 207.




3-10. Mt. here adds an incident which has no parallel in Mk. or Lk.

(P) 3. Then Judas, who delivered Him tip, when he saw that He was condemned, repented, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying.]—τότε] see on 2:7.—μεταμεληθείς] as in 21:30, 32.—ἔστρεψε] is not used elsewhere in an active sense in the N.T.; cf. Isaiah 38:8.


(P) 4. I sinned when I betrayed righteous blood.]

(P) And they said, What is that to us? Thou shalt see (to that).]

(P) 5. And he cast the silver into the temple, and went away and hanged himself.]—ῤίψας] as in 15:30.—εἰς τὸν ναόν] ναός in 23:16, 21, 35, 26:61 is used of the shrine. Judas could hardly literally cast the money into this shrine, into which none but priests entered. He may have cast it down in the court of the priests.—ἀνεχώρησε] see on 2:12.—καὶ�

The passage alluded to is, no doubt, Zechariah 11:13. The good shepherd of Israel received as wages from the rulers of the people a paltry sum. He was bidden to cast it to the potter. So he cast it to the potter in Jehovah’s house. The quotation in Mt. seems to play upon the facts of the narrative with reference to this passage. Christ was the Good Shepherd. He had been estimated at a paltry sum, thirty pieces of silver, by the rulers of the people. This sum should therefore be cast to the potter, or, by a slight change in the Hebrew, into the treasury (אוצד for יוצד). It is probable that in Zechariah 11:13 אוצד is original. It alone gives a good sense, and a reason for בית יהוה. Why should the potter be in Jehovah’s house? The treasury was naturally there. The M.T. may have substituted יוצד from a feeling that the sum thus despised was not good enough for the sacred treasury. Just so the chief priests in Mt. will not put the sum into the treasury, but give it for the potter’s field. Cf. Wellhausen on Zechariah 11:13.

καὶ ἔλαβον τὰ τριάκοντα�Zechariah 11:13 has καὶ ἔλαβον τοὺς τριάκοντα�Zechariah 11:13; in the LXX. language of Exodus 9:12 καθὰ συνέταξεν Κύριος. The addition of this clause and the 1st pers. in the original make it clear that ἔδωκα, and not ἔδωκαν, is the right reading. The action of the prophet in casting his rejected wages to the potter is regarded by the translator as prophetical of the action of the Sanhedrin in rejecting the proffered wages of Judas, and giving them for the potter’s field. The application of the prophecy in this connection is clearly based upon two or three traditional facts. Judas had thrown the money into the Temple; cf. ואשליך אתו בית יהוה. The Sanhedrin refused to put it into the treasury; cf. the probable emendation of אוצר into יוצר. The money thus rejected was applied to the purchase of a potter’s field; cf. ואשליך אתו-אל היוצר. The translator seems to have had the Hebrew text in his mind, and to have quoted from memory. From his acquaintance with the variant readings אוצר and יוצר (cf. for the former the renderings of Pesh. and Targ. Jon.), and from the way in which both words are alluded to in the narrative (for אוצר, cf. v. 6 τὸν κορβανᾶν), we may infer that the writer of this narrative was also the translator of the quotation, and that he was thoroughly versed in Rabbinical methods of exegesis. See Hastings, DCG. i. p. 911.

The narrative as it now stands seems to carry with it some traces of the style of the editor of the Gospel. τότε, see on 2:7.�Acts 1:18-19.


The attribution of the prophecy to Jeremiah may be due to reminiscence of Jer 36:37-39 LXX. (purchase of a field), combined with 18:2 (the potter).

4. δίκαιον] B2 mg L a b c d g1 q S1 “blood of the righteous”;�

11-26. From Mark 15:2-15.


(M E) 11. And Jesus stood still before the governor: and the governor asked Him, saying, Art Thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said, Thou sayest.] Mk. has: “And Pilate asked Him, Art Thou the King of the Jews? And He answered and saith to him, Thou sayest.”—ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐστάθη ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ ἡγεμόνος] With this connecting link Mt. returns to Mk.’s narrative.—λέγων] is inserted also in Lk.—ἔφη] So Lk. Mk. has λέγει. For σὺ λέγεις, cf. σὺ εἶπας, 26:25, 64.

