What does Mark 16:1 mean?
ESV: When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
NIV: When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body.
NASB: When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might come and anoint Him.
CSB: When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they could go and anoint him.
NLT: Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body.
KJV: And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
NKJV: Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.
Verse Commentary:
Jesus died and was buried on the Passover (Mark 14—15). The day after the Passover is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:5–7) which is a "high day" or holiday-Sabbath (John 19:31). Friday-evening to Saturday-evening is the regular Sabbath. Scholars debate as to which day Jesus was crucified, but we know it was right before some type of Sabbath (Mark 15:42).

When Joseph and Nicodemus buried Jesus, they wrapped His body with seventy-five pounds of myrrh and aloe (John 19:39). Jews traditionally lay their dead in a grave carved into rock for a year. Spices and ointments cover the smell of decaying flesh. After a year, when only bones remain, the bones are removed and put into a permanent resting place, often in a box called an ossuary. The women are here to add to the fragrances Nicodemus used.

The disciples and the women who support Jesus (Luke 8:1–3) followed Him from Galilee to the Mount of Olives for the Passover (Mark 15:41). They watched while He rode into the city on a donkey while fellow travelers, Jews from Galilee and Perea, proclaimed that He was bringing the return of the kingdom of David (Mark 11:7–10). They watched as He debated Jewish leaders in the temple courtyard, shaming them with their misunderstanding of Scripture (Mark 11:27—12:40). The disciples had Passover dinner with Jesus and watched Judas betray Him to the chief priests (Mark 14:12–50). John and the women watched the soldiers crucify Jesus (John 19:25–27), and some of the women stayed to watch Him die (Mark 15:40). Fewer still watched Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus bury Jesus in a tomb (Mark 15:47). They then had to return to where they were staying because the Sabbath was upon them.

All that build-up and tension is the prelude to a day on which they are required to rest. Their experiences have swung from fear of dying (John 11:16) to hope of national triumph (Mark 11:1–10), from victory over national leaders to the total defeat of the death of their Lord—and then they have to sit and do nothing. They can't run back to Galilee. They can't go to the tomb. They can't even visit Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in Bethany. All they can do is think and talk to each other. This would have been a good time to consider the Scriptures and Jesus' promises that He would rise from the dead. But their hearts are still closed to the truth.
Verse Context:
Mark 16:1–8 proclaims that Jesus is alive! After telling the disciples, several times over three years,that He will die and rise again, Jesus' work is finally done. But the disciples are in hiding. Only the women come to the tomb, carrying burial spices instead of hope. Among them are Mary Magdalene, the ''other'' Mary, and Salome, along with Joanna and some of the other women who have supported Jesus' ministry (Luke 8:3; 24:10). They have come to care for Him one last time, but He is not there. He is risen! This account is also found in Matthew 28:1–8, Luke 24:1–8, and John 20:1.
Chapter Summary:
After the mandatory time of rest, several of Jesus' female followers approach His tomb intending to anoint the body. Their primary concern is who will open the tomb for them so they can honor Jesus' remains. They arrive to find the tomb open, empty, and watched over by angels. After hearing from these beings (Luke 24:4–7), the women leave in fear, speaking only to the disciples. This ends the original, God-inspired text of the Gospel of Mark. Verses 9–20 are mostly corroborated by other Scripture, but were not part of the initial writing.
Chapter Context:
Leading up to chapter 16, Jesus has been unfairly tried and executed by crucifixion. Starting in this passage, Jesus' women followers find an empty tomb, but don't know what it means. Jesus' work for our salvation is done, but explaining that to His disciples will take another forty days (Acts 1:3). And telling the world is a work that will continue until His return. The resurrection and events after are also covered in Matthew 28, Luke 24, John 20—21, and Acts 1:1–11. The most reliable copies of the Gospel of Mark leave the disciples where they have spent much of the story: confused and afraid. Jesus is risen, but they haven't yet accepted that. Everything after verse 9 is most likely a later scribal addition.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/26/2024 4:20:40 PM
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