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Verse 51. The veil of the temple. This was doubtless the veil, curiously wrought, which separated the holy from the most holy place, dividing the temple into two apartments, Ex 26:31-33.

In twain. In two pieces, or parts. This was the time of day when the priest was burning incense in the holy place, and it is probable that he witnessed it. The most holy place has been usually considered as a type of heaven, and the rending of the veil to signify that the way to heaven was now open to all— the great high Priest, the Lord Jesus, being about to enter in as the Forerunner of his people. However, about the design of the rending of the veil the Scriptures are silent, and conjecture is useless.

And the earth did quake. Or shook, Earthquakes are violent convulsions of the ground, caused commonly by confined and rarefied air. This was probably, however, a miraculous convulsion of the earth, in attestation of the truth that the Sufferer was the Messiah, the Son of God; and as an exhibition of his wrath at the crimes of those who put him to death. It was not confined to Judea, but was felt in other countries. It is mentioned by Roman writers.

The rocks rent. That is, were torn asunder. Rocks are still seen at Mount Calvary thus rent asunder, which are said to be the ones that were convulsed when the Saviour died.

{p} "veil" Ex 26:31; Le 16:2,15; 21:23; 2 Ch 3:14

{q} "rent in twain" Isa 25:7

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