(M) 12. And when He was accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.] Mk. has: “And the chief priests were accusing Him much.” Mt. avoids, as often, Mk.’s imperf. and the adverbial πολλά.—ἀπεκρίνατο] The classical middle is rare in the N.T. It occurs only once in Mark 14:61, where Mt. omitted it, and in Mt. only here, where it seems, therefore, to be a reminiscence of the clause omitted from Mark 14:61; but Mt., as usual, has only a single negative; see on 27:14. On�


(M) 13. Then Pilate saith to Him, Dost Thou not hear how many things they witness against Thee?] Mk. has: “And Pilate again was asking Him, saying, Dost Thou not answer anything? See of how many things they accuse Thee.”—τότε] see on 2:7. Mt., as often, omits Mk.’s πάλιν, and avoids his imperf. ἐπηρώτα.

(M) 14. And He did not answer him, not even to one word; so that the governor marvelled greatly.] Mk has: “And Jesus still answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.” Mt. avoids, as usual, Mk.’s double negative, but here compensates by adding πρὸς οὐδὲ ἓν ῥῆμα. Cf. Introduction, p. xxv; Hastings, DCG. i. p. 358.

(M) 15. And at the feast the governor was wont to release to the multitude a prisoner whom they wished.] Mk. has: “And at the feast he was releasing to them a prisoner whom they were begging off.”—εἰώθει—ἀπολύειν] to emphasise the fact that this was a customary concession. Mk. uses his imperfects so indiscriminately that his�

(M) 16. And they had then a prisoner of note, named Jesus Barabbas.] Mk. has: “And one called Barabbas was bound with the rebels who had committed murder in the revolt. And the multitude went up, and began to ask (that he would do) as he was doing for them.” See Gould and Swete on Mark 15:7.


(M) 17. When, therefore, they were gathered together, Dilate said to them, Whom will ye that I release to you? Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Anointed ?] Mk. has: “And Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release to you the King of the Jews?”

(M) 18. For he knew that they had delivered Him up through envy.] Mk. has: “For he knew that the chief priests had delivered Him up through envy.”—ᾔδει] Mt. avoids Mk.’s imperf. ἐγίνωσκεν.—παρέδωκαν] Mt. avoids Mk.’s pluperfect; cf. 26:48.

19. Mt. adds here:

(P) And as he was sitting upon the judgement-seat, his wife sent to him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that righteous man: for I suffered much in a dream to-day on account of Him.]—κατʼ ὄναρ] only besides five times in chs. 1. 2. See on 1:20.—πολλά] this adverbial πολλά, which is common in Mk., occurs elsewhere in Mt. only twice, 13:3, 16:21, both from Mk.

(M) 20. And the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.] Mk. has: “And the chief priests moved the people that he should rather release Barabbas to them.” For the insertion of καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι, cf. v. 12.—τοὺς ὄχλους plur. for Mk.’s sing., as often. See Introduction, p. lxxxvi.—ἔπεισαν] for Mk.’s�

27-56. From Mark 15:16-41.Mark 15:16-20a is omitted by Lk.


(M) 27. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Prætorium, and gathered to Him all the band.] Mk. has: “And the soldiers led Him away within the court which is the Praetorium, and call together all the band.—τότε] see on 2:7.—εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον] Mt. dovetails, as often, a twofold phrase of Mk.’s; cf. Introduction, p. xxv. Mk. has “within the court which is the Prætorium”; “within” as opposed to the space outside the palace where the tribunal was set up, v. 19.—αὐλῆς] i.e. the court in the palace of Herod which was used as the Prætorium or residence of the governor when he was at Jerusalem; cf. Sanday, Sacred Sites, pp. 55 ff.—συνήγαγον] avoiding, as often, Mk.’s hist. pres.

(M) 28. And they stripped Him, and put round Him a scarlet cloke.] Mk. has: “And they put on Him a purple robe, and put round Him.” The “scourging” of v. 26 has already implied stripping. In Mk. the καὶ περιτιθέασιν has as object the crown of thorns. Mt. seems to have supposed that both verbs referred to the robe. περιτίθημι may be used of either object. For στἐφανον, cf. Eur. Med. 984, and for χλαμύδα, Sapph. 68. We should expect Mt. to omit one verb; cf. Introduction, p. xxiv.1 But instead he converts ἐνδιδύσκειν into ἐκδύειν unobservant of the fact that the action implied in this verb was unnecessary. He avoids as usual Mk.’s hist. presents. —χλαμύδα κοκκίνην] The chlamys was generally a military garment, but was worn also by kings. Mk. has πορφύρα.

