Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:12

and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Angel (a Spirit);   Friendship;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Love;   Mary;   Trouble;   Women;   Thompson Chain Reference - Angels;   Appearances;   Dead, the;   Mary;   Mortality-Immortality;   Resurrection;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Angels;   Mary;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Angel;   Burial;   Resurrection;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Angel;   Colour;   Resurrection of Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Angels;   New Testament;   Tammuz;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Angel;   Hour;   John, the Gospel of;   Mary;   Resurrection of Jesus Christ;   Tomb of Jesus;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Gospel of;   Tomb, Grave, Sepulchre;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Angels;   Cave ;   Feet (2);   Impotence;   Manuscripts;   Mary;   Numbers (2);   Sepulchre;   Tears;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Angels;   Mary Magdalene ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Mary;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Angel;   Color;   Papyrus;   Text and Manuscripts of the New Testament;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for November 1;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Seeth two angels - See on John 20:6; (note). She knew these to be angels by their white and glistening robes. Matthew and Mark mention but one angel - probably that one only that spoke, John 20:13.

One at the head, and the other at the feet - So were the cherubim placed at each end of the mercy-seat: Exodus 25:18, Exodus 25:19. Lightfoot.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 20:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-20.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And she beholdeth two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

For a discussion of angels, see my Commentary on Hebrews, Hebrews 1:14. This student has found absolutely nothing in the voluminous writings of destructive critics which offers any logical challenge to the Scriptures. All allegations of "discrepancies" and charges of inaccuracies are, without exception, grounded in the prior bias and infidelity of men who will not have it so, no matter what the word of God reveals. As for the fact that the Scriptures speak here of two angels, and in another place of one angel, and of angels standing, or sitting, and saying this or that upon one occasion or another - and particularly regarding Mary Magdalene's having seen two angels, and Peter and John not having reported seeing any angels, despite their being in the tomb first - the answer to all the "problems" seen by the critics in such facts (and they are facts) is a shrug of the shoulders. The only real problem that exists is in the minds of dirty old Sadducees clinging to some kind of nominal identity with Christianity who have never been converted from their disbelief, either of the resurrection or of the existence of angels. Jesus believed in the existence of angels, frequently spoke of them, and was ministered to by angels in the wilderness and in Gethsemane; and the nature of such beings is clearly unlike that of men. In Scripture, they appear as supernatural, immortal beings, capable of being either visible or invisible at will, endowed with the power to appear and to disappear instantaneously, and utterly unencumbered by the limitations which restrain the conduct of men. Any quibbling, therefore, over the question of why two angels were seen, and only one in another place, or by different persons, and not seen by some, or why they were, or were not, visible on one occasion or another - all such questions are invariably founded on misassumptions concerning the very nature of those mysterious heavenly beings called angels, who are above men, unlike men, and utterly beyond men.

Mary Magdalene's seeing two angels and her conversation with those celestial beings were introduced by John as preliminary to the far greater wonder of the appearance of the Lord himself to this grief-stricken woman who loved the Saviour and had come to water his grave with her tears. No wonder, then, that God sent angels to question her grief, and whose attitude or movement (not mentioned) directed her attention to the Lord himself. See under John 20:14.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 20:12". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-20.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And seeth two angels in white,.... Matthew and Mark speak but of one, but Luke of two, as here; whom he calls men, because they appeared in an human form, and in shining garments, or white apparel; and which appearance is entirely agreeable to the received notion of the Jews, that as evil angels or devils are clothed in black, so good angels, or ministering spirits, לבושי לבנים, "are clothed in white"F12Gloss. in T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 72. 1. , expressive of their spotless purity and innocence:

sitting the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain; in what position the body of Christ was laid, whether from west to east, as some, or from north to south, as others, is not certain; since the Jews observed no rule in this matter, as appears from the form of their sepulchres, and the disposition of the graves in them; some lying one way, and some another, in the same vault; See Gill on Luke 24:12.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
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Gill, John. "Commentary on John 20:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-20.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

2 And seeth two angels in b white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

(2) Two angels are made witnesses of the Lord's resurrection.

