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And having gone out, they fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.

Bible

This is the last verse in Mark that is part of the original texts. The women were understandably frightened and confused by the angel and by all the mysterious things they were experiencing, such as the open tomb, the missing body of Jesus, the unexplained grave wrappings with spices (the women did not know Nicodemus had wrapped Jesus’ body with spices), and Mary Magdalene being nowhere around (she had come to the tomb earlier and was either going to come back and join them or meet them at the tomb). They did what the angel commanded and hurriedly left the tomb and went to tell the disciples.

The apparent discrepancy between Matthew and Mark can be easily explained. While Matthew says that they were going to tell the disciples, Mark says that they did not say anything to anyone. The key to the apparent discrepancy is understanding that Mark is referring to talking to people that they met on the road. Especially since it was just after Passover season, and the day after a Sabbath, it is likely that the women passed many people on their way to tell the disciples what they had just seen, and it would be customary to do at least a cursory greeting to many of those people. Furthermore, ordinarily if a group of people saw an angel, they would be so excited that they would tell everyone they met. However, the terrible events involving Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, combined with all the unexplainable things the women saw that morning, combined with the “unbelievable” news that Christ had risen from the dead, caused the women not to tell anyone on the road, but to wait until they got to the disciples. However, Luke 24:9 and 10 let us know that when the women did tell the disciples what had happened to them and that Jesus was raised, the news seemed so outlandish they did not believe the women.


Commentary for: Mark 16:8