(M) 29. And they wove a crown of thorns, and put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand: and kneeling down before Him, they mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!] Mk. has: “—having woven a crown of thorns, and began to salute Him, Hail, King of the Jews.”—βασιλεῦ] see Moulton, p. 71.2

Mt., having transferred Mk.’s περιτιθέασιν to the previous clause, is obliged to insert a conjunction καί and a new verb ἐπέθηκαν, and adds ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ. He inserts also καὶ κάλαμον ἐν τῇ δεξιᾷ αὐτοῦ, taking the “reed” from Mk v. 19, where it seems pointless and out of place. The καὶ γονυπετήσαντες ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ ἐνέπαιξαν αὐτῷ is also anticipated from Mk 19 καὶ τιθέντες τὰ γόνατα προσεκύνουν αὐτῷ. Mt. substitutes γονυπετήσαντες cf. 17:14; Mark 1:40, Mark 10:17, and changes προσεκύνουν into the ἐνέπαιξαν of Mk v. 20.


(M) 30. And they spat upon Him, and took the reed, and beat upon His head.] Mk. has: “And they beat His head with a reed, and were spitting on Him.”—ἐμπτύσαντες] Mt. avoids Mk.’s imperfect, as often.

(M) 31. And when they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the cloke, and put His own garments on Him.] so Mk., with πορφύρα as in v. 17 for χλαμύδα.

(M) And they led Him away to crucify Him.] Mk. has: “And they lead Him out in order that they may crucify Him.”—ἀπήγαγον] avoiding, as often, Mk.’s hist. pres. Lk. also has�

(M) 34. And gave Him to drink wine mixed with gall: and He tasted, and would not drink.] Mk. has: “And they were giving Him drugged wine: and He did not take it.”—ἔδωκαν] aor. for Mk.’s imperf., as often.—οἶνον μετὰ χολῆς μεμιγμένον] for Mk.’s ἐσμυρνισμένον οἶνον, probably with reference to Psalms 68:22 ἔδωκαν—χολήν, καὶ—ὄξος, and perhaps to avoid Mk.’s rare σμυρνίζειν.—οἶνον] A N al have ὄξος; ff omits. ὄξος is a further assimilation to the LXX.


(M) 35. And they crucified Him, and divided His garments by casting lot.] Mk. has: “And they crucify Him, and divide His garments, casting lot over them (to determine) what each should take.”—σταυρώσαντες—διεμερίσαντο] avoiding, as often, Mk.’s hist. presents. For διεμερίσαντο, cf. Ps 21:19.

(M) 36. And sitting down they guarded Him there.] Mk. has: “And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.” But for ἐσταύρωσαν, D ff2 k n have ἐφύλασσον. Mt. seems to have had this in his text of Mk. Mt. seems to have wished to avoid Mk.’s difficult third hour; cf. John 19:14.—ἐκεῖ] Lk. also has this.


(M) 37. And they placed above His head His accusation written, This is Jesus the King of the Jews.] Mk. has: “And the inscription of His accusation was written, The King of the Jews.”—οὗτος] Lk. also adds this.

(M) 38. Then are crucified with Him two robbers, one at the right hand, and one at the left.] Mk. has: “And they crucify with Him two robbers, one at (His) right hand, and one at His left.”—σταυροῦνται] hist. pres., contrary to Mt.’s custom. Passive for active, see Introduction, p. xxiii.

(M) 39. And the passers-by were blaspheming Him, shaking their heads.] so Mk. Cf. Lamentations 2:15.


(M) 40. And saying, Thou destroyer of the temple, and builder (of it) in three days, save Thyself. If Thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross.] Mk. has: “Ah, Thou destroyer of the Temple, and builder of it in three days, save Thyself by coming down from the cross.”—ὁ καταλύων] See Moulton, p. 127, who translates “you would-be destroyer” —εἰ υἰὸς εἷ τοῦ θεοῦ] Lk. also has εἰ οὖτὸς ἐστιν ὁ Χριστὸς τοῦ θεοῦ.

(M) 41. Likewise also the chief priests mocking with the scribes and elders, said.] Mk. has: “Likewise also the chief priests mocking to one another with the scribes, said.” For the insertion of καὶ πρεσβυτέρων, cf. vv. 12, 20.