(b) In white clothing.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 20:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-20.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

one at the head, and the other at the feet where the body of Jesus had lain — not merely proclaiming silently the entire charge they had had of the body, of Christ [quoted in Luthardt], but rather, possibly, calling mute attention to the narrow space within which the Lord of glory had contracted Himself; as if they would say, Come, see within what limits, marked off by the interval here between us two, the Lord lay! But she is in tears, and these suit not the scene of so glorious an Exit. They are going to point out to her the incongruity.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-20.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

12. And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

[The one at the head, and the other at the feet.] So were the cherubims placed at each end of the mercy seat, Exodus 25:18,19. As to those cherubims that were in Solomon's Temple, 2 Chronicles 3:10, I cannot but by the way observe what I meet with in Bava Bathra: "Onkelos the proselyte saith, 'The cherubims are like children going from their master.'" That is, with their faces turned partly towards their master, and partly towards the way wherein they were to go. For as the Gemarists, "When Israel obeyed the will of God, the cherubims looked towards one another; but when they did not, then they turned their faces towards the walls."

Thus Onkelos comments upon this place of the Chronicles. I hardly think he Targumizeth on the book; for the Targum, at least that which is in our hands, renders it, Both the cherubim are made of lily work.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 20:12". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/john-20.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Beholdeth (τεωρειtheōrei). Vivid historical present again as in John 20:6, John 20:14. Peter and John had not seen the two angels. Westcott suggests an “economy” in such manifestations as the explanations. Better our own ignorance as to the reason why only the women saw them. Angels were commonly believed to be clad in white. See Mark 16:5 (a young man in a white robe), Matthew 28:5 (the angel), Luke 24:4 (two men in dazzling apparel). For other angels in John‘s Gospel see John 1:41; John 12:29; John 20:12.

Had lain (εκειτοekeito). Imperfect in progressive sense, “had been lying,” though not there now.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 20:12". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-20.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Seeth ( θεωρεῖ )

Rev., beholdeth. See on John 20:5.

Angels

Angels are rarely mentioned in John's narrative. See John 1:51; John 12:29; John 20:12.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 20:12". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-20.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Видит двух Ангелов. Удивительно милосердие Господа, простившего Марии и ее спутницам все их пороки. Он удостоил их редкой чести, послав двух ангелов и явив Самого Себя, в чем, однако, отказал апостолам. Хотя апостолы и женщины страдали от одного и того же порока, тупость первых была менее извинительна. Ведь, учившись столь долго и усердно, они столь мало преуспели в учении. Действительно, Христос избрал женщин, чтобы постыдить тех, кому явил Себя первым. Кроме того, не ясно, признала ли Мария в этих существах ангелов, или подумала, что видит людей. Мы знаем, что белые одежды – символ небесной славы. Так Христос был одет в белые одежды, когда на горе явил Свое величие трем апостолам. То же самое сообщает Лука об ангеле, явившемся Корнилию. Я не отрицаю, что белые одежды были в употреблении среди восточных народов. Но Бог в одеянии ангелов хотел показать нечто особенно и необычное. Он словно снабдил их отметиной, которой они отличались от людей. Добавь к этому, что Матфей сравнивает вид ангела, говорившего с женщинами, с блеском молнии. Однако, возможно его вид внушил женщинам только благоговейный страх. Ибо они, как явствует, стояли в полном оцепенении. Кроме того, всякий раз, когда ангелы являются людям видимым образом и облеченными в одежды, это вызвано тупоумием людей. Не сомневаюсь, что иногда ангелы действительно бывают облечены в тела. Однако излишне исследовать, была ли в этих двух ангелах только видимость тел, или нечто большее. Посему я опускаю этот вопрос. Мне достаточно, что Господь придал им человеческую форму, дабы женщины могли их услышать и увидеть. Они также были украшены необычным и особым образом, дабы, отличаясь от прочих людей, являть собой нечто божественное и небесное.

Одного у главы. То, что Матфей упоминает только об одном ангеле, не разногласит с рассказом Иоанна. Ибо с Марией разговаривали не двое, а лишь один, который исполнял функции посланника. Аллегория же Августина не вполне обоснованна. Якобы такое расположение ангелов обозначало проповедь Евангелия от востока до запада. Скорее достойно замечания то, что таковым видением Христос начал являть славу Своего царства. Ведь тот факт, что ангелы почтили присутствием могилу Христову, не только устранил позор креста, но и явил небесное величие Спасителя.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:12". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

Ver. 12. And seeth two angels] Sent for her sake, and the rest, to certify them of the resurrection. It is their office (and they are glad of it) to comfort and counsel the saints still, as it were by speaking and doing after a spiritual manner, though we see them not, as she here did. The philosopher told his friends when they came into his little and low cottage, "The gods are here with me," εντευθεν ουκ απεισι θεοι: sure it is that God and his angels are ever with his people, when they are weeping especially.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 20:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-20.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

