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tHrtliiiiH iii i 

ciTcambrfoae Bftle for ^efjools 
anti Colleges* 

General Editor: J. J. S. PEROWNE, D.D., 
Dean of Peterborough. 








(Eamimtrcje : 


Honoon: C. J. CLAY and SONS, 




[All Rights reserved.] 



lioo I 



The General Editor of The Cambridge Bible for 
Schools thinks it right to say that he does not hold 
himself responsible either for the interpretation of 
particular passages which the Editors of the several 
Books have adopted, or for any opinion on points of 
doctrine that they may have expressed. In the New 
Testament more especially questions arise of the 
deepest theological import, on which the ablest and 
most conscientious interpreters have differed and 
always will differ. His aim has been in all such 
cases to leave each Contributor to the unfettered 
exercise of his own judgment, only taking care that 
mere controversy should as far as possible be avoided. 
He has contented himself chiefly with a careful 
revision of the notes, with pointing out omissions, with 


suggesting occasionally a reconsideration of sonic 
question, or a fuller treatment of difficult passages, 
and the like. 

Beyond this he has not attempted to interfere, 
feeling it better that each Commentary should have 
its own individual character, and being convinced 
that freshness and variety of treatment are more 
than a compensation for any lack of uniformity in 
the Series. 

Deanery, Peterborough. 


I. Introduction. pages 

Chapter I. Life of St Mark 7 11 

Chapter II. Circumstances of the Composition 

of the Gospel 11 16 

Chapter III. Characteristics of the Gospel... 16 20 

Chapter IV. Analysis of the Gospel 20 26 

II. Text and Notes 27 194 

III. General Index 195199 

IV. Index of Words and Phrases explained 199, 200 

Map of Galilee facingtitle 

Sea of Galilee facing p. 52 

Environs of Jerusalem facing^. 120 

Palestine in the time of our Saviour at enaof Volume 

' Companion of the Saints I 'twas thine 
To taste that drop of peace divine, 

When the great soldier of thy Lord 
Called thee to take his last farewell, 
Teaching the Church with joy to tell 

The story of your love restored." 

"The Christian Year." St Mark's Day. 




i. When the Saviour was about to leave the earth, His 
last command to His Apostles was that they should go into all 
the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark xvi. 15). 

2. Thus the first work, and that out of which all their other 
functions grew, was to proclaim as heralds the Glad Tidings of 
the Great Hope which had arisen for mankind, and to deliver 
a personal testimony to the chief facts of the Gospel History, 
the life, death, and resurrection of their Lord (Acts i. 21, 22, 
iv. 23, x i- 2 ) xx - 20 > 21). 

3. Of the way in which they did this, the narrative con- 
tained in the Acts of the Apostles gives us many instances. 
Two instances may be taken as examples of all ; (i) the preach- 
ing of St Peter before Cornelius (Acts x. 3743), and (ii) of 
St Paul in the synagogue of Antioch (Acts xiii. 23 39). It will 
be noticed that both these discourses contain a sketch of the 
outlines of the Saviour's ministry, from the Baptism of John to 
the world's first Easter-day, and both dwell on the historical 
events of His Passion and Resurrection 1 . 

4. Thus the teaching of the Apostles was in the first 
instance oral and not written, and out of the multitude of 
things which Jesus did (John xxi. 25), a cycle of representative 
facts was gradually selected 2 , which formed the common ground- 
work of their message. 

1 See Professor Westcott's Introduction to the New Testametit, 
p. 165, and his Bible in the Church, p. 57. 

2 " How few have been preserved, perhaps we can hardly realize, 
without reckoning up what a small number of days contribute all the 
incidents of the Gospels, and how little remains even in the record of 
those to bear witness to the labours which left no leisure so much as to 
eat (Mark vi. 31)." Westcott's Bible in the Church, p. 56. 


5. But in the course of time another step was taken 
Many, as St Luke expressly tells us (i. 1 4), endeavoured to 
commit to writing this oral Gospel 1 , and to form in a connected 
shape written collections of the words and actions of our Lord 

6. What they designed or endeavoured to do, was actually- 
done under Apostolic sanction. As long, indeed, as the Twelve 
were still living and proclaiming the Word at Jerusalem, they 
were themselves "abiding witnesses to the facts which they 
preached," but when the time came for them to be scattered 
throughout the world, an anxiety arose that the Church should 
possess authoritative records to supply the place of the oral 
Gospel previously in use. 

7. Hence originated the Four "Memoirs" or "Biographies" 
of the Saviour, which have come down to us in the Four 
Gospels. Of these, two, those of St Matthew and St John, were 
written by Apostles, close friends and contemporaries of the 
Saviour ; two, those of St Mark and St Luke, were written by 
"Apostolic men," who, if they had no personal knowledge 
of Him, were at least the constant companions of those, who 
had the most intimate acquaintance with His Person and 
His Work. 

8. The writer of the second and briefest of the Gospels 
was St Mark. 

9. Marcus was his Latin surname. His Jewish name was 
John, which is the same as Johanan (the grace of God). We can 
almost trace the steps, whereby the former became his prevalent 
name in the Church. "John, whose surname was Mark'''' in 
Acts xii. 12, 25, xv. 37, becomes "John" alone in Acts xiii. 5, 13, 
"Mark" in Acts xv. 39, and thenceforward there is no change, 
Col. iv. 10; Philemon 24; 2 Tim. iv. II. 

10. The Evangelist was the son of a certain Mary, a Jewish 
matron of some position, who dwelt at Jerusalem (Acts xii. 12), 

1 The history of the original word translated Gospel deserves atten- 
tion. In Classical Greek it denotes (i) the reward given to the messenger 
of glad tidings (as in Homer, Od. xiv. 152, 166); (ii) the sacrifice offered 
up as a thank-offering for glad tidings (Ar. Eq. 656) ; (iii) the glad 
tidings themselves. Thus the word passed into the Greek of the New 
Testament, where it denotes the Glad Tidings of Jesus Christ, i.e. the 
Gospel, A. S. Gode-spell. 


and was probably born of a Hellenistic family in that city. Of 
his father we know nothing, but we do know that the future 
Evangelist was cousin 1 of Barnabas of Cyprus, the great friend 
of St Paul. 

ii. His mother would seem to have been intimately ac- 
quainted with St Peter, and it was to her house, as to a familiar 
home, that the Apostle repaired (a. d. 44) after his deliverance 
from prison (Acts xii. 12). This fact accounts for St Mark's 2 
intimate acquaintance with that Apostle, to whom also he probably 
owed his conversion, for St Peter calls him "his son" (1 Pet. v. 13). 

12. We hear of him for the first time in Acts xii. 25, where 
we find him accompanying Paul and Barnabas on their return 
from Jerusalem to Antioch A.D. 45. He next comes before us 
on the occasion of the earliest missionary journey of the same 
Apostles, A.D. 48, when he joined them as their "minister" 
(Acts xiii. 5). With them he now visited Cyprus, with which 
island he may have been previously acquainted, as being the 
native country of Barnabas. But at Perga in Pamphylia (Acts 
xiii. 13), when they were about to enter upon the more arduous 
part of their mission, he left them, and for some unexplained 
reason 3 returned to Jerusalem, to his mother and his home. 

13. This occurred about A.D. 48. Three years afterwards, 
A.D. 51, the same Apostles resolved to set out on a second 
missionary tour. But on this occasion, in spite of the earnest 
desire of his kinsman to take him with them, St Paul resolutely 

1 The Greek word, used in Col. iv. 10, is applied to cousins german, 
the children, whether of two brothers, or of two sisters, or of a brother 
and a sister. In very late writers the word comes to be used for a 
"nephew." See Professor Lightfoot on Col. iv. 10. 

2 There is no solid ground for the conjecture that (a) the Evangelist was 
one of the Seventy disciples, or that (b) he was one of those who were 
offended at the saying of Christ in the synagogue of Capernaum (John vi. 
53, 60) but was afterwards won back by St Peter. The theory, how- 
ever, is not to be wholly rejected which would identify him with the 
young man, who on the night of our Lord's apprehension, followed in 
his light linen robe, which he left in the hands of the officers when he 
fled from them (Mark xiv. 51, 52, where see note). 

3 (i) Some think he simply wished to rejoin St Peter and the other 
Apostles, and share their labours at Jerusalem ; (ii) others hold that he 
shrank from the perils of rivers and perils of robbers (2 Cor. xi. 26) in 
the interior of Asia Minor. 


declined to associate himself again with one, who "departed 
from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the 
work" (Acts xv. 38). The issue was a " sharp contention" which 
resulted in the separation of St Paul from his old friend, who 
taking Mark with him once more repaired to Cyprus, while 
the great Apostle of the Gentiles, accompanied by Silas, pro- 
ceeded through Syria and Cilicia (Acts xv. 39 40- 

14. At this point St Luke's narrative takes leave of the 
Evangelist. But whatever was the cause of his vacillation, it 
did not lead to a final separation between him and St Paul. We 
find him by that Apostle's side during his first imprisonment at 
Rome, a.d. 61 63, and he is acknowledged by him as one of 
his few "fellow-labourers unto the kingdotn of God" who had 
been a "comfort" to him during the weary hours of his imprison- 
ment (Col. iv. 10, 11; Philemon 24); while from the former of 
these passages it would also seem that St Mark contemplated a 
journey to Asia Minor, and that St Paul had prepared the 
Christians of Colossae to give him a friendly reception (Col. iv. 10). 

15. We have next traces of him in another passage of the 
New Testament. In 1 Pet. v. 13 occur the words, "The church 
that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you ; and 
so doth Marcus my son." From this we infer that he joined his 
spiritual father, the great friend of his mother, at Babylon, then 
and for some hundred years afterwards one of the chief seats of 
Jewish culture, and assisted him in his labours amongst his own 

16. From Babylon he would seem to have returned to Asia 
Minor, for during his second imprisonment, A.D. 68, St Paul 
writing to Timothy, charges him to bring Mark with him to 
Rome, on the ground that he was "profitable unto him for the 
ministry" (2 Tim. iv. 11). From this point we gain no further 
information from the New Testament respecting the Evange- 
list. It is most probable, however, that he did join the Apostle 
at Rome, whither also St Peter would seem to have proceeded, 
and suffered martyrdom along with St Paul. After the death 
of these two great Pillars of the Church, Ecclesiastical tradition 1 

1 Eusebius, H. E. ill. 16; Hieron. Vir. Must. 11. 8. 




affirms that St Mark visited Egypt, founded the church of 
Alexandria, and died by martyrdom 1 . 



i. When we pass from the Evangelist himself to the Gospel, 
which he wrote, it is natural to ask four questions, (i) When 
was it written t (2) Where was it written f (3) For whoin 
was it written f (4) In what langtiage was it written ? 

2. When ? Upon this point nothing absolutely certain can be 
affirmed, and the Gospel itself affords us no information. The 
Evangelist is mentioned as a relative of Barnabas, as a "comfort" 
to St Paul, and "profitable for the ministry." But nothing is said 
of any greater distinction. We may conclude, therefore, that his 
Gospel was not written before A.D. 63 2 . Again we may as 
certainly conclude that it was not written after the destruction 
of Jerusalem, for it is not likely that he would have omitted to 
record so remarkable a fulfilment of our Lord's predictions. 
Hence A.D. 63 70 become our limits, but nearer than this we 
cannot go. 

3. Where ? As to the place, the weight of testimony is uni- 
formly in favour of the belief that the Gospel was written and 
published at Rome. In this Clement, Eusebius, Jerome, Epi- 
phanius all agree. Chrysostom indeed asserts that it was 
published at Alexandria, but his statement receives no confirma- 
tion, as otherwise it could not fail to have done, from any 
Alexandrine writer 3 . 

4. For who7ii ? The traditional statement is that it was in- 

1 According to later legends his body was removed from Alexandria 
to Venice A.D. 827, which was formally placed under his protection. 
Hence "the Lion," the symbol of St Mark, became the standard of the 
Venetian Republic. 

2 The most direct testimony on this point is that of Irenaeus, who 
says that it was after the deaths of the Apostles Peter and Paul. 

3 In modern times Storr has conjectured that St Mark wrote at 
Antioch. But his ground for this, a comparison of Mark xv. 11 with 
Acts xi. 20, is not a sufficient basis for the theory. 


tended primarily for Gentiles, and especially for those of Rome. 
A review of the Gospel itself confirms this view. For 

(i) All reference to the Jewish Law is omitted, and on his 

own authority the Evangelist makes no quotations from the 

Old Testament, with the exception of those in the opening 

verses from Mai. iii. i, and Isaiah xl. 3 1 . 

(ii) V/ords are explained which would not be understood by 

Gentile readers; "Boanerges" (iii. 17); "Talitha cumi" 

(v. 41); "Corban" (vii. 11); " Bartimaus" (x. 46) ; "Abba" 

(xiv. 36); "Eloi, Eloi, la?na sabachthaui" 2 (xv. 34). 

(iii) Jewish usages and other points, with which Jews only 

could be expected to be familiar, are elucidated. Thus we 

are told that "the Jews eat not unless they wash their 

hands off (vii. 3); that the Mount of Olives "is over 

against the Temple" (xiii. 3) ; that "the Passover was killed 

on the first day of unleavened bread" (xiv. 12); that "the 

preparation was the day before the Sabbath" (xv. 42). 

(iv) Again, St Mark uses several Latin forms, which do not 

occur in the other Gospels, as Speculator="a soldier of the 

guard" (vi. 27); xestes=sextarius (vii. 4, 8); quadrantes=a 

farthing (xii. 42) ; satisfacere = to content (xv. 15, comp. Acts 

xxiv. 27); Centurion (xv. 39, 44, 45). 

5. Ln what language f As to the language in which it was 

written, there never has been any reasonable doubt that it was 

written in Greek 3 . The hypothesis of a Latin original rests on 

no foundation. A portion of a supposed original autograph of 

the Evangelist is shewn in the library of St Mark's at Venice, 

1 That in Mark xv. 28 is by many considered as interpolated. 

2 Again, two mites are said to make a farthing (xii. 42), and Gehenna 
is explained as unquenchable fire (ix. 43). 

3 ' ' For some considerable part of the first three centuries, the Church 
of Rome, and most, if not all the Churches of the West, were, if we 
may so speak, Greek religious colonies. Their language was Greek, 
their writers Greek, their Scriptures Greek ; and many vestiges and 
traditions shew that their ritual, their Liturgy was Greek... All the 
Christian extant writings which appeared in Rome and in the West 
are Greek, or were originally Greek; the Epistles of Clement, the 
Shepherd of Hermas, the Clementine Recognitions and Homilies ; the 
works of Justin Martyr, down to Cains and Hippolytus the author of the 
Refutation of All Heresies." Milman's Latin Christianity, I. p. 34. 




but it is merely part of an ancient MS. of the Four Gospels, 
another fragment of which exists at Prague, and was formerly 
preserved at Aquileia. If the Evangelist had written in Latin, 
it is unaccountable that no ancient writer should have made 
mention of the fact. 

6. On another point the testimony of the early Church is 
also unanimous, viz. that the Evangelist composed his Gospel 
under the eye and direction of St Peter. As to this fact the 
words of John the Presbyter as quoted by Papias 1 are explicit. 
"Mark," we read, "having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote 
accurately all that he remembered 2 ; but he did not [record] 
in order that which was either said or done by Christ. For he 
neither heard the Lord nor followed Him ; but afterwards, as I 
said, [attached himself to] Peter, who used to frame his teaching 
to meet the wants of his hearers, but not as making a connected 
narrative of the Lord's discourses." Here it is distinctly as- 
serted that St Peter's teaching was the basis of the second 

7. Equally definite is the testimony of later writers. Thus 
Justin Martyr (a.d. 100 120) quotes from the present Gospel 
under the title of "the Memoirs of Peter 3 ." Irenaeus (a.d. 177 
202) asserts that "after the decease of these (Peter and Paul), 
Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself also handed 
down to us in writing the things which were preached by 
Peter 4 ." Origen (a.d. 185 254) says still more expressly that 
"Mark made his Gospel as Peter guided him 6 ." Clement of 
Alexandria (A.D. 191 202) mentions as a "tradition of the elders 
of former time" that when Peter had publicly preached the 
Word in Rome, and declared the Gospel by Inspiration, "those 
who were present, being many, urged Mark, as one who had 
followed him from a distant time and remembered what he said, 

1 Eusebius, H. E. III. 39; Routh, Rell. Sacr. 1. 13 ff. 

2 Or "that he (Peter) mentioned." The word is ambiguous and may 
have either of these meanings. See Westcott's Introd. to the Gospels, 
p. 180, n. 

3 Dial. c. 106. See Westcott's Hisi. of N. T. Canon, p. 103. 

4 Iren. C. Hcer. ill. 1. 1 ; comp. Eusebius H. E. v. 8. Elsewhere 
(in. 10. 6) Irenaeus* calls Maik interpret et sedator Petri. 

8 See Eusebius, H. E. vi. -25. 


to record what he stated; and that he having made his Gospel, 
gave it to those who made the request of him 1 ." Tertullian 
again (a.d. 190 220) affirms that "the Gospel of Mark is 
maintained to be Peter's 2 ;" while Jerome (a.d. 346420) tells 
us that the "Gospel of Mark was composed, Peter relating, and 
he writing 8 ." 

8. With this testimony of the early Church before us we may 
conclude, not indeed that the narrative, as we have it in the 
second Gospel, was the Apostle's, but 

(a) That when the Evangelist, after separation from his 
master, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, composed 
his Gospel, he reproduced many of the oral comTiunications 
of St Peter 4 ; 

{b) That to the keen memory of the Apostle, recalling scenes 
in which he had often borne a prominent part, and of which 
he was an eye-witness, we owe the graphic colouring, the 
picturesque touches, the minuteness of detail, which his 
"interpreter" reverently preserved, and faithfully enshrined 
in the pages of his Gospel. 

9. In conformity with this view we find passages in St Mark 
where the Apostle is specially mentioned, while he is omitted 
by the other Evangelists. Thus we are told 

(1) It was St Peter who followed after our Lord in the morn- 
ing after the miracles at Capernaum (Mark i. 36) ; 

(2) It was he, who drew attention to the rapid withering of 
the fig-tree (Mark xi. 21) ; 

(3) It was he, who with three others of the Apostles, asked 
our Lord as He sat on the Mount of Olives respecting the 
destruction of Jerusalem (Mark xiii. 3) ; 

(4) It was to him specially amongst the Apostles, to whom 
the angel directed that the announcement of the Resurrec- 
tion should be made (Mark xvi. 7). 

10. And, on the other hand, it has been thought that the 

1 Clem. Alex. Fragm. Hypotyp. p. roi6, P.; Eusebius //. E. vi. 14. 
8 Adv. Marc. IV. 5. 

8 "Cujus (Marci) Evangelium Petro narrante et illo scribente com 
positum est." Hieron. de Vir. III. cvni. ; ad Hedib. c. II. 
4 Papias as quoted by Eusebius, H. E. in. 39. 


modesty of the Apostle, anxious to pass over what might 
specially redound to his own honour, has caused the omission of 

(a) His name as the prompter of the question respecting 
"meats not defiling a man" (comp. Mark vii. 17 with 
Matt. xv. 15) ; 

(b) His walking on the sea (comp. Mark vi. 50, 51 with 
Matt, xiv. 2831) ; 

(c) The miracle of the coin in the fish's mouth (comp. 
Mark ix. 33 with Matt. xvii. 24 27) ; 

(d) His designation as the Rock, on which the Church 
should be built (comp. Mark viii. 29, 30 with Matt. xvi. 