(M) 42. Others He saved; Himself He cannot save. He is Israels king. Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe upon Him.] Mk. has: “Others He saved; Himself lie cannot save. Let the Anointed, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.”—πιστεύσομεν] Mk. has two verbs; cf. Introduction, p. xxv.

Mt. here adds:

(M) 43. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He desires Him: for He said, I am the Son of God.] The first clause is similar to Psalms 21:9 ἠλπισεν ἐπὶ κύριον ρ῾υσάσθω αὐτον.—ὅτι θέλει αὐτόν. The second is an allusion to Wis 2:18 εἰ γάρ ἐστιν ὁ δίκαιος υἱὸς θεοῦ—ῤύσεται αὐτόν. The verse is probably clue to the editor.


(M) 44. Likewise also the robbers who were crucified with Him, were reviling Him.] Mk. has: “And they who were being crucified with Him, were reviling Him.”

(M) 45. And from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.] Mk. has: “And when it was the sixth hour, there was darkness over the whole land unto the ninth hour.”—γῆ] may mean “earth”; so in Mark 13:27, Mark 13:31 (where, however, the contrast with heaven requires it) 2:10. But here there is nothing to suggest that it means more than “land of Israel”; cf. Ev. Peter 5, σκότος κατέσχε πᾶσαν τὴν Ἰουδαίαν, and Exodus 10:22 ἐγένετο σκότος ἐπὶ πᾶσαν γῆν Αἰγύπτου.

(M) 46. And about the ninth hour Jesus called out in a loud voice, saying, Elei, Elei, lema Sabaqthani? that is, My God, My God, why didst Thou forsake Me?] Mk. has: “And at the ninth hour Jesus called out in a loud voice, Eloï, Eloï, lama Sabaqthani, which is being interpreted, My God, My God, why didst Thow forsake Me?”—ἠλεί] Mt. hebraises Mk.’s ἐλωί with reference to Psalms 22:1. Ἐλωί is the Aramaic אֱלָהִי the ω for α being due to the influence of the Hebrew אֱלֹהַי; see Dalm. Gram2 p 156. Mk.’s λαμά (B D) also shows reminiscence of the Hebrew. Mt. and Mk. (א C L) have the Aramaic λεμά; see Dalm. p. 221.—σαβαχθανεί] is the Aramaic שבקתני. The ει, as in ῥαββεί, is to be pronounced ē; see Dalm. p. 147, Anm. 4.Psalms 22:1 runs אלי אלי למה עזבחני. The words as uttered in Aramaic would be אלהי אלהי למא שבקתני. Mk. has slightly Hebraised in ἐλωί, Mt. entirely in ἠλεί, Mk. also in λαμά. D in Mk. has ζαφθάνει, which may be a further assimilation to the Hebrew, and represent עזבתני, since D seems to assimilate the whole verse to the Hebrew reading, ἠλὶ ἠλὶ λαμὰ ζαφθάνι. Lk. omits the whole verse.—θεε] Mk. has ὁ θεός. For the vocative case, see Blass, p. 87. Psalms 21:2 has ὁ θεός ὁ θεός μου—ἴνα τί ἐγκατέλιπές με. Mk. has ὁ θεός μου ὁ θεός μου εἰς τί. Mt. θεέ μου θεέ μου ἵνα τί. Mt. assimilates Mk.’s εἰς τί to the LXX.—ἐγκατέλιπες] D in Mk. has ὠνείδισας, probably to soften the harshness of the idea of Christ’s entire abandonment by God.


(M) 47. And some of those who stood there heard, and said that He calls Elias] Mk. has: “And certain of the bystanders heard, and said, Lo, He calls Elias.” Mt.’s change of Mk.’s ἐλωί into the Hebrew ἠλεί may be due to the fact that the latter sounds more like Elias than the former in Greek, though not in Hebrew. The bystanders were probably Jews. אלהי = my God, might be intentionally perverted into אליהּ = Elijah, by a Jew. See Gould.

