And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath.—The explanation, like that in Mark 7:2-3, is characteristic of St. Mark, as writing for Gentile readers. It fixes, with hardly the shadow of a doubt, the meaning of the word “preparation,” as given in the Note on Matthew 27:62.Mark 15:42-44. And now, &c. — Και ηδη οψιας γενομενης, And the evening being now come. The word οψιας, answering to evening, is used with some latitude in Scripture. The Jews spoke of two evenings, (see notes on Matthew 14:15; Matthew 14:23.) It is probably the former of these that is meant here and Matthew 27:57; for at six the preparation ended, and the sabbath began, when they were no longer at liberty to be employed in the manner mentioned in the subsequent verses. Therefore, that the bodies might not be hanging on the sabbath day, (or after six that evening,) they were in haste to have them taken down. Joseph, an honourable counsellor — A man of character and reputation, and a member of the sanhedrim; who himself waited for the kingdom of God — Who expected to see it set up on earth under the Messiah, and to partake of the blessings of it. Observe, reader, those who wait for the kingdom of God, and hope to obtain an interest in the privileges of it, must show it by their forwardness to own Christ’s cause even then, when it seems to be run down and crushed: came and went in boldly unto Pilate — Though he knew such an action must necessarily draw upon him the enmity and contempt of his brethren; and craved the body of Jesus — That he might preserve it from further insults, and bestow on it an honourable interment. Probably, as Dr. Doddridge observes, the prodigies attending Christ’s death, had been the means of awakening this rich and noble senator to greater courage than he had possessed before, and of inducing him thus to stand forth and publicly own his friendship to Jesus in the midst of his greatest infamy; which certainly was a courageous act at such a time, and in such a situation of affairs. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead — For though he had given orders to break the legs of the crucified persons, John 19:31-32, he knew that they might live some hours in that condition: and calling the centurion, he asked whether he had been any while dead — Whether it was so long since they perceived any sign of life in him, that they might conclude he was actually dead, past recall. It was through the special providence of God, that Pilate was so strict in examining into this matter, that there might be no pretence for saying that he was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb while he was yet alive; and so for disproving his resurrection. And the reality of his death was so fully determined, that an objection of that kind was never started. Thus the truth of Christ sometimes obtains confirmation even from its enemies.
The Preparation ... - The following day was to be a day of special solemnity, called the "great day" of the feast. More than ordinary preparation was therefore made for "that" Sabbath on the day before. Hence, the day was known as a day of preparation. This consisted in the preparation of food, etc., to be used on the Sabbath.
See on Mt 27:51-56; and Joh 19:31-42.Matthew 27:57-66.
See Poole on "Matthew 27:57", and following verses to Matthew 27:66.
because it was the preparation; of the passover, and of the sabbath, when they prepared their food, and got it ready for the ensuing sabbath, on which it was not lawful to dress any;And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Mark 15:42-47. See on Matthew 27:57-61. Comp. Luke 23:50-56.
ἐπεί as far as προσάββ. gives the reason why Joseph, when the even had come, etc. With the commencement of the Sabbath (on Friday after sunset) the business of the taking away, etc., would not have been allowable. Hence the words are not to be put in parenthesis. Mark has not ἐπεί elsewhere, and it is noteworthy that John also, John 19:31, has it here precisely at the mention of the ΠΑΡΑΣΚΕΥΉ, and in his Gospel the word only occurs elsewhere in Mark 13:29. Certainly this is no accidental agreement; perhaps it arose through a common primitive evangelic document, which John, however, worked up differently.
Ὅ ἘΣΤΙ ΠΡΟΣΆΒΒ.] which—namely, the expression παρασκευή—is as much as Sabbath-eve, the day before the Sabbath. On προσάββ., comp. Jdt 8:6.
Mark 15:43. The breaking of the legs, John 19:31 ff., preceded this request for the dead body, and it is to be supposed that Joseph at the same time communicated to Pilate how in the case of Jesus, because He was already dead, the breaking of the legs was not applied.
Ὁ ἈΠῸ ἈΡΙΜΑΘ.] The article designates the well-known man. See Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. iii. 1. 5, iv. 6. 20.
εὐσχήμων βουλευτ.] is usually explained: a counsellor of rank. See on the later use of εὐσχήμ., in contrast with the plebeians, Wetstein in loc.; Phryn. p. 333 and Lobeck thereupon; Acts 13:50; Acts 17:12. But, as the characteristic of rank is already involved in βουλευτής, there is the less reason to depart from the old classical meaning of the word. Hence: a seemly, stately counsellor, so that the nobleness (the σεμνότης) of his external appearance and deportment is brought into prominence.
That by ΒΟΥΛΕΥΤΉς is meant a member of the Sanhedrim, may be rightly concluded from Luke 23:51. This is in opposition to Erasmus, Casaubon, Hammond, Michaelis, and many others, who conceive of him as a member of a council at Arimathea.
καὶ αὐτός] on his part also, like other adherents of Jesus. Comp. John 19:38.
προσδεχόμ.] comp. Luke 2:25; Luke 2:38; Acts 23:21; Acts 24:15.
ΤῊΝ ΒΑΣΙΛ. ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ] the kingdom of the Messiah, whose near manifestation—that subject-matter of fervent expectation for the devout ones of Israel
Jesus had announced. The idea of the kingdom is not Petrine (Lange), but one belonging to primitive Christianity generally.
τολμήσας] having emboldened himself, absolutely; see Maetzner, ad Antiph. p. 173. Comp. Romans 10:20.