1719) ; 

(<?) His being sent with another Apostle to make ready the 
Passover (comp. Mark xiv. 13 with Luke xxii. 8) ; 

(f) The fact that it was for him especially that our Lord 
prayed that his faith might not " utterly fail " (Luke xxii. 
3i, 32). 

1 1. As to the genuineness of the Gospel there is the strongest 
historical evidence in its favour. All ancient testimony makes 
St Mark the author of a certain Gospel, and that the Gospel, 
which has come down to us, is his, there is not the least real 
ground for doubting. 

12. One section, however, has given rise to critical diffi- 
culties, viz. the concluding portion from xvi. 9 20. In this 
section, which is wanting in the Vatican and Sinaitic MSS. 1 , 
it has been urged that there is a change of style : 

(a) That everything pictorial, all minute details, all formulas 
of rapid transition, everything, in fact, which is so charac- 
teristic of the Evangelist, suddenly cease ; 

(b) That brief notices of occurrences more fully described in 
other Gospels take the place of the graphic narrative which 
is so striking a feature of the rest of the Book"; 

(c) That no less than twenty-one words and expressions occur, 
which are never elsewhere used by St Mark. 

1 But it is found in all other Codices of weight, including A, C, D, 
in the Vet. Lat., Vulg., Syrr., Memph., Theb., Gothic Versions, is 
quoted by 1 renaeus, and supported by Hippolytus, Chrysostom, Augus- 
tine, and Leo the Great. 


13. Various reasons have been suggested for the change of 
style. It has been attributed by some to the death of St Peter, 
by others to the outbreak of the terrible persecution under Nero, 
A.D. 64, and the necessity of seeking safety by flight. But at 
this distance of time it is useless to speculate on the causes 
of the change, and the two most probable solutions are 

Either (i) That the Evangelist, being prevented at the time 
from closing his narrative as fully as he had intended, him- 
self added "in another land, and under more peaceful cir- 
cumstances 1 ," the conclusion which we now possess ; 
Or (ii) That it was added by some other hand, shortly if 
not immediately afterwards, but at any rate before the 
publication of the Gospel itself. 



i. From the time and place of its composition we now pass 
on to the general characteristics of the Gospel. 

2. One peculiarity strikes us the moment we open it, 
the absence of any genealogy of our Lord. This is the key 
to much that follows. It is not the design of the Evangelist to 
present our Lord to us, like St Matthew, as the Messiah, "the 
Son of David and Abraham" (i. 1), or, like St Luke, as the uni- 
versal Redeemer, " the Son of Adam, which was the son of 
God" (iii. 38). 

3. His design is to present Him to us as the incarnate and 
wonder-working Son of God, living and acting amongst men, to 
portray Him in the fulness of His living energy 2 . 

4. The limits indeed and general character of the Work are 
nowhere more strikingly described than in the words of the 
Evangelist's own great teacher in Acts x. 36 42, when he ad- 
dressed himself to Cornelius. Commencing with the Baptism 
of John and his announcement of the coming of One Mightier 

1 See Bp Ellicott's Lecttires on the Gospel History, p. 26, n. ; 383, n. 
8 Westcott's Introduction, p. 361. 


than himself (Acts x. yj ; Mark i. 7), he tells us how, at His 
Baptism, " God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost 
and with power" (Acts x. 38), and how after His temptation He 
" went about doing good? proving Himself Lord over man and 
nature, and " healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for 
God was with Him " (Acts x. 38). 

5. While doing this, the Evangelist does not merely chronicle 
each incident, but " surrounds them with all the circumstances 
that made them impressive to the bystanders 1 ," and constrains 
us to feel how deep that impression was. Thus we notice 

(a) In i. 22, 27, ii. 12, vi. 2, how words and actions of our 
Lord called forth awe and wonder from the crowds that 
beheld them ; 

(b) In iv. 41, vi. 51, x. 24, 26, 32, how the same feelings 
were evoked in the disciples; 

(c) In iii. 10, v. 21, 31, vi. 33, viii., how the multitudes thronged 
and pressed upon Him so that there was scarce room to 
stand or sit (ii. 2, iii. 32, iv. 1), or leisure even to eat (iii. 20, 

vi. 31); 

(d) In vi. 56, how the diseased were brought to Him in 
numbers, and whithersoever He entered, into villages, or 
cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and be- 
sought Him that they might touch, if it were but the border 
of His garment; and as many as touched Him were made 
perfectly whole; comp. i. 33, 34, iii. 10. 

(e) In i. 23 26, iii. 11, how the unclean spirits no sooner 
saw Him than they fell down before Him crying with a 
loud voice, Thou art the Son of God. 

6. But while the Evangelist thus brings out the divine power 
of Him, Who was the " Lion of the tribe of Judah," he also 
invites our attention in an especial manner to His human per- 
sonality. Thus he tells us how our Lord 

(a) Could grieve (vii. 34, viii. 12), could love (x. 21), could 
feel pity (vi. 34), could wonder (vi. 6), could be moved with 
righteous anger and indigfiation (iii. 5, viii. 12, 33, x. 14) ; 

(b) Could be sensible of human infirmities, could hunger 
(xi. 12), could desire rest (vi. 31), could sleep (iv. 38). 

1 Kitto's Biblical Cyclopedia, ill. p. 71, 3rd Edition. 



7. Again, it is St Mark, who alone describes, on several 
occasions, the very position, the very gesture, the very words of 
his Divine Master: 

(i) Thus we are bidden to notice 

(a) How He looked round with comprehensive gaze upon 
His hearers (iii. 5, 34), upon the woman with the issue of 
blood (v. 32), upon His disciples (x. 23), upon the scene of 
noisy buying and selling in the Temple (xi. 11) ; 

(b) How He took little childre?i into His arms, laid His hands 
upon them and blessed them (ix. 36, x. 16); how He turned 
round in holy anger to rebuke St Peter (viii. 33) ; how He 
went before His Apostles on the way towards Jerusalem 
(x. 32) ; how He sat down and called the Twelve to Him to 
instruct them in a lesson of humility (ix. 35) ; 

(ii) Again we seem to hear (a) the very Aramaic words that 
fell from His lips, "Boanerges" (iii. 17); " Talitha cumi" (v. 
41); "Corban" (vii. 11); " Ephphatha" (vii. 34) ; "Abba" {xw. 
36); and (b) the sighs which the sight of human miser/ drew 
forth from His compassionate breast (vii. 34, viii. 12). 

8. In keeping with this trait, St Mark is careful to record 
minute particulars of person, number, time, and place, which 
are unnoticed by the other Evangelists 1 : 

(a) Person : i. 29, " They entered into the house of Simon 
and Andrew with James and John;" i. 36, "Simon and 
they that were with Him followed after Him ;" iii. 6, " the 
Pharisees took counsel with the Herodians f iii. 22, " the 
Scribes which came down from Jerusalem said ;" xi. 1 1, 
"He went out unto Bethany with the Twelve /' xi. 21, 
"Peter calling to remembrance, saith unto him;" xiii. 3, 
"Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him 
privately;" xiv. 65, "the servants did strike him with the 
palms of their hands;" xv. 21, "Simon, a Cyrenian..Jhe 

father of Alexander and Rufusj" xvi. 7, " Go your way, tell 
his disciples and Peter" 

(b) Number: v. 13, "they were about two thousand/ 1 vi. 7, 
" He began to send them forth, two and two/' vi. 40, " they 

1 For St Mark's use of diminutives, see note v. 23. 


sat down in ranks, by hundreds and by fifties/' xiv. 30, 
" before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice? 

(c) Time : i. 35, "in the morning... a great while before day/ 7 
ii. 1, " after some days/' iv. 35, " the same day, when the 
even was come? vi. 2, " when the sabbath day was come? 
xi. 11, "and now the eventide was come? xi. 19, "when eve?i 
was come? xv. 25, "and it was the third hour? xvi. 2, 
"very early in the morning, the first day of the week." 

(d) Place: ii. 13, "He went forth again by the sea side/ 
iii. 7, " Jesus withdrew Himself /<? the sea? iv. 1, " He began 
again to teach by the sea side? v. 20, "He began to publish 
in Decapolis? vii. 31, "through the midst of the coasts of 
Decapolis? xii. 41, "and Jesus sat over against the 
treasury? xiii. 3, " He sat upon the Mount of Olives, over 
against the temple? xiv. 68, " and he went out into the 
porch? xv. 39, "and when the centurion, which stood over 
against him? xvi. 5, " they saw a young man sitting on 
the right side" 

9. This minuteness and particularity of observation are re- 
flected in the language and style of the Evangelist : 

(1) Yiis phrases of transition are terse and lively : e. g. "A fid 
straightway" occurs about 27 times in his Gospel. 

(2) He frequently prefers the present to the historic tense : 
i. 40, " there cometh a leper to him ;" i. 44, " and saith unto 
him ;" ii. 3, " they come unto him, bringing one sick of the 
palsy f ii. 10, "He saith to the sick of the palsy ;" ii. 17, 
" When Jesus heard it, He saith unto them ;" xi. 1, "And 
when they came nigh to Jerusalem.... He sendeth forth two 
of His disciples ;" xiv. 43, " immediately, while He yet 
spake, cometh Judas ;" xiv. 66, " there cometh one of the 
maids of the high priest." 

(3) He often uses a direct instead of an indirect form of ex- 
pressiony iv. 39, "He said unto the sea, Peace, be still? 
v. 8, " He said, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit ;" 
v. 9, "He asked him, What is thy name?' v. 12, "the 
devils besought Him saying, Send us into the swine f 
vi. 23, "he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of 
me, T iv ill give it thee? vi. 31, "He said unto them, Come 

2 2 


ye yourselves apart;" ix. 25, " He rebuked the foul spirit, 

saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee? 

xii. 6, " He sent him, saying, They will reverence my son." 

(4) For the sake of emphasis he repeats what he has said, 

and couples together words or phrases of similar import 

to heighten and define his meaning ; i. 13, " He was there, 

in the wilderness ? i. 45, " but he went out and began to 

publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter ;" iii. 26, 

"he cannot stand, but hath an end? iv. 8, " that sprang up 

and increased; and brought forth? iv. 33, 34, " and with 

many such parables spake He unto them... but without 

a parable spake He not unto them f v. 23, " that she 

may be healed, and she shall live? vi. 25, " and she came 

in straightway with haste? vii. 21, 'from within, out of 

the heart of men f viii. 15, " the leaven of the Pharisees, 

and the leaven of Herod ;" xiv. 68, " / know not, neithei 

understand I what thou say est." 

10. To sum up. " In substance and style and treatment," it 

has been well said, "the Gospel of St Mark is essentially a 

transcript from life. The course and issue of facts are imaged 

in it with the clearest outline. If all other arguments against 

the mythic origin of the Evangelic narratives were wanting, this 

vivid and simple record, stamped with the most distinct impress 

of independence and originality, totally unconnected with the 

symbolism of the Old Dispensation, totally independent of the 

deeper reasonings of the New, would be sufficient to refute a 

theory subversive of all faith in history. The details which were 

originally addressed to the vigorous intelligence of Roman 

hearers are still pregnant with instruction for us. The teaching, 

which ' met their wants ' in the first age, finds a corresponding 

field for its action now 1 ." 



The following Analysis will give a general idea of the con- 
struction of St Mark's Gospel : 

1 Westcott's Introduction, p. 367. 


Part I. 
I. The Preparation: i. 1 13. 
(a) The Baptism and Preaching of John i. i 8. 
(/S) The Baptism of Jesus i. 9 11. 
(7) The Temptation i. 12 13. 
Observe in this Section (i) the conciseness of the Introduction ; 
(ii) the absence of any genealogy of our Lord; (iii) the first use 
of St Mar fcs favourite formula of transition, "And straight- 
way y" (iv) the graphic touch that our Lord was "with the wild 

Part II. 
II. The Works of Christ in Eastern Galilee: i. 14 vii. 23. 
(A) Section (i) 

(a) Announcement of the Kingdom i. 14, 15. 

(jS) Call of the first Disciples i. 16 -20. 

(7) Cure of the demoniac at Capernaum i. 21 28. 

(5) Cure of Peter's wife's mother and others ...i. 29 34. 

Retirement to a solitary place i. 35. 

(e) Tour in Galilee ". i. 35 39. 

() Cleansing of a leper i. 40 45. 

Retirement to desert places i. 45. 

(77) Commencement of the conflict with the ruling powers : 

(1) The cure of the Paralytic ii. 1 12. 

(2) Call of St Matthew ii. 1322. 

(3) The disciples pluck the ears of corn ...ii. 23 28. 

(4) Cure of the man with the withered hand iii. 1 6. 
Retirement to the Lake iii. 7 12. 

Observe in this Section (i) how each victory of the Redeemer 
is followed by a withdrawal which serves as a preparation for 
fresh progress j (ii) the causes of the opposition of the Pharisaic 
party, (a) assumption by our Lord of power to forgive sins (ii. 6, 7), 
(b) eating with publicans and sinners arid neglect of law of 
fasting (ii. 16 22); (c) alleged infraction of Sabbatical rules 
(ii. 2328). 

(B) Section (ii) 

(a) Call of the Apostles iii. 13 19. 

(/3) Opposition of the Scribes from Jerusalem... iii. 20 30. 

(7) The true kindred iii. 31 35. 

y (5) Parables of the Kingdom : 

(1) The Sower iv. 1 9. 

(2) Explanation of the Parable iv. ro 25. 

(3) The Seed growing secretly iv. 26 29. 

(4) The Mustard Seed iv. 30 34. 


l" (e) Signs of the Kingdom : <_- 

(if The stilling of the storm iv. 35 41. 

m The Gadarene demoniac v. 1 20. 

(31 The woman with the issue v. 25 34. 

(4) The daughter of Jairus v. 21 43. 

(f) Rejection at Nazareth vi. 1 6. 

Retirement into the villages vi. 6. 

Observe in this Section (i) the foundation of the Church by the 

election of the Apostles; (ii) the deepening of the conflict with 

the Pharisees; (iii) the issue of the opposition in unbelief 

(C) Section (iii) 

(a) Mission of the Apostles vi. 7 13. 

(p) The murder of the Baptist vi. 14 29. 

Retirement to a desert place vi. 31, 32. 

(7) The feeding of the Five Thousand vi. 33 44. 

(0) The walking on the sea vi- 45 52. 

(ej Victories over disease in all its forms vi. 53 56. 

(fj Renewed opposition of the Pharisaic party... vii. 1 23. 

Retirement to the borders of Tyre 
and Sidon vii. 24. 

Observe in this Section (i) the definite step taken in the 

mission of the Twelve ; (ii) the effects of the murder of the 

Baptist; (iii) the significance of the feeding of the Five Thousand 

at the Season of the Passover. 

Part III. 
III. The Works of Christ in Northern Galilee: vii. 24 -ix. 37. 
(A) Section (i) 

(a) Healing of the daughter of the Syrophoe- 

nician vii. 24 30. 

(ft) Gradual healing of the deaf and dumb vii. 31 3 7. 

(7) Feeding of the Four Thousand ' viii. r 10. 

(5) The Pharisees ask for a sign viii. n 13. 

(e) Warnings against the leaven of the Pharisees 

and of Herod viii. 14 21. 

() Gradual cure of the blind man viii. 22 26. 

Retirement to the neighbourhood of 
Csesarea Philippi viii. 27. 

Observe in this Section (i) the renewed opposition of the 
Pharisaic party; (ii) the request for a sign; (iii) the hope opened 
up for the Gentiles in the cure of the daughter of the Syrophosni- 
cian; (iv) the use of external means and the gradual nature of 
the miracles of this period. 


((B) Section (ii) 
(a) The solemn question, and confession of St 
Peter viii. 2733. 
(/3) The First Clear Prediction of the Passion ...viii. 34 ix. 1. 
Retirement to the mountain range 
of Hermon ix. 2. 
(7) The Transfiguration ix. 2 13. 
k) The lunatic child ix. 14 27. 
(e) The secret source of strength ix. 28, 29. 
m Second Prediction of the Passion ix. 31, 32. 
(??) The Apostles taught (a) humility, and 
(6) self-denial ix. 33 50. 
Observe in this Section (i) the importance of the crisis in the 
Saviour's ministry; (ii) the solemnity of the question addressed 
to the Apostles; (iii) the significance of the Transfiguration; 
(iv) the fulness of the material imagery employed by St Mark in 
describing it; (v) the commencement of the open announcements 
of the Passion. 

Part IV. 
IV. The Works of Christ in Persea : x. 131. 

(a) The question of marriage and divorce x. 1 12. 

(/S) The blessing of little children x. 13 16. 

(7) The rich young ruler x. 17 22. 

(5) The danger of riches x. 23 27. 

(e) The reward of self-sacrifice x. 28 3 1 . 

Observe in this Section (i) the conflict with the hierarchy even 
in Peroza; (ii) the fewness of the recorded 7iiiracles after the 

Part V. 
V. The Last Journey to Jerusalem and the Passion: x. 32 xv. 47 

(A) Section (i) 

(a) Third Prediction of the Passion x. 32 34. 

(jS) The ambitious Apostles x. 35 45. 

(7) Blind Bartimseus x. 46 52. 

(5) The anointing at Bethany xiv. 1 10. 

Observe in this Section (i) how utterly unable the Apostles 
were to comprehend the idea of a suffering Messiah; (ii) how 
St Mark, like St Matthew, places the anointing at Bethany out 
of its true order. 


(B) Section (ii) 
The Events of Holy Week: 

(a) Palm Sunday 

(a) The Triumphal Entry xi. i n. 

\b) Retirement to Bethany xi. n. 

(/9) Monday 

(a) The withering of the barren fig-tree ...xi. 12 14. 
(0) The second cleansing of the Temple ...xi. 15 18. 
(c) Retirement to Bethany xi. 19. 

(7) Tuesday 

(a) The lesson of the withered fig-tree xi. 2026. 

(0) The question of the deputation of the 

Sanhedrim and the counter question . . . xi. 2 7 33. 
(c) The Parable of the Wicked Husband- 

men xii. 1 12. 

{d) The subtle questions 

(1) Of the Pharisees ; the tribute- 

money xii. 13 17. 

(2) Of the Sadducees; the resurrection xii. 18 27. 

(3) Of the Lawyer; the importance of 

the Commandments xii. 28 34. 

(i?) The Lord's counter-question xii. 35 44. 

(/) Prediction of the destruction of Jeru- 
salem and the end of the world xiii. r 37. 

Observe in this Section (i) the profound impression at first 
Produced by the Triwnphal Entry; (ii) the difference between 
the first and the second cleansing of the Temple; (iii) the deepen- 
ing of the bitter hostility of the hierarchy towards our Lord; 
(iv) His sublime cojnposure amidst the conflict; (v) His uncon- 
quered and unconq?ierable conviction of His final triumph. 

(C) Section (iii) 

The Events of Holy Week continued: 
(a) Wednesday 

Seclusion at Bethany. 

Compact of the Traitor xiv. 1, 2. 

(/S) Thursday 

(a) Directions respecting the Passover xiv. 12 16. 

(b) Institution of the Holy Eucharist xiv. 17 26. 

(c) Protestations of St Peter xiv. 27 31. 

(d) The Agony in Gethsemane xiv. 32 42. 

(e) The Apprehension , xiv. 43 50. 

(/) The Incident of the Young Man xiv. 51, 52. 


(7) Friday 

{a) The Jewish trial xiv. 53 65. 

(b) The denials by St Peter xiv. 6672. 