(M) 48. And immediately one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink.] Mk. has: “And one ran and filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink.”—καὶ εὐθέως δραμών Mk.has δραμων δέ τις. We should expect the position to be reversed. D has καὶ δραμὼν εἶς καὶ πλήσας in Mk. Mt. probably had this in his copy of Mk.—πλήσας τε] Mk. never has τε. It occurs again in Matthew 22:10, Matthew 28:12. Mk.’s τίς orεἶς is vague. Was it one of the guards, or a Jewish onlooker? The latter is not impossible. Mt., by adding ἐξ αὐτῶν, probably interprets of the Jewish bystanders.

(M) 49. And the rest said, Stay, let us see whether Elias is coming to save Him.] Mk. has: “Saying, Let us see whether Elias is coming to take Him down.” In Mk. it is the offerer of the vinegar who, as he gave the Lord to drink, said, “Let us see,” etc. But Mt. infers from the plural ἴδωμεν that it was not the offerer of the vinegar, but the bystanders who said, “Let us see.” He therefore substitutes for λέγων, οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ εἶπαν, changes Ἀφετε into ἄφες “And the rest said, Stay” (i.e. “do not relieve Him”), and changes καθελεῖν αὐτον into σώσων. “Let us see if Elias will come to His assistance.” For Mk.’s ἄφετε ἴδωμεν, cf. Matthew 7:4.—σώσων] For the rare fut. part., see Blass, p. 37. See also Moulton, p. 356 n.

(M) 50. And Jesus, again having cried with a loud voice, gave up the spirit]. Mk. has: “And Jesus, having uttered a loud cry, expired.”—κράξας] Mk. has�John 19:30. For�Genesis 35:18. For�Genesis 45:2.


(M) 51. And behold the veil of the Temple was rent from the top to the bottom into two.] Mk. has: “And the veil of the Temple was rent into two from the top to the bottom.”—ἰδού See on 1:20.— τὸ καταπέτασμα τοῦ ναοῦ] Jerome says that the Gospel according to the Hebrews had superliminare for καταπέτασμα “In Evangelio cujus sæpe fecimus mentionem superliminare templi infinitæ magnitudinis fractum esse atque divisum legimus,” In loc. “In Evangelio autem quod Hebraicis literis scriptum est legimus non velum templi scissum sed superliminare templi miræ magnitudinis corruisse,” Ep. 120. 8. Jos. Wars, vi. 299, records, amongst other portents that preceded the fall of Jerusalem, the following: “At that feast which we call Pentecost … the priests felt a quaking, and heard a great noise; and after that heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, ‘Let us depart hence.’” In B. Joma 39b it is said that, amongst other signs which happened forty years before the destruction of the Temple, “the doors of the Temple opened of themselves until Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai rebuked them, saying, ‘O Temple, Temple ! Why troublest thou thyself? I know that thy end is near.”’ Zahn may be right in suggesting that all these accounts are reminiscences of an event that happened at the porch of the Temple at the period of the crucifixion. A cleavage in the masonry of the porch, which rent the outer veil and left the Holy Place open to view, would account for the language of the Gospels, of Josephus, and of the Talmud.

Mt. here adds:

(P) 52, 53. And the earth was shaken, and the rocks were rent; and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints that had fallen asleep arose, and came out of the tombs after His resurrection; and entered into the Holy City, and were made manifest to many.] The passage probably comes from Mt.’s cycle of Palestinian traditions. The cause of the rending of the veil was an earthquake, which also exposed the bodies of the dead by laying bare their graves. These dead saints, whose rest was so rudely shattered, appeared to many in the city. Mt. adds this account to the Marcan record, but interpolates a clause which is inconsistent with the obvious meaning of the tradition. If Christ was the first-fruits of them that slept, how could His resurrection have been preceded by that of these saints? Under the influence of some such idea the editor adds the caution, “after His resurrection.” Or had his authority, “After their resurrection”; and did he by mistake or purposely alter “their” to “His”?—ἔγερσις] occurs only here in N.T.—τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν1] cf. 4:5.—ἐνεφανίσθησαν] only here in Mt. On the verb as signifying a visible manifestation, see Abbott, Johannine Vocabulary, 1716 n. Cf. Buddhist and Christian Gospels, p. 189: “When the Lord entered into Nirvana, a great earthquake, terrific and tremendous, accompanied His entry into Nirvana.”

