And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices so they might come and anoint him.
-Mark 16:1= “they had bought/shopped for” [ηγορασαν]
-is this a reference the princess/fiancee/daughter of Song-of-songs? At Canticles 3:2 has her going out to “the markets/shops” [ταις αγοραις] where she “seeks” but “does not find” her intended beloved. Like the misguided women here whose intentions are thwarted so shockingly? Songs 4:16 and the next line 5:1 also mention αρωματα.
-Mark 16:1= the women bringing “spices” [αρωματα] to “anoint” [αλειψωσι] clearly calls back to 14:3 where the unnamed female pours out “perfume” [μυρου]
-It may even be possible somehow that the author intends this Salome to either be the same person as was at Simon the leper’s party or the polar opposite example of someone similar yet inverse in actions.
-Deut 19:15= 2 or 3 witnesses needed to establish whether ‘a word be true’
= reason why 3 women at tomb?
[2a] And very early in the morning on the first day of the week,
Mark 16:2= it was early on day one of the week [λιαν πρωι της μιας σαββατων]
-Psalm 23:1 LXX24:1= της μιας σαββατων
-spurious Jeremiah citation in Iraeneus Adv. Haer. 4.22.1 and Justin’s Dialogue 72:4 = “the Lord remembered” those ‘fallen asleep” and “went down” to “preach salvation”
[2b] they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
Mark 4:6 = ανατειλεν ο ηλιος
-Mark 16:2 = ανατειλαντος του ηλιου
 And they said among themselves, “Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?”
-Gen 29:8= “roll away the stone” [αποκυλισωσιν τον λιθον]
-Mark 16:3 “roll away the stone”[αποκυλισει … τον λιθον]
-the stone covering the mouth of the well in Genesis 29 is also described as “large” [σϕοδρα], though the ‘exceedlingly’ detail is taken from Absalom’s burial.
-Genesis 29 is behind a number of odd allusions at the end of Mark. Verses 9-11 might be connected to Mark 14:43-45 where “having come forward, Judas kisses him” just as Jacob “having come forward” then kisses Rachel. Both sections begin with the exact phrase “while he was still speaking”, which is interrupted by a sudden appearance, whether of Rachel or Judas. The rolling away the rock theme in both might also explain why there are three women just as are there 3 herds of sheep at Gen 29. Later Luke 2 will take some of the grand language of the ‘Magnificat’ from Gen 29:2-3, 13; the imagery of ‘fruit of the womb’ and ‘Behold, the handmaiden…’ plus Leah’s phrase when she births Asher (’all the women shall call me blessed’) is reversed by Luke (into ‘blessed are you among women’) and Elizabeth at Luke 1:25 echoes Rachel at Genesis 30:23= "My God has removed my reproach." [αϕειλεν ο θεος μου το ονειδος]
 When they looked up, they saw that the stone was rolled away—and it was really enormous!
-Mark 16:4 = the stone [λιθος] is already “rolled away” [αποκεκυλισται]; “for it was really big” [ην γαρ μεγας σϕοδρα]
-notice that Absalom, who was metaphorically crucified, had “heaped upon his cave-tomb stones that were exceedingly very large. [μεγαν σϕοδρα].” At 1Samuel 18:17 (cf 19:9)=in the same sentence “all Israel fled, each to their tent.” Just as the women are about to in Mark and the disciples did at the arrest. The next several lines in 1Sam have David ironically discussing whether the death of this ‘Son of David’ is “good news” or not (=one of only a handful of references in scripture to this rare word). Also notice the irony of 1Sam 19:2 = “That day of deliverance became one of mourning.”
-Mark 16:4 = door-sealing stone is “very great” (μεγας σϕοδρα) as in 2Chron 16:14 where King Asa has a “very great” mount of spices burnt at his burial, which includes ‘aromata’ and ‘muro’, 2Chron 16:14 calls the tomb “his own” which is how Matthew embellishes the detail about it being owned by Joseph of Arimathia.
-see Isaiah 33:16 for a "round stone"
 And entering into the sepulchre, they glimpsed a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were scared.
-Mark 16:4 = “Lifted their eyes and viewed… a man … being clothed in a white cloak…” (none of the same words in Greek as Daniel, but same idea)
-Daniel 10:5 = “I lifted my eyes and looked and beheld a man clothed in …”
-Both the demoniac and the youth evoke fear 5:15 = 16:8 and amazement 5:20 = 16:5
-Mark 16:6’s admonishment to “not be scared” hearkens back to Mark 6:50-51 where the disciples are frightened by Jesus’ water-walking.
though later gospels make this messenger an angel, it is likely only to emphasize what they already perceived about this story. It is likely this "young man" is an angel in the same way the "young men" at 2 Maccabees 3:26 and 33 or Antiquities 5.8.2 are.