(c) The trial before Pilate xv. 1 15. 

{d) The Crucifixion xv. 16 32. 

(e) The Death xv. 33 41. 

(/) The Burial , xv. 4247. 

Observe in this Section (i) the exfrenie minuteness of the in- 
structions respecti?ig the Last Supper; (ii) the expansion of the 
narrative into the fulness of a diary as we approach the Passion; 
(iii) the incident of the young man in the Garden recorded only 
by St Mark. 

Part VI. 

VI. Christ's Victory over the Grave, and Ascension into Heaven : 
xvi. 120. 

(a) Easter Eve 

The rest of Christ in the Tomb xvi. 1. 

(/S) Easter Day 

(1) The visit of the Holy Women xvi. r 3. 

(2) The Resurrection xvi. 4 8. 

(7) The appearances after the Resurrection to 

(1) Mary Magdalene xvi. 9 n. 

(2) Two disciples xvi. 12, 13. 

(3) The Eleven xvi. 14. 

(5) The last charge and the Ascension xvi. 15 19. 

(e) The Session at the right Hand of God xvi. 19, 20. 

Observe in this Section (i) How long the disciples hesitated 
before they would accept the fact of the Resurrection; (ii) how 
minute and distinct are the promises in the last charge of 
miraculous power; (iii) how the Ascension seems to for?n with 
St Mark the last of the many withdrawals of the Lord, which 
had alternated with so many victories; (iv) how the growth of 
the Church is traced to the continued operation of her Ascended 


Note 1. 

The Miracles of our Lord recorded by St Mark may be 

arranged as displaying His victorious power over 

(i) Nature. 

(a) The Stilling of the Storm (iv. 3540- 

() The Feeding of the Five Thousand ( vi. 30 44). 

(7) The Walking on the Lake (vi. 45 5^)- 

(5) The Feeding of the Four Thousand (viii. 19). 

(e) The Withering of the Fig-Tree (xi. 12 14). 

(ii) The Spirit-world. 

(a) The demon cast out in the Synagogue... (i. 2328). 

() The Legion (v. 120). 

(7) The daughter of the Syrophoenician 

woman (vii. 24 30) 

(5) The lunatic boy (ix. 17 29). 

(iii) Disease. 

(a) Simon's wife's mother (i. 30, 31). 

03) The Leper (i. 4045). 

(7) The Paralytic (ii. 3 12). 

(5) The Cure of the Man with the withered 

hand (iii. 1 5). 

(c) The woman with the issue of blood (v. 25 34). 

(f) **The deaf and dumb man (vii. 31 37). 

(77) **Tne blind man at Bothsalda (viii. 2226) . 

(6) Bartimseus (x. 46 52). 

(iv) Death. 

The daughter of Jairus (v. 21 43). 

** Miracles recorded only by St Mark. 

Note II. 
The Parables recorded by St Mark. 

(i) Parables of the Early Groups from the commencement of the 
Ministry to the Mission of the Seventy: 

(a) The Sower (iv. 3 8). 

(/3) **The Seed growing secretly (iv. 2629). 

(7) The Mustard- Seed (iv. 30 32). 

(ii) Parables of the Intermediate Group, from the Mission of the 
Seventy to the last journey towards Jerusalem: 

(iii) Parables of the Final Group, immediately before and after the 
Entry into Jerusalem: 

The Wicked Husbandmen (xii. 1 11). 


Parable recorded only by St Mark. 

For this arrangement of the Parables of our Lord see Smith's Dictionary 
of the Bible, II. pp. 702, 703. 


i 8. The Preaching and Baptism of John. 

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of 1 
God; as it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send 
my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way 
before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 3 
Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 
John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism 4 

Ch. I. 1 8. The Preaching and Baptism of John. 
The object of St Mark is to relate the official life and ministry of our ~ 
Lord. He therefore begins with His baptism, and first relates, as intro- 
ductory to it, the preaching of John the Baptist. 

1. The beginning] St Mark commences his. Gospel suddenly and 
concisely. He does not begin with a genealogy of our Lord, like St 
Matthew, or with the history of the Infancy, as St Luke, or with the 
doctrine of the Eternal Word, as St John. He desires to pourtray Christ 
in the fulness of His living energy. See Introduction, pp. 16, 17. 

of Jesus Christ] The Gospel of Jesus Christ denotes the Glad 
Tidings concerning Jesus Christ l = the Messiah, the anointed Prophet, 
Priest, and King. For the meaning of the name Jesus see Matt. i. 21. 

the Son of God] Contrast this with St Matt. i. 1, "the Son of David, 
the Son of Abraham." The first Evangelist writes for Jews, the second 
for Gentiles. 

2. in the prophets] The citation is from two prophets, (1) Mai. iii. r, . 
(2) Isai. xl. 3. Some would read here in Isaiali the Prophet according 
to certain MSS. Observe that St Mark in his own narrative quotes the 
Old Testament only twice, here and xv. 28. See Introduction, p. 12. 

4. the wilderness] i. e. the dry and unpeopled region extending from 
the gates of Hebron to the shores of the Dead Sea. " It is a dreary 
waste of rocky valleys ; in some parts stern and terrible, the rocks cleft 
and shattered by earthquakes and convulsions into rifts and gorges, 
sometimes a thousand feet in depth, though only thirty or forty in 
width... The whole district is, in fact, the slope of the midland chalk 
and limestone hills, from their highest point of nearly 3000 feet near 
Hebron, to 1000 or 1500 feet at the valley of the Dead Sea. Tlie 

28 ST MARK, I. [w. 57. 

s of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out 
unto him all the land of Judasa, and they of Jerusalem, and 
were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing 

6 their sins. And John was clothed with camel's hair, and 
with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat 

7 locusts and wild honey; and preached, saying, There cometh 
one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I 

Hebrews fitly call it Jeshimon (1 Sam. xxiii. 19, 24), 'the appalling 
desolation,' or 'horror.'" 

for the remission] or unto the remission. See margin and comp. 
Matt. xxvi. 28; Luke i. 77. This remission was to be received of the 
Messiah. John required of all who came to him a change of mind and 
life with a view to pardon from Christ. Thus his baptism was prepara- 
tory to that of Christ. 

5. all the land] This strong expression is peculiar to St Mark. 
But it is illustrated by the other Gospels. The crowds that flocked to 
his baptism included representatives of every class, Pharisees and Sad- 
ducees (Matt. iii. 7), tax-gatherers (Luke iii. 12), soldiers (Luke iii. 14), 
rich and poor (Luke iii. 10). 

of Jordan] Of here is redundant and appositional. We use it 
after "town," "city," "valley." For its use after river, comp. "the 
river of Cydnus," Shak. A. and C. 11. 2. 192. The word "river" does 
not occur in the best MSS. of Matt. iii. 6. It is used by St Mark, who 
writes for those who were unacquainted with the geography of Palestine. 

6. was clothed] The Evangelist draws our attention to three points 
in reference to the Baptist f 

(a) His appearance. He recalled the asceticism of the Essene. His 
raiment was of the coarsest texture, such as was worn by Elijah 
(2 Kings i. 8) and the prophets generally (Zech. xiii. 4). His 
girdle, an ornament often of the greatest richness in Oriental 
costume and of the finest linen (Ter. xiii. 1; Ez. xvi. 10) or cotton 
or embroidered with silver and gold (Dan. x. 5 ; Rev. i. 13, xv. 6), 
was of untanned leather (2 Kings i. 8), like that worn by the 
Bedouin of the present day. 

(b) His diet was the plainest and simplest. Locusts were permitted 
as an article of food (Lev. xi. 21, 22). Sometimes they were 
ground and pounded, and then mixed with flour and water and 
made into cakes ; sometimes they were salted and then eaten. For 
wild honey comp. the story of Jonathan, 1 Sam. xiv. 25 2;. 

(c) His message. (1) That the members of the Elect Nation were all 
morally unclean, and all needed moral and spiritual regeneration ; 
(2) that One mightier than he was coming; (3) that He would 
baptize with the Holy Ghost. 

7. cometh] present tense. With prophetic foresight the Baptist 
sees Him already come and in the midst. 

latchet] diminutive of latch, like the Fr. lacet dim. of lace, comes 
from the Latin laguei/s = a. "noose," and means anything that catches. 
We now only apply latch to the catch of a door or gate. We speak of 


io.] ST MARK, 1. 29 

am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have 8 
baptized you with water : but he shall baptize you with the 
Holy Ghost. 

9 11. The Baptism of Jesus. 
And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came 9 
from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in 
Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he 10 

a "shoe-/dr^," and "lace" is radically the same word. Here it denotes 
the thong or fastening by which the sandal was fastened to the foot ; 
comp. Gen. xiv. 23; Isai. v. 27. The office of bearing and unfastening 
the sandals of great personages fell to the meanest slaves. 

to stoop down] This expression is peculiar to St Mark. It is the first 
of those minute details which we shall find in such abundance in his 

911. The Baptism of Jesus. 

9. in those days'] i.e. towards the close of the year A. u. c. 781, or 
A. D. 28, when our Lord was thirty years of age (Lk. iii. 23), the time 
appointed for the Levite's entrance on "the service of the ministry" 
(Num. iv. 3). 

came fr 07)i Nazareth] where He had grown up in peaceful seclu- 
sion, " increasing in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and 
man" (Luke ii. 52), in a town unknown and unnamed in the Old Tes- 
tament, situated among the hills which constitute the southern ridges 
of Lebanon, just before they sink down into the Plain of Esdraelon. 

baptized of ] i.e. by John. Comp. Luke xiv. 8, "when thou art bid- 
den of ( = by) any man;" Phil. iii. 12, "I am apprehended of ( = by) 
Christ;" Collect for 25th Sunday after Trinity, " may of( = by) Thee be 
plenteously rewarded." 

in Jordan] Either (i) at the ancient ford near Succoth, which some 
have identified with the Bethabara or rather Bethany of St John (John 
i. 28); or (ii) at a more southern ford not far from Jericho, whither the 
multitudes that flocked from Judaea and Jerusalem (Mark i. 5) would 
have found a speedier and more convenient access. From St Matthew 
we learn that (i) the purport of the Saviour's journey from Galilee was 
that He might be thus baptized (Matt. iii. 13); that (ii) His Forerunner 
instantly recognised His superhuman and stainless nature ; that (iii) he 
tried earnestly to prevent Him; that (iv) his objections were overruled 
by the reply that thus it became Him to "fulfil all righteousness," i.e. 
every requirement of the Law. St Luke tells us that the Baptism of 
our Lord did not take place till "all the people had been baptized" 
(Luke iii. 21). 

10. straightway] This is St Mark's favourite connecting word, and 
constantly recurs ; comp. i. 12, 28, iv. 5, 15, viii. 10, ix. 15, xi. 3, 
and other places. 

he saw] i.e. Jesus, while engaged, as we learn from St Luke iii. 21, 
in solemn prayer. We find solemn prayer preceding (i) our Lord's 
Baptism, (ii) His choice of the Twelve (Luke vi. 12), (iii) His Trans- 
figuration (Luke ix. 29), (iv) His Agony in the Garden (Matt. xxvi. 39). 

30 ST MARK, I. [vv. u 13. 

saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descend- 
11 ing upon him: and there came a voice from heaven, saying, 

Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 
12, 13. The Temptation. 
" And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness. 
J 3 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of 

opened] Lit. rent, or rending asunder, one of St Mark's graphic 
touches: see the Introduction. The same word in the original Greek 
is applied to "the old garment rending the new piece" (Luke v. 36); 
to the veil of the Temple rent in twain at the Crucifixion (Luke xxiii. 
45) ; to the rending of the rocks at the same time (Matt, xxvii. 51) ; and 
of the net in the Lake after the Resurrection (John xxi. 11). 

11. a voice from heaven] The first of the three heavenly Voices to 
be heard during our Lord's Ministry, viz., at (i) His Baptism; (ii) His 
Transfiguration (Mark ix. 7) ; (iii) in the courts of the Temple during 
Holy Week (John xii. 28). This Voice attested in the presence of His 
Forerunner the Divine Nature of our Lord, and inaugurated His public 
Ministry. The Baptism was a very important event in our Lord's 

(1) Needing no purification Himself, He submitted to it as the 
Head of His Body, the Church (Eph. i. 22) for all His members; 

(2) He was thus by baptism, and the unction of the Holy Ghost 
which followed (Matt. iii. 16; comp. Ex. xxix. 4 37; Lev. viii. 1 
30), solemnly consecrated to His office as Redeemer; 

(3) He "sanctified water to the mystical washing away of sin." See 
the Baptismal Office ; 

(4) He gave to His Church for all time a striking revelation of the 
Divine Nature, the Son submitting in all lowliness to every require- 
ment of the Law, the Father approving by a voice from heaven, 
the Spirit descending and abiding upon the Son. "7 ad Jordanevi, 
et videbis Trinitatem. " 

12, 13. The Temptation. 

12. immediately] See above, v. ro. The object of the Saviour's 
first Advent was "to destroy the works of the devil" (1 John iii. 8). 
His very first work, therefore, was to enter on a conflict with the great 
Enemy of mankind. 

driveth him] This is a stronger word than that employed by St 
Matthew, who says He was led up (Matt. iv. 1), or by St Luke, who says 
He was led by the Spirit (Luke iv. 1). The same word is here used as 
in Matt. ix. 38, "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He will 
send forth labourers into His harvest;" in John x. 4, "when He putteth 
forThTRSs own sheep, He goeth before them." The word denotes the 
Divine impulse of the Holy Ghost, which constrained Him to go forth 
toThe encounter, and hints at a rapid translation, such as that by which 
Prophets and Evangelists were caught up and carried to a distance 
(1 Kings xviii. 12; 2 Kings ii. 16; Acts viii. 39). 


vv. 14, 15] ST MARK, I. 31 

Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels minis- 
tered unto him. 

14, 15. Beginning of our Lord's Ministry. 
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came 14 
into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 
and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God 15 
is at hand : repent ye, and believe the gospel. 

13. tempted of Satan] In Matt. iv. 1 and Luke iv. 2, He is said to 
have been tempted by the Devil, i. e. the " Slanderer," who slanders God ly 
to man (Gen. iii. 1 5) and man to God (Job i. 9^11 ; Rev. xii. 10). St 
Mark, who never uses this word, says He was tempted by Satan, i. e. " the 
Enemy" of God and man alike. He seems to have been permitted to 
tempt our Lord during the whole of the forty days, but at the end of 
that period to have assailed Him with increased intensity through every 
avenue that could allure, as afterwards in Gethsemane through every 
channel that could terrify and appal (Luke iv. 13). 

the wild beasts] St Mark relates the Temptation very briefly, but he 
alone adds the graphic touch to the picture that the Saviour was "with 
the wild beasts, " unhurt by them, as Adam was in Paradise. Comp. 
Daniel in the den of lions. 

the angels] St Matthew records the ministry of Angels at the close s 
as to a Heavenly Prince (Matt. iv. n). St Mark records a ministry of the 
same celestial Visitants apparently throughout the trial. 

14, 15. Beginning of our Lord's Ministry. 
Between the events just described and those on which the Evangelist 
now enters, must be placed several recorded chiefly by St John; viz., 
(1) The testimony of the Baptist to Christ as the Lamb of God (John i. 
1934); (2) the early joining of Andrew, John, Simon, Philip and 
Nathanael (John i. 35 51); (3) the marriage at Cana (John ii. 1 12); 
(4) the first visit to Jerusalem, first cleansing of the Temple and confer- 
ence with Nicodemus (John ii. 13 si, iii. 1 21); (5) the ministry with 
the Baptist (John iii. 22 36); (6) the imprisonment of the Baptist (Luke 
iii. 19, 20); (7) the return of Jesus to Galilee through Samaria, and 
the discourse with the woman at Jacob's well (John iv. 3 42); (8) cure 
of the nobleman's son at Cana (John iv. 43 54). 

14. put in prison] The causes of the imprisonment of the Baptist 
are more fully related by the Evangelist ch. vi. 17 20. 

came into Galilee] and commenced the great Galilean ministry. 
Galilee was the most northern and the most populous of the three pro- 
vinces, into which the Romans had divided Palestine. It was to 
Roman Palestine what the manufacturing districts are to England, covered 
with busy towns and teeming villages, Roman custom-houses and 
thriving fisheries. See Stanley's Sinai and Palestine, pp. 375 377. 

the gospel of the kingdom of God] or according to some MSS. the 
Gospel of God. 

15. Th time, i.e. the great fore-ordained and predicted time of the 
M essiah. 

ST MARK, I. [vv. 16 i 


1 6 20. Call of the first Four Disciples. 

16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and 
Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea : for they were 

17 fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and 

18 I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway 

19 they forsook their nets, and followed him. And when he had 
gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, 

the kingdom of God] or as it is called in St Matthew the Kingdom of 
the Heavens (comp. Dan. ii. 44, vii. 13, 14, 27), denotes here the 
Kingdom of grace, the visible Church, of which our Lord described (a) 
in the parable of "the Mustard Seed" (Matt. xiii. 31, 32), its slight and 
despised beginning ; (b) in that of "the Hidden Leaven" and the "Seed 
growing secretly," its hidden and mysterious working (Matt. xiii. 33: 
Mark iv. 26 29); (c) and again in the first two Parables its final and 
assured triumph in spite of the obstacles set forth in the Parable of "th 
Tares" (Matt. xiii. 24 30). 

believe] Rather believe in, repose your faith on, the Gospel. 

1620. Call of the first Four Disciples. 

16. as he walked] The Saviour had come down (Luke iv. 31 ; John 
iv. 47, 51) from the high country of Galilee, and now made His per- 
manent abode in the deep retreat of the Sea of Galilee at Capernaum 
"His own city" (Matt. iv. 13; Luke iv. 31), whence He could easily 
communicate, as well by land as ! by the Lake, with many important 
towns, and in the event of any threatened persecution retire into a more 
secure region. 

the sea of Galilee] called (i) in the Old Testament "the Sea of 
Chinnereth" or "Cinneroth" (Num. xxxiv. 11; Josh. xii. 3) from a 
town of that name which stood on or near its shore (Josh. xix. 35), in 
the New (ii) "the Sea of Galilee" from the province which bordered 
on its western side (Matt. iv. 18; Mark vii. 31), (iii) "the Lake of 
Gennesaret" (Luke v. 1), (iv) "the Sea of Tiberias" (John xxi. 1), and 
sometimes (v) simply "the Sea" (Matt. iv. 15). 

he saw Simon] whom He had already invited to His acquaintance 
(John i. 4042); He now calls him to the Apostleship. The recent 
cure of the son of the officer in Herod's court had roused much interest 
at Capernaum, and many pressed upon the Saviour to ''hear the Word of 
God" (Luke v. 1). It became clear, therefore, that an opportunity was 
offered for an active and systematic ministry in Galilee, and four of the 
number afterwards known as "the Twelve" were now permanently 
attached to the Saviour's Person, and invested with power to become 
"fishers of men." 

a net] The net here spoken of and in Matt. iv. 18 was a casting-net, 
circular in shape, "like the top of a tent," in Latin funda or jatulum. 
The net spoken of in Matt. xiii. 47, 48 is the drag-net or hauling-net, 
the English seine or sean, sometimes half a mile in length ; that alluded 
to in Luke v. 4 9 is the bag-net or basket-net, so constructed and worked 
as to enclose the fish out in deep water. 


fY, 2022.] ST MARK, I. 33 

and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending 
their nets. And straightway he called them : and they left 20 
their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and 
went after him. 