(M) 54. And the centurion, and they who were guarding Jesus with him, when they saw the earthquake, and the things which happened, feared exceedingly, saying, Truly this was a Son of God.] Mk. has: “And the centurion, who stood by over against Him, seeing that He so expired, said, Truly this man was a Son of God.”—ἐκατόνταρχος] Mk. has κεντυρίων (also vv. 44, 45), which does not occur elsewhere in the N.T. ἑκατόνταρχος (ης) occurs some twenty-two times in the LXX. Lk. also has ἐκατοντάρχης, and τὸ γενόμενον = Mt.’s τὰ γινόμενα.—καὶ οἱ μετʼ αὐτοῦ, κ.τ.λ.] Mt. seems to have regarded Mk.’s ὁ παρεστηκὼς ἐξ ἐναντίας αὐτοῦ as an unnecessary tautology, and to have substituted “and those who,” etc.—ἰδόντες τὸν σεισμόν, Mk. has: ὄτι οὔτως ἐξέπνευσεν (D: οὕτως αὐτὸν κράξαντα, referring the οὔτως to the “loud cry”). Mt. links on to his interpolated verses by substituting τὸν σεισμὸν καὶ τὰ γινόμενα —θεοῦ υἰὸς] The centurion, who may well have known that Jesus was popularly understood to claim to be the Son of God, expresses his conviction that the circumstance of His death pointed to the reality of the claim.

(M) 55. And there were there many women beholding from far off, who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him.] Mk. has: “And there were also women beholding from far off,—who when He was in Galilee were following Him and ministering to Him,—and many others who came up with Him to Jerusalem.” Mt. condenses Mk.’s prolix account, apparently omitting the last clause, but really incorporating it by inserting πολλαί after γυναῖκες, and substituting�

(M) 57. And when it was evening, there came a rich man of Arimathæa, named Joseph, who also himself was a disciple of Jesus.] Mk. has: “And when it was now evening, since it was the preparation, i.e. the Friday, there came Joseph of Arimathæa, a wealthy councillor, who also himself was awaiting the kingdom of God.”—ὀψίας δέ] for καὶ ὀψίας, as often. Mt. omits Mk.’s note of time. The ἐπεὶ ἦν παρασκευή in Mk.’s source probably referred to the eve of the Passover and of the Sabbath, which in this year probably coincided. Mk., who has identified the last supper with the Passover meal, omits very probably a reference to the Passover, and defines παρασκευή as being the day before the Sabbath. John 19:14 is aware that the day of crucifixion was the eve of the Passover, παρασκευὴ τοῦ πάσχα. See p. 271.—πλούσιος] for Mk.’s εὐσχήμων βουλευτής. Mt. may have had in mind Isaiah 53:9 καὶ τούς πλουσίους�


(M) 58. He came to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded it to be given.] Mk. has: “Having dared, he went in to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus; and Pilate wondered whether He were already dead; and having called the centurion, asked him whether He were already dead. And having ascertained it from the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph.” Mt. and Lk. seem to have preferred to omit Pilate’s doubt about Christ’s death, and to have consciously avoided Mk.’s (v. 45) πτῶμα. Lk. also has οὖτος προσελθών.

(M) 59. And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.] Mk. has: “And he bought a linen cloth, and taking Him down, he swathed Him in the linen cloth.” Mt. omits the purchase of the cloth, cf. p. 272, and adds καθαρᾷ.—ἐνετύλιξεν Mk. has ἐνείλησεν]. Lk. agrees with Mt. Cf. Abbott (Corrections of Mark, 520 f.; Johannine Vocabulary, 1866, Additional Note), who gives examples of the rare word ἐντυλίσσειν.

(M) 60. And laid it in his new tomb, which he hewed out in the rock: and having rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, departed.] Mk. has: “And placed Him in a tomb, which was hewn out of rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.” Mt. adds καινῷ, i.e. “unused.” For the custom of using a great roll-stone like a millstone to close the entrance of the graves of wealthy men, see the interesting note and illustrations of Merx on Luke 22:52-54.


(M) 61. And there were there Mary of Magdala, and the other Mary, sitting over against the tomb.] Mk. has: “And Mary of Magdala and Mary (mother) of Joses were seeing where He was laid.”—ἡ ἄλλη M.] cf. v. 56. Mk. has Μαρία ἡ Ἰωσῆτος, which Wellhausen translates “the daughter of Joses.” For Mt.’s insertion of ἐκεῖ, cf. v. 55.