 And he saith unto them, “Don’t be alarmed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified one? He is risen; he is not here— behold the place where they laid him!
-Mark 16:6= “You seek [ζητειτε] Jesus… He is not here [ουκ εστιν ωδε]!”
-1Kings 18:10= Obadiah tells Elijah he won’t report where he is: “Is there a nation of kingdom that my master (Ahab) has not hired (=a bounty-hunter) to seek [ζητειν σε] you? And if they said, ‘He is not here’ [ουκ εστι] then they swore it was because they couldn’t find you…”
-1Kings 18:11= “Now you say, ‘Go announce to your master: ‘Behold Elijah!’” (=but Obadiah is afraid if Ahab comes back to the place where Elijah was and he isn’t there then the king will kill him, thinking he is lying)
-Mark 16:7a= “But go, say to the disciples…”
-see also Mark 16:6b= “Behold, the place where…”
-Mark 16:7= “He goes before [προαγει] unto Galilee, there you shall see [εκει αυτον οψεσθε] him…”
-1Kings 18:15= Elijah swears to Obadiah: “As the Lord lives, He of the heavenly army (of/in) which I stand [ενωπιον] before him, (I promise) that today I shall appear to [οϕθησομαι αυτω] him.” (=i.e. not hide from Ahab)
-1Kings 18:16= after being told where Elijah is, Ahab “ran forth” [εξεδραμεν] to find him.
-Mark 16:8= the women “come forth, quickly” [εξελθουσαι ταχυ]
 “But go, and tell his disciples and Peter that he went before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”
-Is it possible Isaiah 40:2-6 is meant to be detailing a processional triumph? Notice how the prophet is commanded to “yell” that ‘All flesh is grass.’, like the servant of the general in Roman triumphs who’s function was to remind the victor audibly that ‘thou art mortal’! Would then, by quoting this in Mark 1, is this both Jesus funeral and triumphal procession? What about Paul’s description of his leading captive every power?
-see S.E. Porter and B.W.R. Pearson, ‘Isaiah through Greek eyes’ (1998 p 542) for the LXX translator referring to Alex the Great’s funeral procession.
-LXX Psalm 139:2 “You know my rising (egersis)” and Zephaniah 3:8 = “the day of my anastasis”
[8a] And they made an exit from that tomb, as fast as they were able, shaking and shivering with shock;
-Daniel 10:7 "those with me didn’t see [ουκ ειδον] the apparition, but a change [εκστασις] great fell upon them and they fled [εϕυγον] in terror. [εν ϕοβω]”
-Mark 16:8 = εϕυγον … εκστασις … εϕοβουντο
-Daniel 10:11 = “rising up in trembling” [ανεστην εν τρομος]
-Mark 16:8 = τρομος
-Daniel 10:12 = “don’t fear!” [μη ϕοβον]
-Mark 16:6 = “be not alarmed!” [μη εκθαμβεισθε]
--Isaiah 54:14= “and you won’t be fearful and trembling shall not approach you.” [και ου ϕοβηθηση και τρομος ουκ εγγιει σοι] This seems to be what is be alluding to with harsh irony in the last sentence of Mark, where “took hold of them trembling and a sudden change, and nothing said them for afraid they were.” [ειχε δε αυτας τρομος και εκστασις και ουδεν ειπον εϕοβουντο γαρ] The reference to “change of state” [εκστασις] might reference also Isaiah 54:11’s use of the word ακαταστατος (‘confused’)
[8b] and they never said any thing to anyone [about this]— for they were afraid!
-Genesis 18:15 LXX Sarah claims she “didn’t laugh”: “for she was afraid” [εϕοβηθη γαρ], what Mark is likely quoting in the last two words of his gospel at Mark 16:8.
-Hosea 6:3 = “He rises, surely as the morning dawn…”
-Hosea 6:4-5 = Ephraim’s loyalty is “fleeting like morning dew … so … I’ll kill them with my own words!”
-Mark 14:30 =Jesus tells Peter that this night “three times you’ll reject me.”