21 28. The Cure of the Demoniac at Capernaum. 
And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on 21 
the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 
And they were astonished at his doctrine : for he taught 22 
them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. 

19. James the son of Zebedee] Two brothers had already been called 
and two more were now to join them. 

20. straightway] Notice the frequency of this formula of transition. 
It has occurred just before, v. 18. 

the hired servants'] The mention of these, of the two vessels em- 
ployed (Luke v. 7), and the subsequenc allusion to St John's acquaint- 
ance with a person in so high a position as the high priest (John xviii. 
15), seem to indicate that Zebedee, if not a wealthy man, was at any 
rate of some position at Capernaum. 

went after him] For the miraculous draught of fishes which accom- 
panied or followed this incident see Luke v. 2 11. Observe how 
gradually the Four had been called to their new work; (1) first they 
were disciples of the Baptist (John i. 35); (2) then they were directed by 
him to the Lamb of God (John i. 36); (3) afterwards they were invited 
by our Lord to see where He dwelt (John i. 39) ; (4) then they became 
witnesses of His first miracle (John ii. 2); (5) now after a further 
exhibition of His power over nature they are enrolled amongst His 
attached followers. The still more formal call was yet to come. 

2128. The Cure of the Demoniac at Capernaum. 

21. Capernaum] is not mentioned in the Old Testament or the 
Apocrypha.' It was situated on the western shore of the Lake, in "the 
land of Gennesaret" (Matt. xiv. 34; John vi. 17, 24), and was of 
sufficient size to be always called "a city" (Matt. ix. 1). It was 
a customs station (Matt. ix. 9; Luke v. 27), and the quarters of a 
detachment oi* Roman soldiers (Matt. viii. 9 ; Luke vii. 8). It was the 
scene of many striking incidents in the Gospel History besides that 
here recorded. It was at Capernaum that the Lord healed Simon's 
wife's mother (Matt. viii. 14); wrought the miracle on the centurion's 
servant (Matt viii. 5) ; cured the paralytic (Matt. ix. 1) ; called Levi from 
the toll-house (Matt. ix. 9) ; taught His Apostles the lesson of humility 
from the child set in their midst (Mark ix. 35 37), and delivered 
the wonderful discourse respecting the "Bread of Life" (John vi. 59). 

the synagogue] built for the Jews by the good centurion (Luke vii. 5). 

22. not as the scribes] The Scribes, Sopherim, first came into 
prominence in the time of Ezra. Their duty was to copy, read, study, 
explain, and "fence round" the Law with "the tradition of the 


34 ST MARK, I. [vv. 23: 

23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an un- 

24 clean spirit; and he cried out, saying, Let us alone; what 
have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art 
thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the 

25 Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold 

26 thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean 
spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came 

Elders" (Matt. xv. 2). The Scribes proper only lasted till the death 
of Simon "the Just," B.C. 300. In the New Testament they are 
sometimes called "lawyers" (Matt. xxii. 35), or "Doctors of the 
Law" (Luke v. 17). Their teaching was preeminently second-hand. 
They simply repeated the decisions of previous Rabbis. But our 
Lord's teaching was absolute and independent. His formula was not 
"It hath been said," but " I say unto you." 

23. with an unclean spirit] lit. in an unclean spirit, i. e. in his power, 
under his influence. St Luke describes him as having a "spirit of an 
unclean demon" (Luke iv. 33). He seems to have entered unobserved 
amongst the throng, but could not resist the spell of that Pure Presence. 

24. Let us alone] Many MSS. omit the Greek word thus trans- 
lated. Even if genuine, it appears to be rather an exclamation of 
horror = the Latin vah! heu4 It is not the man who cries out so much 
as the Evil Spirit which had usurped dominion over him. 

Jesus of Nazareth] As the angels had in songs of rapture recognised 
their King (Luke ii. 13, 14), so the evil spirits instantly recognise 
Him, but with cries of despair. They evince no hope and no sub- 
mission, only inveterate hostility. They believe and tremble (James 
ii. 19). Man alone recognises not the "King in His beauty" (Is. 
xxxiii. 17). " He was in the world and the world was made by Him," 
and yet " the world knew Him not " (John i. 10). 

25. rebuked him] Though he had borne testimony to Christ, yet 
his testimony is not accepted, for it was probably intended only to do 
harm, "to anticipate and mar His great purpose and plan." Compare 
the conduct of St Paul in reference to the girl possessed with the spirit 
of Apollo (Acts xvi. 16 18). 

Hold thy peace] lit. Be muzzled. The same word is used by our 
Lord in rebuking the storm on the Lake, "Peace, be still" (Mark iv. 
' 39) Wyclif translates it " wexe doumbe. " The word means (1) "to 
close the mouth with a muzzle, comp. 1 Cor. ix. 9, "Thou shalt not 
muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn," cited here and 
in 1 Tim. v. 18 from Deut. xxv. 4 ; (2) to reduce to silence, as in Matt, 
xxii. 34, " But when the Pharisees had heard that He had put the 
Sadducees to silence" and 1 Pet. ii. 15, "so is the will of God, that 
with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men." 
It is also used in reference to the man who had not on the wedding 
garment, " he was speechless" (Matt. xxii. 1-2). 

26. had torn him] i. e. thrown him into strong convulsions, and 
according to St Luke's account, into the midst (Luke iv. 35), comp. 

w. 2734.] ST MARK, I. 3S 

out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they 27 
questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? 
what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth 
he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. And 28 
immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the re- 
gion round about Galilee. 

2934. The Cure of Peter's Wife's Mother and Others. 

And forthwith, when they were come out of the syna- 29 
gogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, 
with James and John. But Simon's wife's mother lay sick 30 
of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. And he came 3> 
and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and im- 
mediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them. 
And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto 32 
him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed 
with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the 33 
door. And he healed many that were sick of divers dis- 34 

Mark ix. 26. The first miracle recorded by St Matt, is the healing 
of a leper by a touch (Matt. viii. r 4) ; the first miracle which St 
John records is the changing water into wine (John ii. 1 11) ; the first 
miracle recorded by St Mark and St Luke (iv. 33 37) is this casting out 
of a demon in the synagogue of Capernaum. 

29 34. The Cure of Peter's Wife's Mother and Others. 

29. they] i. e. the Lord and the four disciples, whom He had 
already called. It was a Sabbath day, and He probably went to the 
Apostle's house to eat bread. Comp. Luke xiv. 1. 

30. Simon's wife's mother] For St Paul's allusion to him as a married 
man see 1 Cor. ix. 5. 

sick of a fever] a "great" or "violent fever" according to the 
physician St Luke. Intermittent fever and dysentery, the latter often 
fatal, are ordinary Arabian diseases. 

31. he came] Observe all the graphic touches in this verse ; the 
Lord (i) went to the sufferer, (ii) took her by the hand, (iii) lifted her 
up, and (iv) the fever, rebuked by the Lord of life (Luke iv. 39), left 
her, and (v) she began to minister unto them. 

32. when the sun did set] All three Evangelists carefully record, 
that it was not till the sun was setting or had actually set, that these 
sick were brought to Jesus. The reason of this probably was (1) 
either that they waited till the mid-day heat was past and the cool 
of the evening was come, or (2) the day being the Sabbath (Mark 
i. 29 32), they were unwilling to violate the sacred rest of the day, 
and so waited till it was ended. 

33. at the door] i. e. the door of St Peter's house, " the door so well 

3 2 

ST MARK, I. [vv. 3539. 

eases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the 
devils to speak, because they knew him. 

35 39. Solitary Prayer. Tour in Galilee. 

35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, 
he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there 

36 prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed 

37 after him. And when they had found him, they said unto 

38 him, All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let 
us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: 

39 for therefore came I forth. And he preached in their syna- 
gogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils. 

known to him who supplied St Mark with materials for his Gospel." 
St Matthew connects the cures now wrought with the prophecy of 
Isaiah liii. 4, Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses. 

3539. Solitary Prayer. Tour in Galilee. 

35. in the morning, ...a great while before day] Another graphic touch 
of the Evangelist. He brings the scene before our eyes. The previous 
day had been a long day of conflict with and victory over the kingdom 
of sin and death. He now retires to refresh Himself in the heaven of 
prayer, in communion with His Father. He prepares Himself in the 
desert for a second great mission of Love, this time accompanied by 
His first four disciples. 

a solitary place] "A remarkable feature of the Lake of Gennesaret 
was that it was closely surrounded with desert solitudes. These 
'desert places ' thus close at hand on the table-lands or in the ravines 
of the eastern and western ranges, gave opportunities of retirement for 
rest or prayer. Rising up early in the morning while it was yet 
dark' or 'passing over to the other side in a boat,' He sought these 
solitudes, sometimes alone, sometimes with His disciples. The Lake 
in this double aspect is thus a reflex of that union of energy and rest, 
of active labour and deep devotion, which is the essence of Christianity, 
as it was of the Life of Him, in whom that union was first taught and 
shewn." Stanley's Sinai and Palestine, pp. 378, 379. 

36. Simon] already with his earnest impulsiveness beginning to take 
the lead. Comp. Luke viii. 45, ix. 32. 

followed after Him] The word in the original is very expressive 
and only occurs here. It denotes (i) to follow hard upon, (ii) to pursue 
closely, to track out. " Simon and his friends almost hunted for Him." 
It generally implies a hostile intent. It occurs in a good sense in the 
LXX. rendering of Ps. xxiii. 6, "Thy mercy shall follow me." 

38. towns] rather village -towns or country-towns. The word only 
occurs here. His gracious Presence was not to be confined to Caper- 
naum. Dalmanutha, Magdala, Bethsaida, Chorazin were all near at 
hand. For the crowded population of Galilee, see Josephus B. J. III. 3, 2. 

vv. 40 44.] ST MARK, I. 37 

40 45. Cleansing of a Leper. 
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneel- 40 
ing down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou 
canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, 4 i 
put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, 
I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, 42 
immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was 
cleansed. And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent 43 
him away; and saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any 44 

40 45. Cleansing of a Leper. 

40. there came} Better, there cometh, in the present tense. See 
Introduction, p. 19. 

a leper} One afflicted with the most terrible of all maladies, 
"a living death, a poisoning of the springs, a corrupting of all the 
humours, of life ; a dissolution little by little of the whole body, so that 
one limb after another actually decayed and fell away." The Jews 
called it "the Finger of God," and emphatically "th e Stro ke;" they & 
never expected to cure it (see 2 Kings v. 7). With lip covered (Ezek. 
xxiv. 17), and bare head (Lev. xiv. 8, 9), and rent garments, the leper bore 
about with him the emblems of mortality, " himself a dreadful parable of 
death." Compare the cases of Moses (Ex. iv. 6), Miriam (Num. xii. 
ro), Naaman (2 Kings v. 1), Gehazi (2 Kings v. 27). 

kneeling down to him} St Mark alone describes this attitude of the 
leper, as also the look of compassion which beamed forth from the face 
of the Lord, spoken of in the next verse. 

41. and touched him} though this act was strictly forbidden by the 
Mosaic Law as causing ceremonial defilement. But " He, Himself 
remaining undefiled, cleansed him whom He touched ; for in Him 
life overcame death, and health sickness, and purity defilement." 

43. And he straitly charged him} The word thus rendered occurs in 
four other places; (1) Matt. ix. 30, "Jesus straitly charged them, saying, 
See that no man know it ;" (2) Mark xiv. 5, "And they murmured against 
her," said of the Apostles in their indignation against Mary; (3) Johnxi. 
33, 38, "And He groaned in spirit," said of our Lord at the grave of 
Lazarus. It denotes (1) to be very angry or indignant^ (2) to charge or 
command with sternness. 

straitly = strictly. Comp. Gen. xliii. 7, "The man asked us straitly 
of our state;" Josh. vi. 1, " Now Jericho was straitly shut up." Comp. 
also Shakespeare, Richard III. I. 1. 85, 86, 

" His majesty hath straitly given in charge 
That no man shall have private conference." 

sent him away} or put him forth. " He would allow no lingering, 
but required him to hasten on his errand, lest the report of what had 
been done should outrun him." It is the same word in the original as 
iu Mark i. 12. 

38 ST MARK, I. II. [vv. 45 

man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer 
for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a 

45 testimony unto them. But he went out, and began to publish 
it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus 
could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in 
desert places : and they came to him from every quarter. 
1 12. The Paralytic and the Power to forgive Sins. 

2 And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; 

2 and it was noised that he was in the house. And straight- 
way many^were gathered together, insomuch that there was 
no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the 

3 door: and he preached the word unto them. And they 
come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was 

4 borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto 
him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: 

44. sheiu thyself to the priest] that he may attest the reality of thy 
cure (Lev. xiv. 3). 

those things which Moses commanded] viz. (1) two birds, "alive 
and clean," Lev. xiv. 4, (2) cedar wood, (3) scarlet, and (4) hyssop; 
this was for the preliminary ceremony (Lev. xiv. 4 7). On the eighth 
day further offerings were to be made, (1) two he lambs without ble- 
mish, (2) one ewe lamb, (3) three tenth deals of fine flour, (4) one log 
of oil. If the leper was poor, he Was permitted to offer one lamb and 
two turtledoves or two young pigeons, with one tenth deal of fine flour. 

for a testimony unto them] Rather, for a testimony against them, 
i.e. against their unbelief in refusing to acknowledge our Lord to be all 
He claimed to be in spite of His mighty works. Comp. Mark vi. 11 
with Luke ix. 5. 

45. began to publish it much] even as others in similar circumstances 
found it impossible to keep silence ; comp. (1) the blind man, Matt. ix. 
30, 31 ; (2) the man with an impediment of speech, Mark vii. 36. 

coidd no 7nore openly enter into the city] In these words we have per- 
haps one of the reasons why the Lord enjoined cilence on the leper. A 
certain degree of secrecy and reserve was plainly necessary in respect to 
the Lord's miracles, or it would have been impossible for Him to have 
moved from place to place. 
Ch. II. 112. The Paralytic and the Power to forgive Sins. 

1. he entered] after the subsidence of the late excitement. 

the house] Either His own house, which He occupied with His mother 
and His brethren (Mark iii. 21), or possibly that of St Peter. 

2. about the door] All the avenues of approach to the house were 
blocked up, and the courtyard or vestibule was filled. 

3. borne of four] Notice the pictorial definiteness of the Evangelist. 

4. they uncovered the roof] They appear (1) to have ascended to the 
flat roof probably by a flight of steps outside (Luke v. 19); (2) to have 


vv . 5 _ 9 .] ST MARK, II. 39 

and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed 
wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their 5 
faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be for- 
given thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting e 
there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus 7 
speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And 8 
immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they 
so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why rea- 
son ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to 9 
say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to 

broken up the tiling or thin stone slabs, sometimes used at this day ; 
(3) to have lowered the paralytic upon his bed through the opening into 
the presence of the Great Healer. The room was probably an upper- 
chamber, which often extended over the whole area of the house. For 
other notices of such upper-rooms compare Acts i. 13, ix. 37, xx. 8. 

5. their faith] The faith of all, of the paralytic himself and those 
that bore him. The Holy One did not reject this "charitable work" 
of theirs in bringing him before Him, any more than He does that of 
those who bring infants to Him in Holy Baptism. 

Son] St Luke, v. 20, gives the words thus, "Man, thy sins are 
forgiven thee." St Mark has preserved to us the tenderer word, even as 
St Matthew lias done in his account (Matt. ix. 22). 

thy sins] His sufferings may have been due to sinful excesses. Comp. 
the words of the Saviour to the man, who had an infirmity thirty and 
eight years, " Behold thou art made whole ; sin no more, lest a worse 
thing come unto thee," John v. 14. At any rate his consciousness of 
sin was such that it was necessary to speak to his soul before healing 
was extended to his body. See Luke vii. 48. 

be forgiven] The mood here is not optative but indicative. Thy 
sins are, or rather, have been forgiven thee. 

6. certain of the scribes] During our Lord's absence from Caper- 
naum it would seem there had arrived not only from Galilee, but even 
from Judaea and Jerusalem (Luke v. 17), Pharisees and lawyers, who 
were insidiously watching all that He did. Emissaries from the hostile 
party at Jerusalem, where the Lord's death had already been decreed 
(John v. 18), they proceeded to carry out a settled plan of collecting 
charges against Him and thwarting His work of mercy. 

7. blasphemies] for the claim to forgive sins implied a distinct 
equality with God in respect to one of His most incommunicable attri- 

8. in hit spirit] His soul was human, but His " Spirit " was divine, 
and by this divine faculty He penetrated and then revealed to them the 
"thoughts and counsels of their hearts," comp. Heb. iv. 12. On this 
peculiarly Divine faculty see 1 Sam. xvi. 7 ; 1 Chron. xxviii. 9 ; 2 Chron. 
vi. 30. 

9. Whether is it easier] Observe what is here contrasted. Not, 
"Which is easier, to forgive sin or to raise a paralytic?" but "Which is 

4 o ST MARK, II. [vv. 10 I 

10 say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye 
may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to for- 

ii give sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, 
Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 

is And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth 
before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and 
glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. 

1 3 2 2 . The Call of St Matthew ; the Discourse at his House. 

13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the mul- 

14 titude resorted unto him, and he taught them. And as he 
passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the 

easier, to claim this power or claim that ; to say, Thy sins be forgiven 
thee, or to say, Arise and walk "? as He had already said to the im- 
potent man at the pool of Bethesda (John v. 8). 

10. that ye may know'] "By doing that which is capable of being put 
to the proof, I will vindicate My right and power to do that which, in its 
very nature, is incapable of being proved." 

the Son of matt] This is the first time this title occurs in St Mark, 
where we find it 14 times. This title is never applied by the writers ol 
the Gospels themselves to the Eternal Son of God. Whenever it occurs, 
it is so applied by our Lord, and no other. There are only three excep- 
tions to this rule, (1) where the title is used by Stephen (Acts vii. 56), 
and (2) by St John (Rev. i. 13, xiv. 14). During, however, the period 
of His sojourn here on earth, there was no title our Lord was pleased so 
often and so constantly to apply to Himself. Son of a man He was 
not. Son of Man he was. The word used in the original for "man" 
implies human being, and the expression denotes that He who was the 
Son of God from all Eternity became the "Son of Man" in time, the 
second Adam, the second Head of our race, the crown of our humanity. 
For the expression in the O.T. see Dan. vii. 13. 

on earth] This power is not exercised, as ye think, only in heaven by 
God, but also by the Son of Man on earth. 

11. thy bed] The original word thus rendered means a portable 
pallet, little more than a mat, used for mid-day sleep, and the service 
of the sick. It was of the commonest description and used by the 

12. immediately] Observe the suddenness and completeness of the 
cure, and contrast it with the miracles of an Elijah (1 Kings xvii. 17 24), 
or an Elisha (2 Kings iv. 32 36). 

before them all] Now yielding before him and no longer blocking up 
his path. 

13 22. Call of St Matthew ; the Discourse at his House. 

13. he went forth] i. e. from the town of Capernaum to the shore of 
the Lake, probably through a suburb of fishers' huts and custom-houses. 



vv. 15, 16.] ST MARK, II. 41 

receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he 
arose and followed him. And it came to pass, that, as Jesus i 5 
sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also 
together with Jesus and his disciples : for there were many, 
and they followed him. And when the scribes and Phari- 16 
sees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto 

14. Levi] This was probably the name by which he was known to 
his Jewish brethren. He may have changed his name after and in 
memory of his call, so that he who had before been known by the name 
of Levi, was now known as Matthew, or Mattathias, a favourite name 
amongst the Jews after the Captivity, and= Theodore, the " Gift of God." 

son of Alphaus] Some have identified this Alphseus with Alphaeus 
the father of St James the Less. But in the lists of the Apostles 
the two are never named together, like other pairs of brothers in the 
Apostolic body. 

receipt of custom] Situated as Capernaum was at the nucleus of roads 
which diverged to Tyre, Damascus, Jerusalem, and Sepphoris, it was a 
busy centre of merchandise, and a natural place for the collection of 
tribute and taxes. 

