The women from Galilee (Mt 27:55-27:55)

“Many women

Were also there.

They were looking on

From a distance.

They had followed Jesus

From Galilee.

They had served him.”

 

Ἦσαν δὲ ἐκεῖ γυναῖκες πολλαὶ ἀπὸ μακρόθεν θεωροῦσαι, αἵτινες ἠκολούθησαν τῷ Ἰησοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας διακονοῦσαι αὐτῷ·

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:40, but there was no mention of Galilee there.  However, in Luke, chapter 23:49, there is a specific mention of the women from Galilee.  In John, chapter 19:25-27, there was a mention of the mother of Jesus, and a conversation, but no mention of Galilee.  Matthew said many women were also there (Ἦσαν δὲ ἐκεῖ γυναῖκες πολλαὶ).  They were looking on from a distance (ἀπὸ μακρόθεν θεωροῦσαι), which would have been their normal role.  They had followed Jesus from Galilee (αἵτινες ἠκολούθησαν τῷ Ἰησοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας), as they provided, ministered, or served Jesus (διακονοῦσαι αὐτῷ).  These may have been the first deaconess of the Christian era.  However, they were from Galilee and not women from Jerusalem.

 

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He was the Son of God (Mt 27:54-27:54)

“The centurion,

And those with him

Who were guarding Jesus,

Saw the earthquake.

They saw

What took place.

They were very terrified.

They said.

‘Truly!

This was the Son of God!’”

 

Ὁ δὲ ἑκατόνταρχος καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ τηροῦντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἰδόντες τὸν σεισμὸν καὶ τὰ γινόμενα ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα, λέγοντες Ἀληθῶς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς ἦν οὗτος.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:39, except that there is no mention of an earthquake there, just the centurion statement alone.  In Luke, chapter 23:47, the centurion simply said that this man was innocent, without any earthquake.  There is nothing about a centurion or earthquake in John, chapter 19.  Matthew said that the Roman centurion and the other Roman soldiers guarding Jesus (Ὁ δὲ ἑκατόνταρχος καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ τηροῦντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν), saw the seismic earthquake (ἰδόντες τὸν σεισμὸν).  They saw what had taken place (καὶ τὰ γινόμενα).  They were all very terrified and afraid (ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα).  They said that truly this man was the Son of God (λέγοντες Ἀληθῶς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς ἦν οὗτος).  It is interesting to note that the leader of the Roman soldiers, this centurion, who was in charge of 100 men, was afraid.  He and his fellow Roman soldiers were the ones calling Jesus the Son of God.  Once again, Matthew emphasized the goodness of the Roman leaders versus the evilness of the Jewish leaders.

The dead rise and appear in Jerusalem (Mt 27:53-27:53)

“After his resurrection,

They came out

Of the tombs.

They entered

The holy city.

They appeared

To many people.”

 

καὶ ἐξελθόντες ἐκ τῶν μνημείων μετὰ τὴν ἔγερσιν αὐτοῦ εἰσῆλθον εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν καὶ ἐνεφανίσθησαν πολλοῖς.

 

Once again, this is unique to Matthew, since the other 3 gospels do not mention any appearance of holy dead people in Jerusalem.  Matthew clearly said that after the resurrection of Jesus (μετὰ τὴν ἔγερσιν αὐτοῦ), these holy righteous ones came out of their tombs (καὶ ἐξελθόντες ἐκ τῶν μνημείων).  They entered the holy city (εἰσῆλθον εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν) of Jerusalem, where they appeared to many people (καὶ ἐνεφανίσθησαν πολλοῖς).  Thus, the general resurrection of the dead at the end times had already occurred.

Tombs opened (Mt 27:52-27:52)

“The tombs also

Were opened.

Many bodies

Of the saints,

Who had fallen asleep.

Were raised.”

 

καὶ τὰ μνημεῖα ἀνεῴχθησαν καὶ πολλὰ σώματα τῶν κεκοιμημένων ἁγίων ἠγέρθησαν·

 

This is unique to Matthew, since the other 3 gospels do not mention anything about tombs, bodies, or saints being raised.  However, Matthew clearly said that the tombs were also opened (καὶ τὰ μνημεῖα ἀνεῴχθησαν), so that many bodies of the holy saints, who had fallen asleep (καὶ πολλὰ σώματα τῶν κεκοιμημένων ἁγίων), arose or were raised up (ἠγέρθησαν).  It was the general Jewish expectation that at the end times, the Day of Yahweh, that the dead would rise, especially among the Pharisees.  The holy ones or saints were the righteous ones who had died before Jesus.

The Temple curtain is torn in two (Mt 27:51-27:51)

“Then the curtain

Of the Temple

Was torn in two,

From top to bottom.

The earth shook.

The rocks were split.”

 

Καὶ ἰδοὺ τὸ καταπέτασμα τοῦ ναοῦ ἐσχίσθη ἀπ’ ἄνωθεν ἕως κάτω εἰς δύο, καὶ ἡ γῆ ἐσείσθη, καὶ αἱ πέτραι ἐσχίσθησαν,

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:38, about the Temple being torn in two, except there is no mention of an earthquake.  There was no mention of the Temple curtain tearing or the earthquake in Luke, chapter 23, or John, chapter 19.  Matthew said that the curtain of the Temple or the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the other parts of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom (Καὶ ἰδοὺ τὸ καταπέτασμα τοῦ ναοῦ ἐσχίσθη ἀπ’ ἄνωθεν ἕως κάτω εἰς δύο).  There also was an earthquake as the ground shook (καὶ ἡ γῆ ἐσείσθη) and the rocks split (καὶ αἱ πέτραι ἐσχίσθησαν).  Matthew also mentioned an earthquake in chapter 28:2, like the end times of the Old Testament Day of Yahweh.  Perhaps this indicates a prediction of the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.

Jesus dies (Mt 27:50-27:50)

“Then Jesus cried again

With a loud voice.

He breathed

His last breath.”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἀφῆκεν τὸ πνεῦμα.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:37.  In Luke, chapter 23:46, Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying that he was commending his spirit into the hands of his Father.  In John, chapter 19:30, Jesus said that it was finished after drinking the sour wine.  Matthew has the simple comment that Jesus cried out with a loud voice again (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ).  Jesus then gave up his spirit (ἀφῆκεν τὸ πνεῦμα) as he breathed his last breath.  Jesus had died on the cross.

Would Elijah save Jesus? (Mt 27:49-27:49)

“But the others said.

‘Wait!

Let us see

Whether Elijah

Will come to save him.’”

 

οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ εἶπαν Ἄφες ἴδωμεν εἰ ἔρχεται Ἡλείας σώσων αὐτόν.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:36.  There was nothing about Elijah in Luke, chapter 23, and in John, chapter 19.  Matthew said that some of the other bystanders (οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ εἶπαν) wanted to wait and see whether Elijah would come to save Jesus (Ἄφες ἴδωμεν εἰ ἔρχεται Ἡλείας σώσων αὐτόν).  Other ancient manuscripts have the additional symbolic phrase that can be found in John, 19:34 that happened after Jesus had died.  This verse read “Another soldier took a spear and pierced his side.  Then out came water and blood (ἄλλος δὲ λαβὼν λόγχην ἔνυξεν αὐτοῦ τὴν πλευράν, καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὕδωρ καὶ αἷμα).”