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And entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side clothed in a white robe, and they were overwhelmed and alarmed. Bible

“young man.” The women bringing the spices saw an angel at the entryway of the tomb, but he appeared as a “young man,” so they did not realize he was an angel. It was common for tombs to have several rooms. There often is an opening room that is quite large, often with bench seats cut out of the rock, and this room is referred to as a “weeping chamber.” The weeping chamber has another room, or other rooms, that are attached to it, and these have benches or niches for the dead bodies. For example, the “Garden Tomb” in Jerusalem that many Protestants believe may be the actual tomb of Christ, has an opening room, the “weeping chamber,” and then a second room off of it in which to put the dead body. The women were alarmed when they saw this young man (angel), but he spoke to them and calmed them.

“overwhelmed and alarmed.” The Greek word is ekthambeō (#1568 ἐκθαμβέω; pronounced ek-tham-beh’-oh), and it expresses great emotion; to be alarmed, overwhelmed, astonished, amazed, perplexed. Even though it is only one Greek word, many English versions translated it by two, “amazed and alarmed,” or “utterly amazed,” “greatly alarmed.” The Amplified Bible says, “utterly amazed and struck with terror.” Nothing was “right” about what these women were experiencing. Why was the tomb open? Where was Jesus’ body? How did cloth with spices get in the tomb? And why was a young man sitting alone in the tomb? The women had both a mental and emotional reaction. Mark records more of the emotional reaction: that the women were overwhelmed and alarmed by what they were seeing. Luke records more of the women’s mental reaction, that nothing they saw made sense to them. They were perplexed.


Commentary for: Mark 16:5