Follow me] Though he belonged to a class above all others hated 
and despised by the Jews, trebly hated where, as in the present instance, 
the tax-gatherer was himself a Jew, yet the Lord did not hesitate to 
invite him to become one of the Twelve. 

and followed him] We cannot doubt that the new disciple had 
already listened to some of the discourses and beheld some of the 
wondrous miracles of Christ, so that he was now in the eyes of Him, Who 
read the heart, prepared for his call. 

15. sat at meat] It is St Luke who tells us that St Matthew made 
"a great feast" in honour of his new Master (Luke v. 29), and to it, per- 
haps by way of farewell, he invited many of his old associates. This 
shews that he had made large sacrifices in order to follow Christ; 
see Neander's Life of Christ, p. 230. 

publicans and sinners] The "publicans" properly so called were 
persons who farmed the Roman taxes and in later times were usually 
Roman knights and men of wealth and position. Those here alluded to 
were the inferior officers, natives of the province where the taxes were 
collected, called properly portitores. So notorious were they for rapacity 
and dishonesty that Suetonius {Vit. Vesp. 1.) tells us how several cities 
erected statues to Sabinus, "the honest publican;" and Theocritus in 
answer to the question, which were the worst kind of wild beasts, 
said, "On the mountains bears and lions; in cities, publicans and 
pettifoggers." The Jews included them in the same category with 
harlots and sinners; see Matt. xxi. 31, 32, xviii. 17. Observe that in 
his Gospel St Matthew alone styles himself in the list of the Apostles "the 

16. they said unto his disciples] Overawed by the miracles He had 
wrought and the overthrow they had lately experienced at the healing of 

42 ST MARK, II. [vv. 1721. 

his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with 

publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard //, he saith unto 
them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, 
but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but 

l8 sinners to repentance. And the disciples of John and of the 
Pharisees used to fast : and they come and say unto him, 
Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but 

, 9 thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the 
children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is 
with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, 

20 they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bride- 
groom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they 

a 1 fast in those days. No man also seweth a piece of new 

the paralytic, and not as yet venturing on any open rupture with Him, 
they vent their displeasure on His disciples. It is not likely that the 
Pharisees were present at the feast, or they would have involved 
themselves in the same blame. Probably they looked in while it 
was in progress, and afterwards came forward to the disciples coming 

18. the disciples of John"\ The contrast between their Master in 
prison and Jesus at the feast could not fail to be felt Perhaps the 
Pharisees had solicited them to make common cause with themselves 
in this matter. Their rigorous asceticism offered various points of con- 
tact between them and the disciples of the Baptist. 

used to fast] The Jews were wont to fast on Thursday because on that 
day Moses was said to have re-ascended Mount Sinai; on Monday 
because on that day he returned. Comp. the words of the Pharisee, 
Luke xviii. 12, "I fast twice in the week." Perhaps this feast took 
place on one of their weekly fasts. 

19. the children of the bridechamber] i. e. the friends and companions 
of the bridegroom, who accompanied him to the house of the bride for 
the marriage. Comp. Judges xiv. 11. 

the bridegroom] He reminds the disciples of John of the image 
under which their own great Master had spoken of Him as the Bride- 
groom (John iii. 29), at the sound of Whose voice he rejoiced. 

20. the days will come] The thought of death accompanies our 
Lord even to the social meal, and in the now undisguised hatred of His 
opponents He sees a token of what must hereafter come to pass. A dim 
hint of the same kind He had already given in His saying to the Jewish 
rulers, " Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up" (John 
ii. 19), and in His conversation with Nicodemus (John iii. 14). 

taken away] The same word is used by each of the Synoptists, and 
implies a violent termination of His life. The words occur nowhere 
else in the New Testament. This is the first open allusion recorded by 
St Mark, though probably little understood at the time, to the death, 
which was so soon to separate Him from His disciples. 

vv. 22 25.] ST MARK, II. 43 

cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up 
taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And a* 
no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new 
wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the 
bottles will be marred : but new wine must be put into new 

23 28. The Disciples pluck the Ears of Corn, 
And it came to pass, that he went through the corn 23 
fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they 
went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said 2 
unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that 
which is not lawful? And he said unto them, Have ye 2 s 

21. new cloth] Literally uncarded or unteazled cloth. 

else] i.e. if lie do, the new piece taketh from the old garment, and 
makes worse its original rents. 

22. new] Men do not pour new, or unfermented, wine into old and 
worn wine-skins. "My disciples," our Lord seems to say, "are not 
yet strong. They have not yet been baptized into the Spirit. They 
need tenderness and consideration. They could no more endure severe 
new doctrine than an old robe could the insertion of a piece of new 
cloth which had never passed through the hands of the fuller." In 
training His disciples our Lord never took the old wine from them till 
they were capable of relishing the new. In Rom. xiv. we have the best 
practical commentary on His words. 

23 28. The Disciples pluck the Ears of Corn. 

23. on the sabbath day] St Luke tells us that this was a "second 
first Sabbath" i. e. either (1) the first Sabbath after the second day of 
unleavened bread ; or (2) the first Sabbath in the second year of a 
Sabbatical cycle ; or (3) the first Sabbath of the second month (Luke 
vi. x). See Wieseler's Chronol. Synop. p. 353 sq. 

to pluck the ears of corn] From St Matthew we learn that they were 
an hutigred (Matt. xii. 1). The act described marks the season of the 
year. The wheat was ripe, for they would not have rubbed barley 
in their hands (Luke vi. 1). We may conclude therefore, the time 
was a week or two after the Passover, when the first ripe sheaf was 
offered as the firstfruits of the harvest. For the exact date of this 
Sabbath see Wieseler's Chronol. Synop. p. 225 sq. 

24. that which is not law/til] They did not accuse them of theft, 
for the Law allowed what they were doing (Deut. xxiii. 25). They 
accused them of profaning the Sabbath. The Law of course forbade 
reaping and threshing on that day, but the Rabbis had decided that 
even to pluck corn was to be construed as reaping, and to rub it as 
threshing. They even forbad walking on grass as a species of threshing, 
and would not allow so much as a fruit to be plucked from a tree uo 
that day. See Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. in Matt. xii. 2. 

44 ST MARK, II. III. [vv. 26-28; 1,2. 

never read what David did, when he had need, and was an 
6 hungred, he, and they that were with him? how he went 
into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high 
priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat 
but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with 

27 him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for 

28 man, and not man for the sabbath : therefore the Son of man 
is Lord also of the sabbath. 

1 6. The Man with the Withered Hand. 
3 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there 
2 was a man there which had a withered hand. And they 
watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath 

25. Have ye never read] Rather, Did ye never read ? With a gentle 
irony He adopts one of the favourite formulas of their own Rabbis, 
and inquires if they had never read what David their favourite hero 
had done when flying from Saul. He came to the high priest at Nob, 
and entered the Tabernacle, and ate of the hallowed bread (i Sam. 

-J xxi. 1 9), of the "twelve cakes of fine flour" which no stranger might 
eat (Ex. xxix. 33). 

26. Abiathar] In 7 Sam. viii. 17, and the parallel passage 1 Chron. 
xviii. 16, we find Ahimelech substituted for Abiathar ; while in 1 Sam. 
xx. 25, and every other passage of the O. T. , we are told it was 
Abiathar who was priest with Zadok in David's reign, and that he was 
the son of Ahimelech. Some therefore suppose that there is a clerical 
error here in the MSS. Others think that the loaves of shewbread 
belonged to Abiathar, at this time a priest (Lev. xxiv. 9), that he 
persuaded his father to let David have them, and gave them to him 
with his own hand. 

Ch. III. 16. The Man with the Withered Hand. 

1. And he entered] The narrative of St Mark here is peculiarly 
vivid and pictorial. He places the scene actually before us and relates 
it very much in the present tense. The incident occurred at Ca- 
pernaum, and probably on the next Sabbath. See Luke vi. 6. 

a withered hand] It is characteristic of the physician St Luke that 
he tells us it was his "right hand." It was probably not merely 
paralysed in the sinews, but dried up and withered, the result of a 
partial atrophy. Comp. 1 Kings xiii. 4, for the parallel case of Jeroboam. 
Such a malady, when once established, is incurable by any human art. 

2. they watched him] The same company of Scribes and Pharisees 
had gathered together from Judaea, Jerusalem, and Galilee itself (Luke 
v. 17), to find matter of accusation against Him. They watched Him 
with no friendly purpose. The word itself signifies stratagem and 
hostility : comp. Luke xx. 20, "And they watched Him and sent forth 
spies :" Acts ix. 24, " And they watched the gates day and night to 
kill him." 


vv. 36.] ST MARK, III. 45 

day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the 3 
man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he 4 
saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath 
days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held 
their peace. And when he had looked round about on them 5 
with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, 
he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he 
stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the 
other. And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took 6 

3. he saith'] It would seem that the Pharisees first asked Him, 
"Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?" (Matt. xii. 10). This " 
question He answered, as was His wont (Matt. xxi. 24), by a counter- 
question, " / will ask you one thing. Is it lawful on the Sabbath 
days to do good or to do evil? to save life or to destroy it ?" 

4. But they held their peace] St Mark alone mentions this striking 
circumstance, as also what we read in the next verse, that " He looked 
round about on them with anger" 

5. with anger] Not merely did He look upon them, He "looked 
round" upon them, surveyed each face with "an all-embracing gaze 
of grief and anger." Feelings of "grief" and "anger" are here 
ascribed to Him, who was " very God and very Man," just as in 
another place we read that "He wept" before the raising of Lazarus 
(John xi. 35), and " slept " before He stilled the storm (Mark iv. 38), 
and was an hungred (Matt. iv. 2), and was "exceeding sorrowful even 
unto death " (Matt. xxvi. 38). 

being grieved] The word here used occurs nowhere else in the New 
Testament, and implies "a feeling of compassion for," even in the midst 
of anger at, their conduct. 

hardness] The word thus rendered denotes literally (1) the process 
by which the extremities of fractured bones are re-united by a callus ; 
then (2) callousness, hardness. St Paul uses the word in Rom. xi. 25, 
saying, "I would not have you ignorant, brethren, ... that hardness 
(see margin) in part is happened to Israel;" and again in Eph. iv. 18, 
"Having the understanding darkened ... because of the hardness of 
their heart" (see margin again). The verb, which = " to petrify," "to 
harden into stone," occurs in Mark vi. 52, viii. 17; John xii. 40; 
2 Cor. iii. 14. 

whole as the other] This is one of the instances where our Lord 
may be said to have wrought a miracle without a word, or the employ- 
ment of any external means. It also forms one of seven miracles 
wrought on the Sabbath-day. The other six were, (1) The demoniac 
at Capernaum (Mark i. 21) ; (2) Simon's wife's mother (Mark i. 29); 
(3) the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda (John v. 9) ; (4) the 
woman with a spirit of infirmity (Luke xiii. 14) ; (5) the man who had 
the dropsy (Luke xiv. 1) ; (6) the man born blind (John ix. 14). 

6. And the Pharisees went forth] The effect of this miracle was 
very great. The Scribes and Pharisees were " 'filled with madness." 

46 ST MARK- III. [w. 7-9 

counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might 
destroy him. 

7 1 2. Withdrawal of Jesus to the Lake of Gcnnesaret. 

7 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the 
sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, 

8 and from Judaea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, 
and from beyond Jordan, and they about Tyre and Sidon, 
a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he 

9 did, came unto him. And he spake to his disciples, that a 
small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest 

the Saviour had not merely broken their traditions, but He had 
put them to silence before all the people. In their blind hate they 
did not shrink even from joining the Herodians, the court party, and 
their political opponents, and taking counsel with them how they might 
put Him to death. As before at Jerusalem so now in Galilee this 
design is deliberately formed. 

the Herodians] This is the first occasion on which the Herodians 
are mentioned. We shall meet with them again in Mark xii. 13, on 
the "Day of Questions" in Holy Week. Just as the partisans of 
Marius were called " Mariani," of Pompeius "Pompeiani," of Otho 
" Othoniani," so the partisans of Herod the Great and his successors 
were called " Herodiani." The sect was rather a political than a reli- 
gious body. Adopting Sadducean opinions, they held that the hopes 
of the Jewish nation rested on the Herods as a bulwark against Roman 
ambition, and almost looked to them for a fulfilment of the prophecies 
respecting the advent of the Messiah. They favoured the compro- 
mise between the ancient faith and later civilisation, which Herod 
inaugurated, and his successors endeavoured to realise. On one occa- 
sion our Lord warns his disciples against " the leaven of Herod " in 
close connection with "the leaven of the Pharisees" (Mark viii. 15; 
Luke xii. 1). Galilee being the chief centre of Christ's activity, the 
Pharisees from Judaea were glad on the present occasion to avail them- 
selves of any aid from the tetrarch of this part of Palestine and his fol- 
712. Withdrawal of Jesus to the Lake of Gennesaret. 

7. a great multitude] Observe the wide area from which the multi- 
tude were now gathered together; the region (1) of Tyre and Sidon 
and Galilee in the North of Palestine ; (2) of Judaea and Jerusalem in 
the centre, (3) of Peraea "beyond the Jordan" on the East, (4) of 
Idumaea in the extreme South. This is the only place where Idumaea, 
the country occupied by the descendants of Esau, is mentioned in the 
N. T. In the O. T. the name is found in Isai. xxxiv. 5, 6; Ezek 
xxxv. 15, xxx vi. 5. 

9. a small shig\ The life on the sea, in the ship which was 
His chief place of instruction in opposition to the synagogue, henceforth 
had its commencement. 


vv. 1014.] ST MARK, III. 47 

they should throng him. For he had healed many ; inso- 10 
much that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many 
as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw him, n 
fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of 
God. And he straitly charged them that they should not 12 
make him known. 

1 3 1 9. The Calling of the Twelve Apostles. 
And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto 13 
him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he 14 
ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that 

10. plagues] The word thus rendered denotes (1) a whip or scourge, 
and is used in this sense in Acts xxii. 24 ; Heb. xi. 36; (2) a. plague 
ox disease of the body. Comp. Mark v. 29, 34; Luke vii. 21. 

11. Thou art the Son of God] In the Synagogue of Capernaum 
they had called Him the " Holy One of God" (Mark i. 24), they now 
acknowledge Him as the "Son of God" (comp. Luke iv. 41). The 
force of the imperfect tense in the original here is very striking, "when- 
ever the demons saw Him, they kept falling down before Him and 

saying " and as often as they did so, " He straitly charged them that 

they should not make Him known," i. e. as the Messiah "the Son of God." 

13 19. The Calling of the Twelve Apostles. 

13. And he goeth] We have now reached an important turning- 
point in the Gospel History, (i) The fame of the Saviour had spread 
abroad in every direction throughout the land, and the current of 
popular feeling had set strongly in His favour. But (ii) the animosity of 
the ruling powers had deepened in intensity alike in Judaea and Galilee, and 
an active correspondence was going on between the Scribes and Pharisees 
in both districts respecting Him. Meanwhile (iii) He Himself had seemed 
to stand almost alone. A few indeed had gathered round Him as His 
disciples, but as yet they did not present the appearance of a regular 
and organized body, nor had they received a distinct commission to 
disseminate His doctrines. Such a body was now to be formed. Such 
a commission was now to be given. Accordingly He retired to the 
mountain-range west of the Lake, and spent the whole night in prayer 
to God (Luke vi. 12). The scene of His retirement and lonely vigil 
was in all probability the singular elevation now known as the KarSn 
Hattin, or " Horns of Hattin," the only conspicuous hill on the western 
side of the Lake, and "singularly adapted by its conformation both to 
form a place for short retirement, and a rendezvous for gathering multi- 
tudes." Then at dawn of the following day (Luke vi. 13), He 

calleth unto him whom he would] of the disciples, who had gradually 
gathered around Him, and when they had come to Him He selected 
for Himself (Luke vi. 13), and 

14. ordained twelve] Hitherto they had been His friends and 
disciples in a wider sense, now He formally called them, and joined 

48 ST MARK, III. [vv. 1517. 

15 he might send them forth to preach, and to have power 

16 to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: and Simon he sur- 

17 named Peter; and James the son of Zebedee, and John the 

them in a united band, mat (i) they "might be with Him " (comp. Acts 
i. 21), (ii) that He might "send them forth" as heralds to preach, and 
(iii) that they "might have power to cast out demons," for the words 
" to heal sicknesses" are omitted in some of the best MSS. 

(i) The number of the Apostles. The number selected, answering to 
the twelve sons of Jacob, was small indeed as compared with the 
hundreds who enrolled themselves as disciples of a Hillel or a Gamaliel, 
and their position in life was humble and obscure, but "the weak things 
of the world were to confound the things which are mighty" (1 Cor. i. 27), 
and these Twelve were to be the Twelve Pillars of the Church. 

(ii) Their calling and training. Observe that the calling and training 
of the Twelve was a most important part of our Lord's ministerial work. 
(a) Immediately after His Baptism and Temptation He began to pre- 
pare some of them for their future vocation (John i. 35 51); (b) to their 
training He devoted the greater part of His time and strength ; (c) after 
His resurrection He continued for forty days His personal efforts for 
their improvement, and (d) at last He bestowed upon them His pro- 
mised gift of the Holy Ghost. 

(iii) Their title. The name also which He gave to them deserves 
attention. He named them Apostles (Luke vi. 13). The word thus 
rendered means (i) as an adjective, despatched or sent forth, (ii) as a sub- 
stantive, the actual delegate of the person who sends him. 

(a) In Classical Greek the word was almost entirely restricted to 
the meaning of a "naval expedition," a "fleet despatched on foreign 
service," and this meaning entirely superseded any other. 

(b) In the Septuagint the word occurs only once, namely, in 1 Kings 
xiv. 6, in the sense of "a messenger," "one who has a commission from 
God," where Abijah says to the wife of Jeroboam, " I am a messenger 
unto thee of heavy tidings." 

{c) With the later Jews the word was in common use, and was the 
title of those, who were sent from the mother city on any foreign 
mission, especially the collection of the tribute for the Temple service. 

(d) Thus when He employed it to designate His immediate and most 
favoured disciples, " our Lord was not introducing a new term, but 
adopting one which from its current usage would suggest to His hearers 
the idea of a highly responsible mission." In Heb. iii. 1 He Him- 
self is styled " The Apostle and high "priest of our profession," with which 
compare John xvii. 18. Canon Lightfoot on the Epistle to the Galatians, 
p. 94. 

16. and Simon] We have in the New Testament four lists of the 
Apostles : (a) Matt. x. 2; {b) Mark iii. 16; (c) Luke vi. 14; (d) Acts i. 
13. The position of some of the names varies in the lists, but in all 
four the leaders of the three groups are the same, Peter, Philip, and 
James, the son of Alphaeus, while in all four Judas Iscariot is placed last. 
According to St Mark's catalogue they may be arranged in three groups ; 

v. 1 8.] ST MARK, III. 49 

brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which 
is, The sons of thunder: and Andrew, and Philip, and Bar- 1 

(i) 1 Peter. (ii) 5 Philip, (r^ (iii) 9 James the Less. 