12.] From what has been said above, my readers will not expect me to compare the angelic appearances in the four Gospels. What wonder, if the heavenly hosts were variously and often visible on this great day, when “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” What can be more accurate in detail than this description of the vision of Mary? Every word was no doubt carefully related to the Apostle, and as carefully recorded. And all is significant: they are in white, because from the world of light: they sit, as not defending, but peacefully watching the Body: at the Head and the Feet, for the Body of the Lord was from head to foot in the charge of His Father and of His servants. (Luthardt.)

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 20:12". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-20.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 20:12. καθεζομένους, sitting) as if after having performed some service, and waiting for some one whom they might instruct.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 20:12". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-20.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Ver. 12,13. The other evangelists differing in their accounts of this part of the history, have raised some questions here not easily to be resolved. Matthew reports thus, see Matthew 28:2-9. Mark saith, see Mark 16:2-8. Mark 16:2 Where by the rising of the sun must not be understood its rising above the horizon; but after midnight, (as the learned Casaubon hath noted), when the sun and stars begin to ascend. Luke reports this part of the history thus, see Luke 24:1-12. Concerning the persons that went to the sepulchre, and the time of their going, here is (as we have showed) little difficulty in reconciling the evangelists. The greatest difference seemeth to be about the angels that Mary saw; whether she saw two apparitions of angels, or but one, and one angel, or two; and concerning the time when she saw them, whether before or after that Peter and John had been in the sepulchre. Matthew saith, the stone was rolled away, and the angel sat upon the stone; this must be without the sepulchre. Mark saith, they, entering into the sepulchre, saw (an angel in the shape of) a young man sitting, &c. Luke and John speak of two angels; but seen in the sepulchre, not without it. There is no doubt but the apparition was of two angels; one of which might be seen without first, sitting upon the stone, to let the women know that he had rolled it away: both of them within, sitting one at the head, the other at the feet, of the place where the body of Jesus lay. But the greatest question is, Whether the woman saw the angels before that Peter and John had been at the sepulchre, or after? Some think that it was before, but it is no way probable; for it can hardly be thought but that if they had seen the angel at the first, they would have told the eleven of it, or Peter and John at least; nor would Mary have told Peter and John (as John 20:2) they had taken away her Lord, &c., for the angels told them he was risen. So that although by some of the others’ relation, who say nothing of Peter and John’s coming to the sepulchre, it seems as if the women saw the angel before their coming to satisfy themselves, yet indeed it was after. The women first came, saw the door open, the stone rolled away, &c. In a fright they ran back, and told it the disciples. Peter and John came to see, and being satisfied, return, leaving Mary still standing at the sepulchre weeping; then she stooping down and looking into the sepulchre, both saw the angel sitting on the stone, and also the two angels within the sepulchre, who fully revealed the resurrection to her.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-20.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

двух Ангелов Лука (24:4) описывает обоих. Матфей (28:2, 3) и Марк (16:5) говорят только об одном. Иоанн упоминает ангелов для того, чтобы показать: никакие грабители могил не брали тело. Это было действием силы Божией.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 20:12". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-20.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

12.In white—It is asked sometimes whence did Jesus obtain his resurrection clothes? We might with the same wisdom ask, Whence did these angels obtain their robes of white? Who manufactures the angels’ harps or Gabriel’s trump? These angels assume not only bodies visible to mortal eyes, but vestments; and vestments which, by a mysterious law of mind, represent among different nations exaltation and purity. White as a colour for magistrates and candidates was used by the Egyptians, Romans, and Persians. As an emblem of purity and holiness it was adopted by the Jews, and is recognized as a symbol in Scripture. See Revelation 3:4-5; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 7:9; Revelation 7:13; Revelation 15:6; Revelation 19:8; Revelation 19:14. In assuming the robe of white, therefore, the angels announced, in symbol, their true holy and exalted character.

