Matthew 28:2. And behold, there was a great earthquake While the women were making these preparations for embalming the body of Jesus, he arose from the dead; his resurrection being preceded by the descent of an angel, whose appearance at the sepulchre was ushered in with a great earthquake and probably also a storm, the word σεισμος , here rendered earthquake, signifying any shaking, whether in the earth, air, or sea. Thus, chap. Matthew 8:24, σεισμος μεγας εν τη θαλλασση , is rightly rendered, a great tempest in the sea. And Ezekiel 3:12, LXX., φωνην σεισμου μεγακου , is, the voice of a great rushing wind; and συσσεισμος , is the word by which the LXX. denote a whirlwind, such as that wherein Elijah was caught up, 2 Kings 2:1. Hammond and Le Clerc interpret the words σεισμος μεγας , in this passage, of a tempest only. For the angel of the Lord descended from heaven Probably in sight of the guards; and came and rolled back the stone, &c. “Jesus, by his miraculous power, could easily have rolled the stone from the door of the sepulchre, and therefore the descent of an angel was not necessary in order to that; but it was necessary, among other things, to throw the guards into a consternation before Jesus came forth, lest they should have been guilty of the impiety of offering to lay violent hands on him, as was done in the garden of Gethsemane, even after he had cast the whole party down on the ground. It is true, the divine wisdom and power could have intimidated the soldiers by a variety of methods, but the one pitched upon was certainly as proper as any.” Macknight. And sat upon it Luke and John speak of two angels that appeared; but it seems as if one only of them had appeared sitting on the stone without the sepulchre, and then, going into it, was seen with another angel, sitting, one where the head, the other where the feet of the body had lain.
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