2 James. 6 Bartholomew* 10 Thaddaeus. 

3 John. 7 Matthew. 1 1 Simon the Cananite. 

4 Andrew. 8 Thomas. 12 Judas Iscariot. 

(a) Group i. 
i. Simon. The name of Simeon (Acts xv. 14) or Simon, a 
"hearer," the son of Jonas (John i. 42, xxi. 16), whom our Lord sur- 
named Peter or Cephas, the Rock-man, stands first in all the four lists. 
He was brought up in his father's occupation, as a fisherman on the 
Galilean lake, and lived originally at Bethsaida, and afterwards in 
a house at Capernaum (Mark i. 21, 29). His earliest call came to him 
through his brother Andrew, who told him the Messias, the " Anointed 
One," had been found in the Person of the Lord (John i. 43). His second 
call took place on the lake near Capernaum, where he and the other three 
in this group were fishing. He is specially prominent on various occa- 
sions before the rest of the Apostles. Sometimes he speaks in their 
name (Matt. xix. 27 ; Luke xii. 41); sometimes answers when all are 
addressed (Matt. xvi. 16; Mark viii. 29); sometimes he is addressed as 
principal, even among the favoured Three by our Lord Himself (Matt. 
xxvi. 40; Luke xxii. 31); sometimes he is appealed toby others as repre- 
senting the rest (Matt. xvii. 24; Acts ii. 37). After the Ascension he 
assumes a position of special prominence (Acts i. 15, ii. 14, iv. 8, v. 29). 

17. ii. James the son of Zebedee and Salome (Matt, xxvii. 56; Mark 
xv. 40), a native of Bethsaida, commonly known as James "the Great," 
the first of the Apostolic body to suffer martyrdom, and the only one of 
the Twelve whose death is actually recorded in the New Testament. 

iii. John] the brother of James, who never in his Gospel calls him- 
self by this name, but sometimes "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 
xiii. 23, xix. 26), sometimes "the other disciple" (John xviii. 15, xx. 
2, 3). To him our Lord committed the care of His earthly mother. 
These brothers were surnamed by our Lord, according to St Mark, 
Boanerges, i.e. "sons of thunder," in allusion we may believe to the 
fiery intrepid zeal which marked their character. Of this feature we 
have traces in Luke ix. 54 ; Mark ix. 38, x. 37. 

18. iv. Andrew'] a brother of St Peter (Matt. iv. 18), and like him 
a native of Bethsaida, and a former disciple of the Baptist (John i. 40). 
By his means his brother Simon was brought to Jesus (John i. 41). In 
the lists of the Apostles given by St Matthew and St Luke he appears 
second; but in St Mark and Acts i. 13, fourth. We have three notices 
of him in the Gospels, (i) On the occasion of the feeding of the Five 
Thousand it is he who points out the little lad with the five barley loaves 
and the two fishes; (ii) when certain Greeks desired to see Jesus, it was 
he in conjunction with Philip who introduced them to the Lord (John 
xii. 22); (iii) together with Peter, James, and John he inquired privately 
of our Lord respecting His future coming (Mark xiii. 3). 


So ST MARK, III. [v. 19. 

tholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son o; 
19 Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, and 

(b) Group ii. 

v. Thilip] He also was a native of Bethsaida and one of the earliest 
disciples (John i. 43). To him first of the whole circle of the Apostles 
were spoken the solemn words "Follow Me." It was to him the ques- 
tion was put "to prove him," " Whence shall we buy bread, that these 
may eat?* (John vi. 5 9); together with his friend and fellow towns- 
man, St Andrew, he brought the inquiring Greeks to the Saviour 
(John xii. 20 22); it was he who asked "Lord, shew us the Father, and 
it sufficeth us" (John xiv. 8). 

vi. Bartholomew'] i.e. Bar-Tolmai, the "Son of Tolmai," and pro- 
bably identical with Nathanael = "gift of God" For (i) St John twice 
mentions Nathanael, never Bartholomew (John i. 45, xxi. 2); (ii) the 
other Evangelists all speak of Bartholomew, never of Nathanael; (iii) 
Philip first brought Nathanael to Jesus, and Bartholomew is mentioned 
by each of the Synoptic Evangelists immediately after Philip; (iv) St 
John couples Philip with Nathanael precisely in the same way that 
Simon is coupled with his brother Andrew. Respecting him, at least 
under the name Nathanael, we learn from the Gospels little more than 
(a) his birth-place, Cana of Galilee (John xxi. 2) ; (b) his simple, guileless 
character (John i. 47); and (c) that he was one of the seven, to whom 
our Lord shewed Himself by the lake of Gennesaret after His resurrec- 
tion (John xxi. 2). 

vii. Matthew] or Levi, whose call has just been described. See 
above, on ii. 14. 

viii. Thomas] or Didymus = twin (John xi. 16, xxi. 2), whose 
character was marked by a deep attachment to his Master and a readi- 
ness even to die with Him (John xi. 16), but at the same time by 
a tendency to misgiving and despondency, which made him ever ready 
to take the darker view of things, and to distrust other evidence than 
that of sight (John xiv. 5, xx. 25). 

(c ) Group iii. 

ix. James] or "James the Less" (see note below, xv. 40), the son of 
Alphaeus, so called to distinguish him from James, the son of Zebedee, 
mentioned above. He is probably a distinct person from James the 
Lord's brother (Gal. i. 19), and author of the Epistle, which bears his 

x. Thaddaus] i. e. Judas, a brother, or possibly a son of James, bishop 
of Jerusalem (Acts i. 13). He was surnamed Thaddaus and Lebbceus (Matt. 
x. 3), which some interpret as = "eordatus or attimosus" = " a man of 
energy and courage." He is the author of the Epistle which bears 
his name. Once only in the Gospels do we find any act or saying of 
his recorded, viz., in John xiv. 22, "Lord, how is it that thou wilt 
manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?" 

xi. Simon] the Cananite, or Canancean (Matt. x. 4), in Greek 
Zelotes (Luke vi. 15; Acts i. 13). The spelling of the English Version 
here is misleading. The word does not signify a native of Canaan, or 


.2o 23.] ST MARK, III. 51 

Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him : and they went into 
an house. 

20 30. How can Satan cast out Satan ? 

And the multitude cometh together again, so that they o 
could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends 21 
heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him : for they 
said, He is beside himself. And the scribes which came 22 
down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by 
the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. And he 23 

of Cana, but comes from a Chaldee or Syriac word Kane an or Kaneniah, 
by which the Jewish sect or faction of "the Zealots" was designated. 
To this sect Simon had probably belonged before his call. 

19. xii. Jiidas Iscariot] sometimes called the son of Simon (John 
vi. 71, xiii. 2, 26), more generally Iscariot, i.e. probably "a native 
of Kerioth," a little village in the tribe of Judah (Jos. xv. 25; Jer. 
xlviii. 24). For the probable motives that led him to become the 
traitor, see note on xiv. 10. 

and they went into an house] The incident here related took place 
after the delivery of the Sermon on the Mount, and the Saviour's 
second ministerial journey, an interval of a few months (?). 

20 30. How can Satan cast out Satan? 

20. tht multitude cometh together again] i. e. at Capernaum, which 
had now become our Lord's temporary home. 

21. when his friends] not the Apostles, but His relatives, including 
"His brethren and His mother," who are noticed here as going forth, 
and a few verses later on as having arrived at the house where our Lord 
was (Mark iii. 31), or the place where the crowds were thronging Him. 

He is beside himself] They deemed the zeal and daily devotion to 
His labour of love a sort of ecstasy or religious enthusiasm, which made 
Him no longer master of Himself. St Paul uses the word in this sense 
in 2 Cor. v. 13, " For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God. " Comp. 
the words of Festus to St Paul (Acts xxvi. 24). 

22. And the scribes] The hostile party from Jerusalem, noticed 
above, consisting of Scribes and Pharisees, still lingered at Capernaum. 

He hath Beelzebub] St Matthew tells us of the miracle, which was 
the occasion of this blasphemy, the cure of a man not only possessed with 
a demon, but also blind and dumb (Matt. xii. 11). Beelzebub or rather 
Beelzebu-/ was the title of a heathen deity, to whom the Jews ascribed the 
sovereignty of the "evil spirits." (a) Some would connect the name 
with zebul= habitation, so making it = the Lord of the dwelling (Malt. x. 
25), in his character of "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. ii. 2), or 
of the lower world, or as occupying a mansion in the seventh heavens. 
(b) Others would connect it with zebel=dung, and so make \t=the lord 
of dung ox the dung-hill, a term of derision amongst the Jews for the lord 
of idols, the prince of false gods. This fearful blasphemy was repeated 
more than once. See Luke xi. 17 sq. 


52 ST MARK, III. [vv. 24 3 

called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How 
u can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided 

25 against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house 

26 be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if 
Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot 

27 stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into a strong 
man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind 

28 the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Verily 
I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons 
of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blas- 

29 pheme : but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost 
hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damna- 

30 tion : because they said, He hath an unclean spirit. 

31 35. His Mother and His Brethren come to Him. 

31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, stand- 

32 ing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude 
sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother 

23. How can Satan cast out Satan?] Using an irresistible argumen- 
tum ad homitiem He shews them the absurdity of supposing that 
Satan could be his own enemy. If neither kingdom, nor city (Matt, 
xii. 25), nor house could stand, when divided against itself, much less 
could the empire of the Evil One. 

27. a strong maris house] The "strong man" is Satan; his House 
or Palace is this Lower world; the Stronger than the Strong is Christ, 
who first bound the Evil One, when He triumphed over his temptations. 
Comp. Luke xi. 21, 22. 

28. Verily I say unto you] a favourite formula of our Lord's, which 
we often find in St John, when He would draw special attention to any 
of His Divine utterances. 

29. but he that shall blaspheme] The sin, against which these words 
are a terrible but merciful warning, is not so much an act, as a state of 
sin, on the part of one, who in defiance of light and knowledge, of 
set purpose rejects, and not only rejects but perseveres in rejecting, the 
warnings of conscience, and the Grace of the Holy Spirit, who blinded 
by religious bigotry rather than ascribe a good work to the Spirit 
of Good prefer to ascribe it to the Spirit of Evil, and thus wilfully put 
"bitter for sweet" and "sweet for bitter," "darkness for light" and 
"light for darkness." Such a state if persevered in and not repented of 
excludes from pardon, for it is the sin unto death spoken of in 1 John v. 16. 

31 35. His Mother and His Brethren come to Him. 
31. his brethren] Their names, James, Joses, Simon, Judas, are 
given in Matt. xiii. 55 and Mark vi. 3. Some understand them to have 
been His literal "brethren," others think they were the sons of Cleophas 
and Mary, the sister and namesake of the Virgin. 

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w. 33-35; 1,2.] ST MARK, III. IV. 53 

and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered 33 
them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he 34 
looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, 
Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall 35 
do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, 
and mother. 

1 9. The Parable of the Sower. 
And he began again to teach by the sea side : and 4 
there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he 
entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole mul- 
titude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them 2 

32. seek for thee} They had already left the place where they 
abode, and gone forth in quest of Him; see above, v. 11. 

33. Who is] It is thought that the "brethren" wished to share in 
His fame, and to prove to the people their connection with Him and 
their influence over Him. But the tenderness of His love for His 
earthly mother, which He displayed so clearly upon the Cross, only 
brings out in stronger relief the devotion, with which He gave Himself 
up to the performance of the Will of His Father in heaven and the 
furtherance of His glory. "He despises not His Mother, He places 
before her His Father." Bengel. 

34. looked round] Another graphic touch peculiar to the second 
Evangelist. See Introduction, p. 18. Our Lord repeated the saying 
here recorded on another occasion, Luke viii. 21. 

Ch. IV. 19. The Parable of the Sower. 

1. by the sea side] The scenery round the Lake doubtless suggested 

many of the details of the Parables now delivered. (1) On the shore 

was the vast multitude gathered " out of every city " (Luke viii. 4) ; 

(2) from the fishing-boat the eye of the Divine Speaker would rest on 

(a) patches of undulating corn-fields with the trodden pathway running 
through them, the rocky ground of the hill-side protruding here and 
there, the large bushes of thorn growing in the very midst of the waving 
wheat, the deep loam of the good rich soil which distinguishes the 
whole of the Plain of Gennesaret descending close to the water's edge ; 

(b) the mustard-tree, which grows especially on the shores of the 
Lake ; (c) the fishermen connected with the great fisheries, which once 
made the fame of Gennesaret, plying amidst its marvellous shoals of 
fish, the drag-net or hauling-net (Matt. xiii. 47, 48), the casting-net 
(Matt. iv. 18 ; Mark i. 16), the bag-net and basket-net (Luke v. 49) ; 
(d) the women and children employed in picking out from the wheat 
the tall green stalks, called by the Arabs, Zuwdn = the Greek Zizania 
= the Lollia of the Vulgate, the tares of our Version ; (e) the countless 
flocks of birds, aquatic fowls by the lake-side, partridges and pigeons 
hovering over the rich plain. See Stanley's Sinai and Palestine, pp. 
425427 ; Thomson's Land and the Book, p. 402 ; Tristram's Land 
of Israel, p. 431. 



[vv. 37. 

3 many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, 

4 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: and it 
came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and 

5 the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some 
fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and im- 
mediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth : 

6 but when the sun was up, it was scorched ; and because it 

7 had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, 
and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no 

2. by parables\ (i) The Greek word thus rendered denotes (a) a 
placing beside, (b) a comparing, a comparison. In Hellenistic Greek it 
became coextensive with the Hebrew mdshdl= similitude, (ii) In this 
sense it is applied 

( 1 ) In the Old Testament, to 

(a) The shortest proverbs: as 1 Sam. x. 12, "Therefore it became 
a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets?" xxiv. 13, "Assaith 
the proverb of the ancients;" 2 Chron. vii. 20, "I will make it 
to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. " 

(b) Dark prophetic utterances: as Num. xxiii. 7, "And he took up 
his parable and said;" Ezek. xx. 49, "Ah Lord God! they say of 
me, Doth he not speak parables?" 

(c) Enigmatic maxims: as Ps. lxxviii. 2, "I will open my mouth 
in & parable;" Prov. i. 6, "the words of the wise and their dark 
sayings. " 

(2) In the Gospels, to 

(a) Short sayings: as Luke iv. 23, "Ye will surely say unto me 
this proverb, Physician, heal thyself." 

(b) A comparison without a narrative: as Mark xiii. 28, "Now learn 
its parable of the fig tree" (see note in loc. ). 

(c) Comparisons with narratives of earthly things with heavenly, as 
the Parables of our Lord. 

3. Hearken] This summons to attention is peculiar to St Mark. 
went out] The expression implies that the sower did not sow near 

his own house, or in a garden fenced or walled, but went forth into 
the open country. Thomson's land and the Book, p. 82. 

4. by the way side] i. e. on the hard footpath, or road, passing 
through the cultivated land. 

5. stony ground] This must be compared with "the rock" men- 
tioned by St Luke (viii. 6). What is meant is not a soil mingled 
with stones, for then there would be no hindrance to the roots striking 
deeply ; but a thin coating of mould covering the surface of a rock, 
which stretched below and presented an impassable barrier to the 
growth of the roots. 

6. when the sun was up] For the reference of the word thus 
translated to the rising of the sun or stars comp. Num. xxiv. 1 7 ; 
Is. lx. 1 ; Mai. iv. 2. 

7. thorns] The "Nabk" of the Arabs, which grows abundantly 

vv. 812.] ST MARK, IV. 55 

fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit 8 
that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some 
thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said 9 
unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 
10 25. The Explanatio?i of the Parable. 
And when he was alone, they that were about him with the 10 
twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, n 
Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of 
God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done 
in parables: that seeing they may see, and not perceive; " 

in Syria and Palestine, and of which the Crown of Thorns was pro- 
bably woven. 

and choked it] or as Wyclif translates it "bornes stieded up, and 
strangliden it. " The seed and the thorns grew together, but the thorns 
gradually out-topped it, drew the moisture from the roots, and shut out 
the air and light, so that it pined and dwindled, and "yielded no fruit." 

8. some thirty] St Luke says simply "and bare fruit an hundred- 
fold.'" St Matthew says "some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, some 
thirty-fold.^ St Mark begins from the lowest return, and ascends to 
the highest. It is said of Isaac that he sowed and "received in the 
same year an hundred-fold" (Gen. xxvi. 12). Herodotus tells us that 
two hundred-fold was a common return in the plain of Babylon, while 
a kind of white maize often in Palestine returns several hundred-fold. 
Observe the four kinds of soil. In the first the seed did not spring up at all ; 
in the second it sprang up, but soon withered away ; in the third it sprang 
up and grew, but yielded no fruit ; in the fourth it sprang up, grew, and 
brought forth fruit ; and as there are three causes of unfruitfulness, so 
there are three degrees of fruitfulness, but only one cause of fruitfulness. 

9. He that hath ears to hear] These solemn words are found in 
the three Gospels. Our Lord is recorded to have used them on six 
occasions ; (1) Matt. xi. 15 ; (2) xiii. 43 ; (3) Mark iv. 9 ; (4) iv. 23 ; 
(5) vii. 16 ; (6) Luke xiv. 35. They are not found in St John's Gospel, 
but occur eight times in the Book of Revelation, ii. 7, n, 17, 29, iii. 
6, r 3, 22, xiii. 9. 

10 25. The Explanation of the Parable. 

10. And when he was alone] St Mark here anticipates what took 
place after the Saviour had "sent the multitudes away" and "gone 
into the house " (Matt. xiii. 36). 

11. the mystery] The word Mystery denotes (1) a religious mystery 
like those of Eleusis, into which men were initiated ; (ii) a secret (as 
in 1 Cor. xv. 51); and is applied (a) to the Gospel itself (as here and 
in 1 Cor. ii. 7 ; Rom. xvi. 25 ; Eph. i. 9) j (/9) to the various parts and 
truths of the Gospel (Matt. xiii. 1 1 ; Luke viii. ro ; 1 Cor. iv. 1) ; 
(iii) to a symbolic representation or emblem (Rev. xvii. 5, 7). 

them that are without] Comp. 1 Cor. v. 1 2, 1 3 ; Col. iv. 5 ; 1 Thess. iv. 1 2. 

12. that seeing they may see, and not perceive] At the beginning of 

56 ST MARK, IV. [w. 1319. 

and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at 
any time they should be converted, and their sins should 

13 be forgiven them. And he said unto them, Know ye not 
this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? 

T 4 The sower soweth the word. And these are they by 

15 the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have 
heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word 

16 that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise 
which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard 

17 the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no 
root in themselves, and so endure but for a time : afterward, 
when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, 

18 immediately they are offended. And these are they which 

19 are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the 
cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the 

His ministry our Lord did not teach by Parables. "The Sermon on 
the Mount may be taken as the type of the ' words of grace ' which He 
spake 'not as the Scribes.' Beatitudes, laws, promises were uttered 
distinctly, not indeed without similitudes, but with similitudes that 
explained themselves. " And so He continued for some time. But His 
direct teaching was met with scorn, unbelief, and hardness. From this 
time forward "parables" entered largely into His recorded teaching, 
and were at once attractive and penal, (a) Attractive, as " instruments 
of education for those who were children in age or character," and 
offering in a striking form much for the memory to retain, and for the 
docile and truth-loving to learn ; {b) Penal, as testing the disposition of 
those who listened to them ; withdrawing the light from such as 
loved darkness and were wilfully blind, and protecting the truth from 
the mockery of the scoffer ; finding out the fit hearers, and leading them, 
but them only, on to deeper knowledge. See Article on Parables in 
Smith's Bible Diet. 

