“the mother of the sons of Zebedee.” This record also occurs in Mark 10:35-45 (see commentary on Mark 10:35). The mother of James and John and the wife of Zebedee was named “Salome” (“Peaceful”). This can be determined by comparing Matthew 27:56 with Mark 15:40; 16:1-2. She witnessed the crucifixion (Mark 15:40) and was one of the women who brought spices on Sunday morning to anoint the body of Jesus (Mark 16:1). Many infer from John 19:25 that Salome was the sister of Mary, and that is likely true. We should note that the grammar of John 19:25 would allow for the possibility that Mary the wife of Clopas was Mary’s sister, but it seems that would not have been very likely because it is somewhat doubtful that parents would name two different daughters “Mary.”
“bowing down.” For more on bowing down, see commentary on Matthew 2:2.