-2Kings 2 = three times Elisha swears, ‘as the Lord lives’ that he wouldn’t abandon him. The ‘sons of the prophets’ ask: “don’t you know that today [οτι σημερον] the Lord takes your lord (=master) from above [επανωθεν] your head?” He says: “I know, shut up!” [σιωπατε]
-Mark 14:30 = Jesus tells Peter: Amen I say to you, “that today” [οτι σημερον] before rooster crows he’ll deny 3 times
-2 Kings 2:7 = 50 ‘sons of the prophets’ witness Elijah’s magical parting of the Jordan= “they stood right opposite, far off.” [εστησαν εξεναντιας μακροθεν] (partially paralleled again in verse 15)
-Mark 15:39 = a centurion: “standing opposite” [παρεστηκως εξ εναντιας], then in tandem with this in the next line the women witnesses viewing this “from far off” [μακροθεν]
Later, after a chariot of fire elevates the Elijah skyward, his sheepskin mantle falls down and “on top of” [ανωθεν] Elisha.
-The temple veil is split “top [ανωθεν] to bottom” the word for above is same as top and also again, which the gospel of John’s author makes good use of in having Jesus confuse Nicodemus about being ‘born again.’ This may be way ‘out there’, but there might be remote chance that here the author is interpreting Isaiah 6’s vision of the prophet seeing “God’s train fill the entire temple”, meaning that from his throne in heaven his impossibly long robes trail down into the earthly sanctuary below. If these are tacitly deemed equivalent, then the curtain being invisibly scissored in half might intend to convey that God has torn his clothes in anguish over his son’s execution? Like the high priests previously or Queen Athaliah shocked at treason, the heavenly father has ripped his shirt while looking upon “him whom they have pierced” as the Zechariah text underlying some of these passion narratives puts it).
-2Kings 2:2 = Because the senior prophet is soon departing elsewhere, Elijah directs Elisha: “sit down here, indeed!” [καθου δη ενταυθα]. In Mark 14:32 Jesus directs disciples to: “Sit here!” [καθισατε ωδε] while he himself chooses to go pray alone. In both stories the lord/master instructs his students to remain while he leaves.
2Kings 2 = Elisha swears “as your soul lives” [ζη η ψυχη σου] which reversed by Mark 14:34 into Jesus admitting to students that “grieved is my soul, even unto death” [η ψυχη μου εως θανατου]. Mark has changed ‘as your soul lives’ into ‘my soul, as if dying.’ Reading the 2 Kings tale has really stimulated Mark’s imagination into a novel use of transposed details.
But this phrase seems to be using language from Jonah 4:9 = God asks Jonah if he is so upset about the gourd that shaded him dying so suddenly. The prophet answers: “Exceedlingly grieved, even unto death.” [σϕοδρα λελυπημαι εγω εως θανατου]
-Mark 10:35 = two disciples James and Johns, sons of Zebedee, say to Jesus that they “wish/want that whatever we should ask [αιτησωμεν] of you you should do for us [ποιησης ημιν].”
-2 Kings 2:9 = Elijah says to his disciple Elisha: “Ask [αιτησαι] what I shall do for you [τι ποιησω σοι]” before his taken up.
-Elisha’s asking for a “double/two-portion” of his master’s spirit may have given Mark the idea to split the disciple into “two” from the 2Kings story.
-2 Kings 2:12 Elisha rends his garments “in two” as mourning sign, then in verse 14 the author of Kings clearly makes a connection between this and the waters of river Jordan being “torn apart, from here to here.” Meaning this likely where Mark got his ‘heavens being ripped’ at his gospels beginning in order to twin it with the temple curtain tearing. Also 2 Kings 2:15 has the ‘sons of the prophets’ admit that “the spirit [πνευμα] of Elijah rests upon [επι] Elisha” which could very well have inspired Mark’s detail of the holy “spirit” [πνευμα] descending “upon” [επ’] Jesus at his baptism. At 2Kings 2:16 these prophets demand they a search party be sent about for his master’s body, and they reason that the holy spirit could have “tossed him into the hills/mountains”. The equivalent to this idea in Mark is at 1:12 where, after this receiving of the Holy Spirit at baptism, Jesus is (=Adoptionist sonship possession by the logos?) immediately “cast into the wilderness”, a perfect parallel to “tossed into hills/mountains” as in 2Kings. And it cannot fail to give one pause that 2Kings 2:17 has the prophets’ sons send out a search party for “three days, search but did not find.” This has enough resonance with the surprise ending of Mark’s gospel one need not say more.
But there is one more slight thing: 2Kings 2:18 has Elisha chide the men who (like the gospel women, after three days) sought the missing body of the righteous man saved from death: “Did I not say to you, don’t go?” This matches up with the details of Mark’s ending where the male at the tomb tells the women to “go” to Galilee where Jesus will be: “just as he’d said to you.”