13. Know ye not this parable ?] For it afforded the simplest type 
or pattern of a Parable. 

all parables = all My Parables. 

14. The sozver] This is applicable to (i) Christ, who "came forth from 
the Father and was come into the world " (John xvi. 28) ; (ii) His 
Apostles; (iii) all who go forth in His Name, and with His authority. 
For other comparisons of the relations of the teacher and the taught to 
those between the sower and the soil, coirip. 1 Pet. i. 23 ; 1 John iii. 9. 

15. Satan] See note above, iii. 23. 

17. affliction'] The word thus translated denotes (i) pressure, that 
which presses upon or burdens the spirit ; then (2) the distress arising 
therefrom. The word tribulation rests upon this image, coming 
\t does from tribulum = the threshing-roller. 




w. 20-27.] ST MARK, IV. 

lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it be- 
cometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on 20 
good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and 
bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an 
hundred. And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be 21 
put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a 
candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be 22 
manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it 
should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him 2J 
hear. And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: 24 
with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: 
and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that * 5 
hath, to him shall be given : and he that hath not, from him 
shall be taken even that which he hath. 

26 29. The Seed growing secretly. 
And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man 26 
should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise 27 
night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he 

19. the cares of this world] The word rendered "cares" denotes 
m the original "distracting anxieties," which, as it were, "cut a man 
m sunder." St Luke expands the one word here employed into "cares " 
"riches," and "pleasures" (Luke viii. 14). 

21. 2s a candle brought] Rather, The lamp is not brought, is it? The 
article here points to the simple and indispensable furniture in every 
Jewish household. The original word means not a candle but a lamp. 
Wychf renders it, "Wher a lanterne come, bat it be put vndir a bushel?" 

to be put under a bushel] The original word Modius denotes a dry 
measure containing 16 sextarii, or about a peck. The English equiva- 
lent is greatly in excess of the Latin, as is noted in the margin. 

a candlestick] Rather, the lamp-stand. "Do not suppose that what I 
now commit to you in secret, I would have concealed for ever the 
light is kindled by Me in you, that by your ministry it may disperse the 
darkness of the whole world." Erasmus. 

24. with what measure ye mete] According to the measure of your 
ability and diligence as hearers, ye shall receive instruction, and be 
enabled to preach to others. 

25. hethathath] Comp. Matt. xiii. 12, xxv. 29; Luke viii. 18, xix. 26. 

26 29. The Seed growing secretly. 

26. as if a man should cast seed into the ground] This is the only 
parable which is peculiar to St Mark, and seems to take the place of 

the Leaven recorded by St Matthew (Matt. xiii. 33). 

27. spring and grow up] We need not inquire too minutely who 
the Sower is, though primarily it refers to the Lord Himself. It is the 

58 ST MARK, IV. [w. 2832. 

as knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of her- 
self; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in 

a 9 the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately 
he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. 

30 34. The Parable of the Mustard Seed. 

30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom 

31 of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? 77 
is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the 

32 earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth : but 
when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than 
all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls 

property of the seed which is intended to engage our attention, the 
secret energy of its own, the principle of life and growth within itself, 
whereby it springs up and grows. 

28. of herself] = of its own accord, spontaneously. It is used of the 
gate of St Peter's prison opening of its own accord in Acts xii. 10. 

first the blade] There is a law of orderly development in natural 
growth, so also is it in reference to spiritual growth; comp. r John ii. 
12 14. 

after that the fidl corn] or rather, then (there is) full corn in the ear. 

29. when the fruit is brought forth] Literally, when the fruit yields 
itself, or offers itself, i.e. is ripe. The original word only occurs 
here in this sense. Comp. Virgil Geo. I. 287, 

M Multa adeo gelida melius se nocte dedere." 

the sickle] The sickle is only mentioned here and in Rev. xiv. 14, 15, 

" And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat, 

like unto the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in 

His hand a sharp sickle." For the entire Parable comp. 1 Pet. i. 23 25. 

30- -34. The Parable of the Mustard Seed. 

30. Whereunto shall we liken] This method of asking a question 
before beginning a discourse was not unknown to the Rabbis. See the 
parallel in Luke xiii. 18. 

31. a grain of mustard seed] The growth of a worldly kingdom had 
been already set forth under the image of a tree, and that of the king- 
dom of God also had been similarly compared. (See Dan. iv. 10 12 ; 
Ezek. xvii. 22, 24, xxxi. 3 9.) 

in the earth] In St Matt. xiii. 31a man is represented as taking and 
sowing it "in his field," while St Luke, xiii. 19, says "in his garden." 

less than all the seeds] "Small as a grain of mustard seed" was a 
proverbial expression among the Jews for something exceedingly minute. 
The mustard-seed is not the least of all seeds in the world, but of all 
which the husbandman was accustomed to sow, and the "tree," when 
full grown, was larger than the other herbs in his garden. 

32. great branches] In hot countries, as in Judaea, the mustard 


w. 33-33.] ST MARK, IV. 59 

of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. And with 33 
many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they 
were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not 34 
unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all 
things to his disciples. 

35 4 1 . The Stilling of the Storm. 
And the same day, when the even was come, he saith 35 
unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And 36 
when they had sent away the multitude, they took him 
even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him 
other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, 37 
and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 
And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a 38 
pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, 

attains a great size. Thomson, Land and the Book, p. 414, tells us he 
has seen it on the rich plain of Akkar as tall as the horse and his rider. 
A variety of it may have been cultivated in the time of our Lord, which 
grew to an enormous size. 

^ the fowls'] The seed of the mustard-tree is a favourite food with 
birds. For the language comp. Ezek. xvii. 23. 

35-41. The Stilling of the Storm. 

35. he saith unto them] The three Synoptic Evangelists all agree 
in placing the Stilling of the Storm before the healing of the possessed 
in the country of the Gadarenes. 

the other side] After a long and exhausting day he needed retirement, 
and repose could nowhere be more readily obtained than in the solitude 
of the eastern shore. 

36. as he was] i. e. without any preparation for the voyage. Just 
before the boat put off three of the listeners to His words desired to 
attach themselves to Him as His disciples, (r) a scribe, (2) an already 
partial disciple, (3) another who wished first to bid farewell to his 
friends at home (Matt. viii. 1922 ; Luke ix. 5762). 

37. a great storm] The word here used is found in Luke viii. 23. 
The word employed in Matt. viii. 24 generally means an earthquake. 
It was one of those sudden and violent squalls to which the Lake of 
Gennesaret was notoriously exposed, lying as it does 600 feet lower than 
the sea and surrounded by mountain gorges, which act "like gigantic 
tunnels to draw down the cold winds from the mountains." These 
winds are not only violent, but they come down suddenly, and often 
when the sky is perfectly clear. See Thomson's Land and the Book, 
P- 374; Tristram's Land of Lsrael, p. 430. 

beat] Rather, kept beating. Comp. 'Matt. viii. 24. 

was now /till] Rather, was already filling, or beginning to fill. 

38. a pillow] The word only occurs here. It was probably the leather 
cushion of the steersman. These details we learn only from St Mark. 

6o ST MARK, IV. V. [vv. 39 41 ; 1, 

39 carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked 
the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And 

40 the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he 
said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye 

41 have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one 
to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind 
and the sea obey him? 

1 20. The Healing of the Gadarene Demoniac, 
5 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, 
2 into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come 
out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs 

Master] The double "Master?* "Master" of St Luke (viii. 24) gives 
vividness to their haste and terror. The exclamation recorded by St Mark 
sounds more like rebuke, as though He was unmindful of their safety. 

39. rebuked the wind] All three Evangelists record that He 
rebuked the wind (comp. Ps. cvi. 9), St Mark alone adds His distinct 
address to the furious elements. On be still see above, i. 25. Comp. 
Matt. viii. 26; Luke viii. 24, and note. The perfect imperative of the 
original implies the command that the result should be instantaneous. 

the wind ceased] Lit. grew tired. We have the same word in 
Matt. xiv. 32, and again in Mark vi. 51. As a rule, after a storm the 
waves continue to heave and swell for hours, but here at the word of the 
Lord of Nature there was a "great calm." 

Ch. V. 120. The Healing of the Gadarene Demoniac 

1. they came] to the eastern shore, but not even there was the Lord 
destined to find peace or rest. 

the Gadarenes] All three Gospels which record this miracle vary in 
their readings between (1) Gadarenes, (2) Gergesenes, and (3) Gerasenes. 
(o) Gadara, the capital of Percea, lay S. E. of the southern extremity of 
Gennesaret, at a distance of about 60 stadia from Tiberias, its country 
being called Gadaritis, {j3) Gerasa lay on the extreme eastern limit of 
Persea, and was too far from the Lake to give its name to any district on 
its borders, (7) Gergesa was a little town nearly opposite Capernaum, 
the ruined site of which is still called Kerza or Gersa. Origen tells us 
that the exact site of the miracle was here pointed out in his day. St 
Mark and St Luke using the word Gadarenes indicate generally the scene 
of the miracle, Gadara being a place of importance and acknowledged 
as the capital of the district. See Thomson's Land and the Book, pp. 

2. out of the tombs] These tombs were either natural caves or re- 
cesses hewn by art out of the rock, often so large as to be supported with 
columns, and with cells upon their sides for the reception of the dead. 
Such places were regarded as unclean because of the dead men's bones 
which were there (Num. xix. n, 16; Matt, xxiii. 27). Such tombs 
can still be traced in more than one of the ravines on the eastern side 
the Lake. Thomson's Land and the Book, p. 376. 


w. 310.] ST MARK, V. 61 

a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among 3 
the tombs ; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains : 
because that he had been often bound with fetters and 4 
chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, 
and the fetters broken in pieces : neither could any ma?i 
tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the moun- 5 
tains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with 
stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and wor- 6 
shipped him, and cried with a loud voice, and said, What 7 
have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high 
God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For 8 
he said unto him, Come out of the man, thour unclean spirit. 
And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, 9 
saying, My name is Legion : for we are many. And he k 

a man] St Matthew (viii. 28) mentions two demoniacs, St Luke 
(viii. 27), like St Mark, only speaks of one. Probably one was better 
known in the country round than the other, or one was so much fiercer 
that the other was hardly taken any account of. "Amid all the boasted 
civilisation of antiquity, there existed no hospitals, no penitentiaries, 
no asylums; and unfortunates of this class, being too dangerous and 
desperate for human intercourse, could only be driven forth from among 
their fellow-men, and restrained from mischief by measures at once 
inadequate and cruel." Farrar's Life of Christ, 1. p. 334. 

no, not with chains] This is a general expression for any bonds con- 
fining the hands or feet. Comp. Acts xxi. 33; Eph. vi. 20; Rev. xx. 
1 ; fetters were restricted to the feet. 

4. he had been often] Each Evangelist adds something to complete 
the picture of the terrible visitation, under which the possessed laboured. 
St Matthew that he made the way impassable for travellers (viii. 28) ; 
St Luke that he was without clothing (viii. 27) ; St Mark that he cried 
night and day and cut himself with stones (v. 5). 

broken in pieces] For another instance of the extraordinary muscular 
strength which maniacs put forth see Acts xix. 16. 

6. afar off] St Mark alone tells us this. While, as a man, he is 
attracted towards the Holy One ; as possessed by the Legion, he desires 
to withdraw from Him. 

7. What have I to do xvith thee?]- Literally, What is there between 
Thee and me? What have we in common? Why interferest Thou 
with us? 

/ adjure thee] Notice the intermixture of praying and adjuring, so 
characteristic of demoniac possession when brought into the presence of 

9. My name is Legion] "He had seen the thick and serried ranks 
of a Roman legion, that fearful instrument of oppression, that sign of . 
terror and fear to the conquered nations." Even such, terrible in their 
strength, inexorable in their hostility, were the "lords many," which 

62 ST MARK, V. [w. n 

besought him much that he would not send them away out 
xi of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the moun- 

12 tains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils 
besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may 

13 enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. 
And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the 
swine : and the herd ran violently down a steep place into 
the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked 

i 4 in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in 
the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what 

15 it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him 
that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, 
and clothed, and in his right mind : and they were afraid. 

16 And they that saw it told them how it befel to him that 
was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. 

17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. 

had dominion over him. Compare (i) the "seven demons," by whom 
Mary Magdalene was possessed (Luke viii. 1), (ii) the "seven other 
spirits" "worse than the first," which our Lord describes as taking up 
their abode in a man (Matt. xii. 45). 

10. out of the country] i.e. as it is expressed in St Luke, into "the 
abyss of hell" (viii. 31). 

11. a great herd of swine] The lawless nature of the country, where 
Jews lived mingled with Gentiles, the Evangelist denotes by the circum- 
stance of the two thousand swine, emphasizing the greatness of the herd. 
If their owners were only in part Jews, who merely trafficked in these 
animals, still they were not justified before the Law. The territory was 
not altogether Jewish. 

13. down a steep place] At Kerza or Gersa, "where there is no 
precipice running sheer to the sea, but a narrow belt of beach, the 
bluff behind is so steep, and the shore so narrow, that a herd of swine 
rushing frantically down, must certainly have been overwhelmed in the 
sea before they could recover themselves." Tristram's Iuind of Israel 
p. 462. 

the sea] This, as we have seen above (iii. 7), was one of the names, 
by which the Lake of Gennesaret was called. 

15. clothed] because, as St Luke informs us (viii. 27), before the 
wretched man wore no clothes. "On descending from the heights of Le- 
banon, I found myself, " writes Warburton, "in ^.cemetery... The silence 
of the night was now broken by fierce yells and howlings, which I dis- 
covered proceeded from a naked maniac, who was fighting with some 
wild dogs for a bone." %he Crescent and the Cross, II. 352. 

17. to depart out of their coasts] Many were doubtless annoyed at 
the losses they had already sustained, and feared greater losses might 
follow. "And their prayer was heard : He did depart; He took them 

vv. 1822.] ST MARK, V. 63 

And when he was come into the ship, he that had been pos- 18 
sessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. 
Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go 19 
home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord 
hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And 2C 
he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great 
things Jesus had done for him: and all ??ien did marvel. 
21 24. The Petition of ' Jairus. 
And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the 21 
other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was 
nigh unto the sea. And, behold, there cometh one of the 22 
rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw 

at their word; and let them alone" (cf. Exod. x. 28, 29). Trench on 
the Miracles, p. 177. 

18. And when he zvas come...] Rather, when He was In the act of 
stepping into the ship. 

that he might be with him] Either (i) in a spirit of deepest gratitude 
longing to be with his Benefactor, or (ii) fearing lest the many enemies, 
from whom he had been delivered, should return. Comp. Matt. xii. 
44, 45- 

19. and tell them] On others (comp. Matt. viii. 4 ; Luke viii. 56) 
after shewing forth towards them His miraculous power, He enjoined 
silence ; on this man He enjoined publicity. He appoints him to be a 
living memorial of His own saving Power, and so to become the first 
great preacher in the half-heathen district. 

20. Decapolis] When the Romans conquered Syria, B.C. 65, they 
rebuilt, partially colonized, and endowed with peculiar privileges "ten 
cities," the country which was called Decapolis. All of them lay, with 
the exception of Scythopolis, East of the Jordan, and to the East and 
South-East of the Sea of Galilee. They were (but there is some varia- 
tion in the lists), 1 Scythopolis, 1 Hippos, 3 Gadara, 4 Pella, 5 Phila- 
delphia, 6 Gerasa, 7 Dion, 8 Canatha, 9 Abila, 10 Capitolias. The name 
only occurs three times in the Scriptures, {a) here; (b) Matt. iv. 25, 
and (c) Mark vii. 31; but it seems to have been also employed to 
denote a large district extending along both sides of the Jordan. 

21 24. The Petition of Jairus. 

21. unto the other side] i.e. the western side of the Lake, near 

22. the rulers of the synagogue] Each synagogue had a kind of 
Chapter or College of Elders, presided over by a ruler, who superin- 
tended the services, and possessed the power of excommunication. 
From this place, e.g., compared with Acts xiii. 15, it would appear 
that some synagogues had several rulers. 

Jairus by name] It is but rarely we know the names of those who 
were the objects of the Saviour's mercy. He afterwards probably was 

64 ST MARK, V. [vv. 23 29. 

^ 3 him, he fell at his feet, and besought him greatly, saying, 
My little daughter lieth at the point of death : I pray thee f 
come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; 

? and she shall live. And Jesus went with him; and much 
people followed him, and thronged him. 
25 34. The Healing of the Woman with an Issue of Blood. 

25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve 

26 years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and 
had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather 

27 grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press 

28 behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may 
?9 touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway 

the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her 

one of those who came to the Lord pleading for the centurion at 
Capernaum (Luke vii. 3). The aid he then asked for another, he now 
craves for himself, but under the pressure of a still greater calamity. 

23. My tittle daughter] His "only daughter," Luke viii. 42. The 
use of diminutives is characteristic of St Mark. Here we have "little 
daughter;" in v. 41 "damsel," or "little maid;" in vii. 27, "dogs = 
"little dogs" "whelps;" in viii. 7, a few " small fishes ;" in xiv. 47, his 
ear, literally "a little ear." She was about 12 years of age, Lk. viii. 42. 

at the point of death] The original word here used is one of the 
frequent Latinisms of St Mark. See Introduction. She lay a dying 
(Luke viii. 42), and all but gone when he left her, the sands of life 
ebbing out so fast, that he could even say of her that she was "dead" 
fMatt. ix. 18), at one moment expressing himself in one language, at 
the next in another. 

24. thronged him] The word thus rendered only occurs here and at 
v. 31. 

2534. The Healing of the Woman with an Issue of Blood. 

25. a certain woman] "Such overflowing grace is in Him, the 
Prince of Life, that as He is hastening to the accomplishing of one 
work of 1 1 is power, He accomplishes another, as by the way." Trench, 
p. 188. 

an issue of blood] Her malady was especially afflicting (Lev. xv. 
19 27), for not only did it unfit her for all the relationships of life, but 
was popularly regarded as the direct consequence of sinful habits. 

28. his garment] The law of Moses commanded every Jew to wear 
at each corner of his tallith a fringe or tassel of blue, to remind them 
that they were God's people (Num. xv. 37 40; Deut. xxii. 12). "Two 
of these fringes usually hung down at the bottom of the robe, while one 
hung over the shoulder where the robe was fastened round the person. " 
Those who wished to be esteemed eminently religious were wont to 
make broad, or "enlarge the borders of their garments " (Matt.xxiii. 5). 

29. of that plague] On this word see above, note on iii. 10. 

vv. 3^36.] ST MARK, V. 


body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, im- 30 
mediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of 
him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched 
my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest * 
the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched 
me? And he looked round about to see her that had done v 
this thing But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing 33 
what was done m her, came and fell down before him, and 
told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy 34 
faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of 
thy plague. 