At the head’ at the feet—As the two cherubim sat at the ark of the covenant watching the Shekinah. He who was so lately hung between two thieves is now lying between two angel watchers. And mark this reverence as paid to the body, to indicate the doctrine of the resurrection of the body. It would seem that the body was not placed, as was often the case, with its head first into the niche and its feet alone visible; but parallel with the wall, so that either could be seen equally easily.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 20:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-20.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Gospel writers did not describe the structure of the interior of the tomb in detail. It is of little importance. It was obviously large enough to accommodate two Prayer of Manasseh -size angels sitting at either end of the place where Jesus" body had lain. The presence and positions of the two angels were of more consequence. It is interesting that cherubim stood at either end of the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant ( Exodus 25:17-19). Evidently Mary had seen the angels earlier ( Matthew 28:5-7; Mark 16:5-7; Luke 24:4-7). Their white apparel distinguished them as angels (cf. Acts 1:10), but Mary apparently did not recognize them as such. She responded to them as she would have responded to human beings, probably because she was in the shock of grief and was weeping (cf. John 20:15).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 20:12". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-20.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 20:12. And beholdeth two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. In each of the accounts of the Resurrection an angelic appearance is recorded,—in every case an appearance to the women who came to the tomb: by Peter and John no angels had been seen (John 20:5-6). The ‘white’ garments are the symbol of purity and glory; see the references in the margin, and also Revelation 3:4-5; Revelation 6:11; Revelation 19:14, etc. That one of the angels was ‘at the head’ and the other ‘at the feet’ where the body of Jesus had lain,’ is to be regarded as expressive of the fact that the body was wholly under the guardianship of Heaven. This is not the place to enter upon any discussion of the general credibility of the angelic appearances recorded in Scripture. They are too often and too circumstantially spoken of to permit us to resolve them into mere figures of speech: nor can we have any difficulty in believing that in the great universe of God there should be such an order of beings as that described by the term ‘angels.’ If, however, they may exist, their manifestation of themselves must be regarded as also possible; and the manner of the manifestation—their appearing to some and not to others, their appearing suddenly and then as suddenly disappearing—is to be looked at as dependent upon laws of which we can say nothing, because we have ourselves no practical experience of them.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 20:12". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-20.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

two angels. Probably Michael and Gabriel. Compare Daniel 9:21; Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1. Luke 1:19, Luke 1:26. The supreme importance of the Lord"s resurrection in the Divine counsels demanded the presence of the highest angels.

in. Greek. en. App-104.

sitting: i.e. at either end of the rock-cut ledge whereon the Lord had been laid (as the cherubim at either end of the mercy-seat, Exodus 25:19). They sit in the empty tomb who stand in the presence of God (Luke 1:19. Revelation 8:2).

at. Greek. pros. App-104.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-20.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And seeth two angels. There need be no difficulty in reconciling this with the accounts of the angelic appearances at the sepulchre in the other Gospels; since there can be no reasonable doubt, as Olshausen suggests, that angels can render themselves visible or invisible as the case may require, and so they may have been seen at one time and soon after unseen-seen also by one party and not by another, one seen by one set of visitants and two by another. 'What wonder,' asks Alford pertinently, 'if the heavenly hosts were variously and often visible on this great day, "when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy"?'

In white - as from the world of light (see the note at Matthew 28:3),

Sitting - as if their proper business had already been finished, but they had been left there to await the arrival of their Lord's friends, and reassure them --

The one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Why this special posture? To proclaim silently, as Luthardt, Alford etc., think, how entirely the body of the Lord Jesus was under the guardianship of the Father and his servants. But to us this is not a quite satisfactory explanation of the posture. What if it was designed to call mute attention to the narrow space within which the Lord of glory had contracted Himself?-as if they should say, Come, see within what limits, marked off by the space here between us two, THE LORD lay! But she is in tears, and these suit not the scene of so glorious an Exit. They are going to point out to her the incongruity.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-20.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) And seeth two angels in white sitting.—Comp. generally on the vision of angels, Notes on Matthew 28:5-7; Mark 16:5-7; Luke 24:4-8. This is to be regarded as a distinct vision to Mary, which, from the fulness with which it is recorded, we must suppose that she herself related to the Evangelist. (Comp. Introduction, p. 379.) It rests, therefore, upon her testimony, and as a vision to her only may seem to be less certainly objective than the other appearances. Great caution is, however, necessary in estimating the truth of that which is wholly beyond the application of our ordinary canons of evidence. If we admit the earlier vision of angels, of which there were several witnesses, there can be no reason for rejecting this; and if the evidence was at the time sufficient to convince the Evangelist, who himself had seen no such vision, but was guided by the Spirit to accept and record this, as seen by Mary, we have a decisive judgment of higher authority than any which criticism can attain.