46. ἡλεί, ἡλεί or ἡλί, most MSS S1 latt. ἐλωεί, א. א and B assimilate to Mk.

λεμά] א B L 33 ff1 g1; λιμά, A K al f q; λαμά (so in Mk. B D) D I b h. Both in Mt. and Mk. λεμά is best attested. Mt. seems to have hebraised in ἠλεί. D in both Gospels hebraises the whole clause.

49. At the end of this verse the words: ἄλλος δὲ λαβὼν λόγχην ἔνυξεν αὐτοῦ τὴν πλευρὰν καὶ ὲξῆλθεν ὔδωρ καὶ αἶμα, are added by א B C L U Γ 54 8 67 115 127 *. The words seem to be a gloss derived from John 19:34 inserted by someone whose memory was recalled to John 19:34 by the εἶς ὲξ αὐτῶν of the last verse. In spite of their strong attestation, the fact that the next verse begins with ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν κράξας, and the contradiction, in fact, between the statement made by the verse as here placed and the Fourth Gospel, has served to check the transmission of the words by later copyists. The clause is omitted by A D αἰ S1 latt.


52. τῶν ἁγίων] S1 has “the righteous” = τῶν δικαίων.

56. ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωσὴφ μήτηρ] S1 has: “daughter of James and mother of Joseph”; and so in Mark 15:40 “daughter of James the little, the mother of Joseph,” and Mark 15:47 “the daughter of James.” In the latter place Ἰωσῆτος or Ἰωσήφ is the reading of most MSS. D ff2 n q and S1 have “of james.” It seems clear, however, that in Mark 15:40, Mk. intended to describe Mary as“the mother of James and Joseph.” In v. 47 he writes the ambiguous ὴ Ἱωσῆτος, which to a Semitic translator would naturally suggest “daughter of Joses.” Yet Mk. himself can hardly have intended to suggest a different Mary from her of v. 40, and his slovenly ἡ Ἰωσῆτος must be taken to mean “mother of Joses.” S1, translating daughter in accordance with Semitic usage, has seen the difficulty of describing this Mary in v. 40 as “mother” and in v. 47 as “daughter” of Joses, and has therefore assimilated to v. 40 by substituting “James” for “Joseph” to v. 47. D and the Latin versions have apparently been influenced by the Syriac in this substitution, or may have made the change independently to assimilate to v. 40.




62-66. Mt. here inserts vv. 62-66.

(P) And on the morrow, which is after the Preparation, there were gathered together the chief priests and the Pharisees to Pilate, saying, Lord, we remembered that that deceiver said, whilst yet alive, After three days I rise again. Command therefore that the grave be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come and steal Him, and say to the people, He is risen from the dead: and the last deception shall be worse than the first. Pilate said to them, Take a guard: go, make as secure as you can. And they went, and secured the grave (having sealed the stone) with the guard.]—τῇ δὲ ἐπαύριον ἥτις ἐστὶ μετὰ τὴν παρασκευήν] is a very paraphrastic expression for “the morrow.” According to Mt.’s reckoning, this would be the Sabbath, since the crucifixion took place on the Friday following the Passover. Why does he not say simply “on the morrow” or “on the Sabbath”? He may have omitted Mk.’s note of time (15:42), because he felt that Mk.’s ἐπεί was inexplicable. The burial with the prior arrangements can hardly have been completed before the Sabbath entered, and “since it was the preparation” seems therefore to be unmotived. He may also have felt that the action of the authorities in effecting the sealing and guarding of the grave was an unlikely course for them to have taken on the Sabbath, and to have avoided therefore the direct “on the Sabbath.” But having written “on the morrow,” he seems to have been unwilling to omit altogether Mk.’s definition of time in 15:42, and to have added “which is after the Sabbath” by way of compensation. For a similar case, where, after omitting a clause from Mk. he inserts it later in his narrative, cf. οὐδὲν�

1 Add to reff. On 4:5, Isaiah 48:2, Isaiah 52:1, and cf. ἠ ἱερέ πόλις Philo, De Somniis, 37 (i. 691), ἠ ιεροπόλις Legatio ad Caium, 36 (ii. 587), 38 (ii. 590), 43 (ii. 596).


latt. Manuscripts of the Old Latin Version.

Ox. Pap. Oxyrhynchus Papyri.



Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on Matthew 27". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/matthew-27.html. 1896-1924.
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