Mark 15:44. εἰ ἤδη τέθνηκε] he wondered if He were already dead (perfect; on the other hand, afterwards the historic aorist: had died). It is plain that Pilate had had experience, how slowly those who were crucified were accustomed to die. εἰ after ΘΑΥΜΆΖΩ denotes that the matter is not as yet assumed to be beyond a doubt. See Boissonade, ad Philostr. Her. p. 424; Kühner, II. p. 480 f.; Frotscher, Hier. i. 6; Dissen, ad Dem. de cor. p. 195.
πάλαι] the opposite of ἌΡΤΙ. Whether He had died (not just only now, but) already earlier. He wished, namely, to be sure that he was giving away the body as actually dead. See on πάλαι, dudum, as a relative antithesis to the present time, Wolf, ad Plat. Symp. p. 20; Stallbaum, ad Apol. Socr. p. 18 B.
Mark 15:45. ἐδωρήσατο] he bestowed as a gift, without therefore requiring money for it. Instances of the opposite (as Cic. Verr. v. 46; Justin, ix. 4. 6) may be seen in Wetstein.
Mark 15:46. καθαιρεῖν] the proper word for the taking away from the cross, Latin: detrahere, refigere. Comp. Mark 15:36. See Raphel, Polyb. p. 157; Kypke and Loesner in loc.
λελατ. ἐκ πέτρας] hewn out of a rock. Comp. Matthew 27:60. The same fact is expressed in Mark according to the conception from whence; and in Matthew, according to the conception wherein. Of the fact that the grave belonged to Joseph, Mark gives no hint, neither do Luke and John; see on Matthew 27:60.
ποῦ τέθειται] The perfect (see the critical remarks) indicates that the women, after the burial had taken place, went thither and beheld where He has been laid, where He lies. The present would indicate that they looked on at the burial.
 Here, therefore, is no trace that that Friday itself was already a festal day, although it was really so according to the narrative otherwise of the Synoptics—also a remnant of the original (Johannine) conception of the day of the death of Jesus. Comp. on ver. 21. Bleek, Beitr. p. 115 ff.
 The participation of Nicodemus in the action (John 19:39) forms one of the special facts which John alone offers us from his recollection. But the attempt to identify Joseph with Nicodemus (Krenkel in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschr. 1865, p. 438 ff.) can only be made, if the fourth Gospel be regarded as non-apostolic, and even then not without great arbitrariness.
In Mark 15:47, instead of Ἰωσῆ Lachmann and Tischendorf have adopted ἡ Ἰωσῆτος, following B Δ (L has merely Ἰωσῆτος) א**, as they also at Mark 15:40 have Ἰωσῆτος, following B D L Δ א** (in which case, however, B prefixes ἡ). This is simply a Greek form of the Hebrew name (comp. the critical remarks on Mark 6:3), and probably, on the strength of this considerable attestation, original, as also is the article ἡ, which is found in A B C G Δ א**. Another reading is ἡ Ἰωσήφ, which occurs in A, 258, Vulg. Gat. Prag. Rd., and is preferred by Wieseler, chronol. Synopse, p. 427 f., who here understands the daughter or wife of the counsellor Joseph of Arimathea, and so quite a different Mary from the Mary of James. But (1) this reading has the very great preponderance of evidence opposed to it; (2) it is easily explained whence it originated, namely, out of the correct reading of Matthew 13:55 (Ἰωσήφ, see in loc.), from which place the name of Joseph found its way into many of the witnesses (including Vulg. and codd. It.), not only at Mark 6:3, but also at Mark 15:40 (Aeth. Vulg. It. Aug.) and Mark 15:47; while the underlying motive for conforming the name of Joses to that of Joseph the brother of Jesus, Matthew 13:55, might be found as well in the assumption of the identity of the brethren of Jesus with the sons of Alphaeus, as in the error, which likewise was already ancient (see Theophylact), that the mother of Jesus is meant and is designated as the stepmother of James and Joses. (3) A Mary of Joseph is never named among the women of the Gospel history. But (4) if Joseph had been the counsellor just previously mentioned, Mark would have written not merely M. ἡ Ἰωσήφ, but M. ἡ τοῦ Ἰωσήφ., and would, moreover, assuming only some accuracy on his part, have indicated the relation of kinship, which he has not omitted even at Mark 15:40, where, withal, the relation of Mary to James and Joses was well enough known. Finally, (5) the association of Mary of Magdala in the passage before us of itself entitles us to suppose that Mary would also have been one of the women who followed Jesus from Galilee (Mark 15:41), as indeed at Mark 16:1 these two friends are again named. On the whole we must abide by the Maria Josis at the passage before us. Mark, in the passage where he mentions her for the first time, Mark 15:40, names her completely according to her two sons (comp. Matthew 27:56), and then—because she was wont to be designated both as Maria Jacobi (comp. Luke 24:10) and as Maria Josis—at Mark 15:42-47. Burial (Matthew 27:57-66, Luke 23:50-56).42–47 The Burial
42. the preparation] i. e. for the Sabbath, which St Mark, writing for other readers than Jews, explains as “the day before the Sabbath.”Mark 15:42. Προσάββατον, the day before the Sabbath) When there was the beginning made of resting.Verse 42. - And when even was now come. The sabbath commenced on the Friday evening at six o'clock. The evening commenced at three o'clock. Our Lord must be buried before six o'clock.
See on Matthew 27:57.
The day before the Sabbath (προσάββατον)
The fore-Sabbath. Peculiar to Mark, and only here.
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