In the end of the sabbath - The word "end" here means the same as "after" the Sabbath - that is, after the Sabbath was fully completed or finished, and may be expressed in this manner: "In the night following the Sabbath, for the Sabbath closed at sunset, as it began to dawn," etc.
As it began to dawn toward the first day of the week - The word "dawn" is not of necessity in the original. The word there properly means as the first day "approached," or drew on, without specifying the precise time. Mark says Mark 16:1-2 that it was after "the sabbath was past, and very early in the morning, at the rising of the sun" - that is, not that the sun "was risen," but that it was about to rise, or at the early break of day. Luke says Luke 24:1 that it was "very early in the morning;" in the Greek text, "deep twilight," or when there was scarcely any light. John John 20:1 says it was "very early, while it was yet dark" - that is, it was not yet full daylight, or the sun had not yet risen. The time when they came, therefore, was at the break of day, when the sun was about to rise, but while it was yet so dark as to render objects obscure, or not distinctly visible.
The first day of the week - The day which is observed by Christians as the Sabbath. The Jews observed the seventh day of the week, or our Saturday. During that day our Saviour was in the grave. As he rose on the morning of the first day, that day has always been observed in commemoration of so glorious an event.
Came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary - From Mary Magdalene Christ had cast out seven devils. Grateful for his great mercy, she was one of his firmest and most faithful followers, and was first at the sepulchre, and was first permitted to see her risen Lord. The "other Mary" was not the mother of Jesus, but the mother of James and Joses (Mark). Mark says that "Salome" attended them. Salome was the wife of Zebedee, and the mother of James and John. From Luke Luke 24:10 it appears that Joanna, wife of Chusa, Herod' s steward (see Luke 8:3), was with them. These four women, Mark says Mark 16:1, having bought sweet spices, came to anoint him. They had prepared a part of them on the evening before the Sabbath, Luke 23:56. They now, according to Mark, completed the preparation and bought more; or the meaning in Mark may be merely that, "having bought" sweet spices, without specifying the time when, they came now to embalm him. John mentions only Mary Magdalene. He does this, probably, because his object was to give a particular account of her interview with the risen Saviour. There is no contradiction among the evangelists; for while one mentions only the names of a part of those who were there, he does not deny that "others" were present also. It is an old maxim, that "he who mentions a few does not deny that there are more."
To see the sepulchre - To see whether was as it had been left on the evening when he was laid there. To see if the stone was still there, by which they would know that he had not been removed. Mark and Luke say that the design of their coming was to anoint him with the sweet spices which they had prepared. Matthew does not mention that, but he does not "deny" that that was the ultimate design of their coming. It is not improbable that they might have known the manner in which he was buried, with a large quantity of myrrh and aloes; but that was done in haste - it was done by depositing the myrrh and aloes, without mixture or preparation, in the grave-clothes. They came that they might embalm his body more deliberately, or at least that they might "anoint the bandages" and complete the work of embalming.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Matthew 28:1:
1 Corinthians 16:2
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