With the words “in white” we are, of course, to understand raiment. The ellipsis is frequent in the classic, and indeed in all writers.

The one at the head, and the other at the feet.—The idea is apparently that of sitting and watching the body. She had feared that some outrage had been wrought upon the body; but God had given His angels charge concerning Him.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 20:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
seeth
Matthew 28:3-5; Mark 16:5,6; Luke 24:3-7,22,23
in
2 Chronicles 5:12; Daniel 7:9; Matthew 17:2; Acts 1:10; Revelation 3:4; 7:14
Reciprocal: Joshua 22:11 - heard;  Matthew 28:2 - for;  Luke 24:4 - two men;  1 Timothy 3:16 - seen

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 20:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-20.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 12. "And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain."

The angels appear as the answer to Mary's weeping. This sets aside the question, How was it that Peter and John did not see the angels? The weeping was the condition not merely of their being seen, but also of their appearing. The angels had nothing more to do in the sepulchre. This is evident from their position, their sitting. Bengel: Sedentes quasi opera perfunctos,—sitting as having done their work. They appear there only because Mary seeks the living among the dead. That they sat on the place where the Lord had lain, one at the head, and the other at the feet (comp. Psalms 34:8, "The angel of the Lord encampeth about them that fear Him, and delivereth them"), intimated to her that no impiety had been permitted here: when God's angels kept their guard, no impious hands could enter.

It was appropriate that the angels in the New Testament should serve Him who, in the Old Testament, is exhibited as the Head of the angels, the Angel of the Lord, the Captain of the Lord's host, Joshua 5. They appeared at His birth, after His temptation, in Gethsemane, at the resurrection, at the ascension.— ἐν λευκοῖς, in white, is found elsewhere only in Revelation 3:4-5. In every other place of the New Testament, white garments are mentioned. White was the colour of glory, its symbolic shadow: comp. on Revelation 4:4. The white garments of the angels correspond to the name of "holy ones," that is, glorious ones, which they bear in the Old Testament.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 20:12". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-20.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

12.And seeth two angels. What an amazing forbearance displayed by our Lord, in bearing with so many faults in Mary and her companions! For it is no small honor which he confers on them by sending his angels, and, at length, making himself known to them, which he had not done to the apostles. Though the apostles and the women were afflicted with the same disease, yet the stupidity of the apostles was less excusable, because they had profited so little by the valuable and careful instruction which they had received. One purpose, certainly, which Christ had in view in selecting the women, to make the first manifestation of himself to them, was, to fill the apostles with shame.

In white garments. Whether Mary knew them to be angels, or thought that they were men, is uncertain. We know that white garments were an emblem of the heavenly glory; as we find that Christ was clothed in white garments, when he was transfigured on the mountain, and showed his glorious majesty to his three apostles, (196) (Matthew 17:2.) Luke relates that the angel who appeared to Cornelius stood before him In Bright Clothing, (Acts 10:30.) Nor do I deny that linen garments were commonly used by the inhabitants of Eastern countries; but by the dress of the angels God pointed out something remarkable and uncommon, and put marks on them, as it were, that they might be distinguished from men. Besides, Matthew 28:3 compares the countenance of the angel, who conversed with the women, to lightning. And yet it is possible that their fear arose solely from their minds being struck with admiration, for it appears that they stood astonished.

Again, whenever we read that the angels appeared in the visible form of men and clothed with garments, this was done on account of the ignorance of men. For my part, I have no doubt that they sometimes were clothed with real bodies; but whether or not those two angels had merely the appearance of bodies, would be a useless inquiry, and I shall therefore leave it undetermined. To me it is enough that the Lord gave them a human shape, that the women might see and hear them, while the magnificent and uncommon dress which they wore distinguished them from the ordinary rank of men, and pointed out something divine and heavenly.

One at the head, and the other at the feet. One angel only is mentioned by Matthew, (Matthew 28:2.) This, however, does not contradict John’s narrative; for both angels did not address Mary at the same time, but only one of them who had a commission to speak. There is no good ground for Augustine’s allegory, that the position of the angels one at the head, and the other at the feet pointed out that the Gospel would be preached from the East to the West. It is more worthy of observation, that Christ, by preparatory arrangements of this nature, made a commencement of the glory of his kingdom; for, by the honor which the angels render to the sepulcher, not only is the ignominy of the cross taken away, but the heavenly majesty of Christ shines.

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:12". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.