-Acts 1:9-11 (Jesus is ‘lifted up before their eyes’ then two mysterious men/angels remark on the incident) copies 2Kings 2:9-15 where Elijah tells Elisha if he sees him while he’s ‘lifted up’ then he’ll get his request and the other prophetic disciples are nearby and speak to him about it. But no such vision is ever granted to the disciples in Mark! On the contrary, the entire finale is centered on the fact they miss this very important thing.
-Isaiah 58:2 = God complains: “they ask of me just judgement!” compare John 19:13 (=though because of syntax it is unclear who is doing what in that passage!) and Gospel of Peter 3:7 on Jews putting Jesus on the judgement seat of Pilate in mockery.
-Justin Martyr, Apologia 1.35.6 = “As the prophet had foretold—having dragged him along (diasyrein) they sat him on the judge's-chair (bema), saying ‘Judge us!’”
-Genesis 22:3 = “Abraham rose up early [αναστας τοπρωι], and saddled his donkey [επεσαξε την ονον αυτου].” (with Isaac and two servants)
-Numbers 22:21 Balaam “rose up early [αναστας τοπρωι] and saddled his donkey [επεσαξε την ονον αυτου] (to travel with the rulers of Moab)
-Numbers 22:29 Balaam says to his donkey: “If I had a sword in my hands, I’d stab you right now!”
-compare how in Genesis 22:10 Abraham is about to have a knife/sword in his hand and then he’s interrupted unexpectedly, like Balaam, by an angelic messenger.
-2Kings 22:20 where God kills Josiah to spare him the sigh of Jerusalem’s destruction! = “Your eyes won’t gaze upon the bad things I bring against this place.”
-the irony of Solomon’s prayer in 1Kings 8:32 that judgement fall only upon the guilty is contrasted with verse 46 “No man is without sin”
-Exodus 33:1-3 a reiteration of 23:20-26 and later 34:10-16 = YHWH sends an angel because His own angry impatience would cause annihilation immediately if he were present, see also Deut 11:25-26 for YHWH’s ‘terror’
- Robert Fowler, ‘Let the reader understand’ (p. 262) = “Could not the very last word of the Gospel (the awkwardly placed conjunction gar) be analogous to the musical notation of a coda, which signals the musician to return to a marked passage and to keep on playing? Thus, the awkward gar at Mark 16:8 coupled with the ambiguous allusion to Galilee in 16:7, signals the reader to return to the beginning of the Gospel, to begin reading all over again."
EXTRA HYPOMNEMATA FOR THE GOSPEL OF MARK=
-legends about Moses also involved a disappearing body as evidence of ascension. [=Josephus AJ 4.326; see also Plutarch Romulus where he gives four examples of legends of Romulus ascension and says there are many more.
-through 1Cor 15:36 Paul draws on the Genesis narrative, i.e. Gen 1:11-12; it is left unsaid by him, but there as here= “on the third day” God gives each seed its own body, as Paul says it here.
-Philo, Migratio Abraham 2-39= Philo interprets Exodus flight from Egypt as the soul’s escape form the body, into the heavenly realm of paradise [=14], notice how Christ dies on Passover weekend, a holiday centered on this Exodus narrative.
-Testament of Moses 8:1f= on the crucifixions of martyrs refusing to renounce Judaism "during the tribulation:; see ibid 10:1 for Taxo and his sons’ somehow “defeating the Devil” by their executions.
-John has learned form Mark how to do briefly and articulate allusion. He weaves Exodus 32 into his novelized resurrection appearance=
Exodus 32:23 = the people beg Aaron to make a statue for them to pray to because Moses is gone “and we don’t know [ουκ οιδαμεν] what happened to him [τι γεγονεν αυτω]!”
John 20:2 = Mary tells Simon and the beloved disciple that “they took the Lord … we don’t know [ουκ οιδαμεν] where they put him [που εθηκαν αυτον].”
Exodus 32:30 = Moses tells the people they have “majorly sinned” and “now I will ascend [αναβησομαι] to God [προς τον θεον] to make atonement”
John 20:17 = Jesus informs the Magdalene he has not yet “ascended [αναβεβηκα] … unto my God and your God [προς τον … θεον].”
-the “sunrise” motif here may be drawing on Psalm 110:3= with the kingly/Davidic figure having “the dew of youth” coming forth from “the womb of Dawn.”