3543- The Raising of the Dattghter ofjairus. 
While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the 35 
synagogues house certain which said, Thy daughter is 
dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As 3 6 

J^JEaraLxttS { foi:\ :; th ^\r of ? is , Spirit 

(Mark v . 30) the magnetic foS ^*\^'^*^^ 

Luke vni. 46). "Many throng Him, but only one touches Him ^ 

Caro premit fides tangit," says St Augustine. * ' 

32 he looked round] Another proof of St Mark's eraphic oower 

kt T Z the ginal is stiU more expressive. It denotes that S 
kept on looking all round, that His eyes wandered over one after e 

rn^thing G * y *"* hebn Him > tdl the ^ fel1 - hefw^bM 

JcLi(T^ tlf ^ling\ She may have dreaded His anger, for 

^T^SV- ^ SouotsSf- - <* 
go in peace] This is not merely "go with a blessincr K* M t 

miseriam, beneficium durabile." Bengel P er P etuo ' Post Angara 

35 7 43 ' T HE RAISING F the Da ughter of Jairus. 

in Si L^f^'fa'*"'"?* ' "' litera1 ^ rendered ' * is 
The wo^LvSSafiSd C K" -<>t the Master any further^ 
alone by St Mark and St T w ' Tt T hlcl ?. 1S , used here and he ' e 
(1) to flay -the* ThUo Lw ( f Cept Luk , G Vii - 6) ' denotes P r P eil y 
ilLiof to fangu/n^ ^liSSj^ ^ a ^ ^^ 



66 ST MARK, V. [vv. 37- 

soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto 

37 the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. And 
he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and 

38 John the brother of James. And he cometh to the house of 
the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them 

39 that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he 
saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel 

40 is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 
But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and 
the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and 

41 entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the 
damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which 

42 is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And 
straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the 

36. heard] Perhaps according to a better reading, " overheard." 
The very instant the Lord heard the message, He hastens to reassure 
the ruler with a word of confidence and encouragement. 

37. save Peter, and James, and John] This is the first time we 
hear of an election within the election. "That which He was about to 
do was so great and holy that those three only, the flower and crown of 
the Apostolic band, were its fitting witnesses." The other occasions 
when we read of such an election were equally solemn and significant, 
(1) the Transfiguration (Matt. xvii. 2); and (2) the Agony in the 
Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. xxvi. 37). 

38. them that wept'] These were the hired mourners, chiefly 
women; whose business it was to beat their breasts (Luke viii. 52), and 
to make loud lamentations at funerals; comp. 1 Chron. xxxv. 25; Jer. ix. 
17, 18; Amos v. 16. The Rabbinic rule provided for the poorest 
Israelite at least two flute-players, and one mourning woman. "A 
Ruler of the Synagogue, bereaved of his only child, may well have been 
prodigal in the expression of his grief." 

39. but sleepeth] Comp. His words in reference to Lazarus (John xi. 
n). The Lord of life takes away that word of fear, "She is dead," 
and puts in its room that milder word which gives promise of an 
awakening, ' ' She sleepeth. ' ' 

41. Talitha cumi] = "Little Maid, arise." Doubtless St Peter, who 
was now present, often recalled the actual words used on this memorable 
occasion by our Lord, and told them to his friend and kinsman St 
Mark. So it is the same Evangelist, who preserves the very word, 
which our Lord used, when He opened the eyes of the blind man, 
Ephphatha (vii. 34). The mention of these words goes to prove that in 
ordinary life our Lord availed Himself of the popular Aramaic dialect. 

42. And immediately her spirit came again and she arose straightway 
(Luke viii. 55), and began to walk. There is no struggle, no effort on 
His part, Who is "the Resurrection and the Life" (John xi. 25) ; we 
read of no "crying unto the Lord," or "stretching himself upon the 

w. 43; i, 2.] ST MARK, V. VI. 


age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great 
astonishment. And he charged them straitly that no man 
should know it; and commanded that something should be 
given her to eat. . 6 

I ~ 6 - Christ is despised at Nazareth. 
And he went out from thence, and came into his own 6 
country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sab- a 
bath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue- 
and many hearing ^ were astonished, saying, From whence 
hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this 
which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are 

He SSf 'T 8 " aS i n th ^ ase of Eli > h at Sar epta (1 Kings xvii. 21); 

Sh ht UP T thG ChlW ' r Putteth his mouth upon her mouth 

^ d nfFK U ?v her e ? 6S ' and his hands u P n h er hands" as in the 

is obeyed ^ ^ "' 34) ' He SpeakS b * a WOrd and instantl y hI 

a rr astonishment] The word thus rendered denotes some 

sTpee)feS' ? " A ? SX 'A> <<butwhile theymaTready he 
Jbt mer) fell into a trance ;" and Acts xxii. 17, "while I prayed in the 
temple, I wasin^ with which comp. J Cor. x 1. Wl^ 
JJ *, as in Luke v. ,6, "and amazemlnt seized all;" Ma k xv 8 
trernblm g and amazement seized them;" Acts Hi. ,0, "and they were 
of^s^ HerG * P intS t0 a * ^ 

Ufwk someth ^ n S^ouldbegivenhertoeat\ At once to strengthen the 
life thus wonderfully restored, and to prove that she was no spirit out 
had really returned to the realities of a mortal existence. P ' 

Ch. VI. 16. Christ is despised at Nazareth 
JLa*? T H c ^ r y] that is > Nazareth. From this time forward He 
Lsemb/ed fe ? " f ldin S res . iden ^ at Capernaum, although He still 
assembled His disciples on passing occasions. This visit to Nazareth i 
recorded only by St Matthew and St Mark Nazareth is 

Luke \v if so t0 TZ k *'*ygF<0 For his former visit here see 
jL.UKe iy. 10 sq. The conduct of His hearers on this occasion did not 
betray the frantic violence exhibited at His first visit 

hv7f W ^ J Rath . er ' P0WerS - Thi s is one of the four names giver 
by the Evangelists to the miracles which the Lord was pleased to work 
while mcarnate here on earth. They are called : P k 

( withoSer n?n,e a '?? "^ **? ^^ but aIwa ? s in conjunction 
W ^ "n ^y^^^nually styled "signs and wonders," 
or signs or "powers" alone, but never "wonders" alone Bv 

h" bTholde/ fT f f US' ^ Which the k produces 5 

occur ^ in Vm f " the W rk itSeIf ' The word only 

S "sig^s." ' m XU1 - 22 ' and there U is injunction 

(0) ".Sfc** M as being tokens and indications of something beyond 


n of 

68 ST MARK, VI. |v 

3 wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of 
Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and 

themselves, of the near presence and working of God, the seals 
and credentials of a higher power. The word is an especial 
favourite with St John, though in our Version "sign" too often 
gives place to the vaguer "miracle," to the great detriment of the 
true meaning and force of the word. It occurs three times in St 
John, twice in St Mark, xvi. 17, xvi. 20 alone, and once in conjunc- 
tion with "wonders," xiii. 22. 
(7) "Powers," that is of God, coming into and working in this 
world of ours. As in the "wonder" the effect is transferred and 
gives a name to the cause, so here the cause gives its name to the 
effect. The word occurs four times in St Mark : v. 30 (A. V. virtue), 
vi. 2, vi. 14, ix. 39. In our Version it is rendered sometimes "won- 
derful works" (Matt. vii. 22), sometimes "mighty works" (Matt. 
xi. 20; Mark vi. 14; Luke x. 13), and still more frequently "mira- 
cles" (Acts ii. 22, xix. 11 j Gal. iii. 5), thus doing away with a 
portion of its force. 
(S) " Works." This is a significant term very frequently used by St 
John. With him miracles are the natural form of working for Him, 
whose Name is Wonderful (Isaiah ix. 6), and Who therefore doeth 
"works of wonder." Comp. John vi. 28, vii. 21, x. 25, 32, 38, 
xiv. 1 1, &c. See Abp. Trench on the Parables, Introd. 
3. Is not this the carpenter ?] Save in this one place, our Lord is 
nowhere Himself called ' ' the Carpenter. " According to the custom of 
the Jews, even the Rabbis learnt some handicraft. One of their pro- 
verbs was that "he who taught not his son a trade, taught him to be a 
thief." Hence St Paul learnt to "labour with his own hands" at the 
trade of a tent-maker (Acts xviii. 3; 1 Thess. ii. 9; 1 Cor. iv. 12). "In 
the cities the carpenters would be Greeks, and skilled workmen ; the 
carpenter of a provincial village could only have held a very humble 
position, and secured a very moderate competence." Farrar's Life of 
Christ, 1. 81. 

the brother of James, and Joses. . . ] The four " brothers " here mentioned , 
and "the sisters," whose names are nowhere recorded, were in all pro- 
bability the children of Clopas and Mary, the sister and namesake of the 
blessed Virgin, and so the "cousins" of our Lord. (Compare Matt, 
xxvii. 56 with Mark xv. 40 and John xix. 25.) Joseph would seem 
to have died at some time between a.d. 8 and a.d. 16, and there is no 
reason for believing that Clopas was alive during our Lord's ministry. 
It has been suggested, therefore, that the two widowed sisters may have 
lived together, the more so as one of them had but one son, and He was 
often taken from her by His ministerial duties. Three other hypotheses 
have been formed respecting them: (1) that they were the children of 
Joseph by a former marriage; (2) that they were the children of Joseph 
and Mary; (3) that Joseph and Clopas being brothers, and Clopas 
having died, Joseph raised up seed to his dead brother, according to 
Levirate law. 

.0 the 

w. 4 8.] ST MARK, VI. 6 9 

Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were 
offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is 4 
not without honour, but in his own country, and among his 
own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no s 
mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick 
folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their 6 
unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. 
7 13. Mission of the Twelve. 
And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send 7 
them forth by two and two; and gave them power over 
unclean spirits; and commanded them that they should take 8 
nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no 

4. A prophet is not without honour} He repeats to them once more 
almost the same proverb which He before uttered in their hearing and 
from the same place (Luke iv. 24). & 

5. no mighty work] Literally, no power. He performed some 
miracles, but not all He would have done, because of their deep- 
seated unbelief. His miraculous power was not magical. It was an 
influence which required and presupposed faith. 

6. he marvelled] Our Lord does not marvel at other human things 
generally, but He does marvel on the one hand, at faith, when, as in 
the case of the centurion, it overcomes in its grandeur all human hin- 
drances, and, on the other, at unbelief, when it can, in the face of 
numerous Divine manifestations, harden itself into a wilful rejection of 
Himself. He now seems to have left Nazareth never to return to it 
or preach in its synagogue, or revisit the home, where He had so long 
toiled as the village Carpenter. s 

hezuent roundabout] On the evening of the day of His rejection 
at Nazareth, or more probably on the morrow, our Lord appears to have 
commenced a short circuit in Galilee, in the direction of Capernaum. 
713. Mission of the Twelve. 

7. he called] Rather, He calleth unto Him. 

two and two] St Mark alone records this. They were sent forth 
probably in different directions on a tentative mission, to make trial 
of their powers and fit them for a more extended mission afterwards. 
Their election had taken place in the solitude of a mountain range their 
nrst mission occurred amidst the busy towns and villages of Galilee 

8. and commanded them] Now follows a brief summary of the charge 
which the Lord proceeded to give them on this occasion, and which 
is recorded at far greater length by St Matthew, x. 542. 

save a staff] They were to go forth with their staff as they had 
it at the time but they were not (Matt. x. 10) to "seek," or "procure 
on* carefully for the purposes of this journey. The "staff" in 
Matt. x. 10, depends on "acquire not" or "provide not for yourselves" 

70 ST MARK, VI. [vv. 9 

9 bread, no money in their purse : but be shod with sandals ; 
10 and not put on two coats. And he said unto them, In what 

place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart 
ia from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor 

hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under 

no scrip] Scrip, from Sw. skrappa, denotes a "wallet" or "small 
bag." Comp. 1 Sam. xvii. 40, "And (David) took his staff in his 
hand and chose him five smooth stones, and put them in a shepherd's 
bag which he had, even in a scrip." It was so called, perhaps, because 
it was designed to hold scraps, trifling articles, scraped off as it were 
from something larger. It was part of the pilgrim's or traveller's 
equipage: comp. Piers Ploughman 's Vis. 3573; 
"I seigh nevere palmere 
With pyk ne with ScrippeJ 
and Shakespeare, As you like it, in. 2. 171, 

"Though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage." 
The scrip of the Galilean peasants was of leather, "the skins of kids 
stripped off whole, and tanned by a very simple process," used es- 
pecially to carry their food on a journey, and slung over their shoulders 
(Thomson's Land and the Book, p. 355). 

no money] "There was no departure from the simple manners of 
the country in this. At this day the farmer sets out on excursions, 
quite as extensive, without a para in his purse, and a modern Moslem 
prophet of Tarshisha thus sends forth his apostles over this identical 
region. No traveller in the East would hesitate to throw himself 
on the hospitality of any villager." Thomson's Land and Book, p. 346. 

9. be shod with sandals] That is, they were to take no other shoes 
with them for travelling "than their ordinary sandals of palm -bark." 
So now "the Galilean peasants wear a coarse shoe, answering to the 
sandal of the ancients, but never take two pair with them." 

two coats] That is, they were not to take with them a change of 

10. there abide] "When a stranger arrives in a village or an 
encampment, the neighbours, one after another, must invite him to eat 
with them. There is a strict etiquette about it, involving much 
ostentation and hypocrisy : and a failure in the due observance of 
this system of hospitality is violently resented, and often leads to 
alienation and feuds among neighbours. It also consumes much time, 
causes unusual distraction of mind, leads to levity, and everyway 
counteracts the success of a spiritual mission. The Evangelists... were 
sent, not to be honoured and feasted, but to call men to repentance, 
prepare the way of the Lord, and proclaim that the kingdom of heaven 
was at hand. They were, therefore, first to seek a becoming habitation 
to lodge in, and there abide until their work in that city was accom- 
plished." The Land and the Book, p. 347. 

11. the dust under your feet] For instances of the carrying out of 
this command, compare the conduct of St Paul at Antioch in Pisidia, 

w. 12 15.] ST MARK, VI. 71 

your feet for a testimony against them. Verily 1 bay unto 
you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in 
the day of judgment, than for that city. And they went out, 12 
and preached that men should repent. And they cast out 13 
many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and 
healed them. 

14 29. The Murder of John the Baptist. 
And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread m 
abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen 
from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth 
themselves in him. Others said, That it is Elias. And 15 
others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets. 

Acts xiii. 51, and at Corinth, Acts xviii. 6. The action must be 
regarded as symbolical of a complete cessation of all fellowship, and 
a renunciation of all further responsibility. It was customary with 
Pharisees when they entered Judasa from a Gentile land, to do this 
in token of renunciation of all communion with heathenism; those 
who rejected the Apostolic message were to be looked upon as those 
who placed themselves beyond the pale of fellowship and communion. 

13. anointed with oil] St Mark alone mentions this anointing as the 
method, whereby the healing of the sick was effected. Though not 
expressly ordered, it was doubtless implied in the injunction to " heal 
the sick" (Matt. x. 8). The prophet Isaiah (i. 6) alludes to the use of 
oil for medicinal purposes, and we find this form of cure prescribed 
thirty years later than this Gospel, by St James in his general Epistle 
(v. 14). It was much used by the Jews for curative purposes, and 
thus supplied at once a fitting symbol and an efficient means in these 
miraculous cures wrought by the Apostles. For the use of the sym- 
bolical media by our Lord Himself com p. Mark viii. 33 ; John ix. 6. 

1429. The Murder of John the Baptist. 

14. And king Herod heard of him] This first missionary journey 
of the Apostles was but short, and they would seem to " have returned 
to Capernaum as early as the evening of the second day," Bp. Ellicott's 
Gospel History, p. 196. This Herod was Herod Antipas, to whom, 
on the death of Herod the Great, had fallen the tetrarchy of Itursea 
and Persea. He is here called "king," or "prince," in the ancient 
and wide sense of the word. St Matt. (xiv. 1), and St Luke (ix. 7), 
style him more exactly "the tetrarch." 

his name] It is peculiar to St Mark that he connects the watching 
observation of Herod Antipas with the work of Christ as extended 
by the preaching and miracles of His Apostles. 

was risen from the dead] Herod's guilty conscience triumphed over 
his Sadducean profession of belief that there is no resurrection. Comp. 
Matt. xvi. 6; Mark viii. 15. 

72 ST MARK, VI. [w. 16 

16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I 

17 beheaded : he is risen from the dead. For Herod himself 
had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in 
prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife : for he 

18 had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not 

19 lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. Therefore Hero- 
dias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him ; 

16. // is John] The words in the original, according to the best 
MSS., are very striking. John whom I ( = / myself; the pronoun 
"has the emphasis of a guilty conscience") beheadedthis is he he 
is risen. Josephus confirms the account of these forebodings when 
he tells us that after the utter defeat of Herod Antipas by Aretas, 
the people regarded it as a righteous retribution for the murder of 
John (Jos. Ant. xviii. 5. 1, 2). 

17. For Herod] St Mark now proceeds more fully than the first 
Evangelist to relate the circumstances of the murder of the Baptist. 

for Herodias' sake] During one of his journeys to Rome, Herod 
Antipas had fallen in with Herodias the wife of his brother Herod 
Philip, a son of Herod the Great and Mariamne, who was living there 
as a private person. Herodias was not only the sister-in-law, but 
the niece of Antipas, and already had a daughter who was grown up. 
Herod himself had long been married to the daughter of Aretas, Emir 
of Arabia Petraea, but this did not prevent him from courting an adul- 
terous alliance with Herodias, and she consented to become his wife, on 
condition that the daughter of the Arabian prince was divorced. But the 
latter, suspecting her husband's guilty passion, did not wait to be divorced, 
and indignantly fled to the castle of Machaerus, and thence to her father's 
rocky fortress at Petra, who forthwith assembled an army to avenge 
her wrongs, and defeated Herod in a decisive battle (Jos. Ant. v. 1). 

18. For John had said] Herod was probably on his way to meet his 
father-in-law, when he first encountered the Baptist, who, in the 
presence of the Galilean king, proved himself no "reed shaken by 
the wind" (Luke vii. 24), but boldly denounced the royal crimes (Luke 
iii. 19), and declared the marriage unlawful. For this outspoken 
faithfulness he was flung into prison, probably in the castle of Machaerus 
or "the Black Fortress," which Herod's father had built in one of the 
most abrupt wadys to the east of the Dead Sea, to overawe the wild 
Arab tribes of the neighbourhood. Though originally in the possession 
of Aretas, Herod had probably seized the fortress after the departure of 
his first wife to her father's stronghold at Petra (Jos. Ant. xviii. 5. 2). 

19. had a qtiarrel] or as it is rendered in the margin, " had an 
inward grudge'' against him. The word here translated "had a 
quarrel" occurs in Luke xi. 53, where we have rendered it, "and the 
Pharisees began to urge Him vehemently," and in Gen. xlix. 23, 
where the dying Jacob says of Joseph, "The archers sorely grieved 
him, and shot at him, and hated him." It denotes literally (1) to 
"hold" or "keep fast within one;" then (2) to "lay up" or "cherish 

rv. 20 22.J ST MARK, VI. 


but she could not: for Herod feared John, knowing that he *c 
was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when 
he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. 
And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his 
birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief 
estates of Galilee; and when the daughter of the said Hero- 22 
dias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them 
wrath" against another. Comp. Herod. 1. 118, vi. no. In Tyndale 
and Cranmers Versions it is rendered "laid waite for him," in the 
Knemish, " sought all occasion against him." 

would have killed] The word in the original is much stronger, and 
denotes that she had a settled wish to kill him. Some Versions read 

she sought or "kept seeking" means to kill him. 

20. observed him] Rather, as in the margin, kept him, i. e kept 
him safe from her machinations. The original word occurs in Matt 
ix. 17, and Luke v. 38, "they put new wine into new bottles, and both 
are preserved." 

when he heard him] The Greek here is still more emphatic ; "and 
when he heard him, he used to do many things, and used to 
listen to him gladly." Not once or twice but many times Herod 
sent for his lonely prisoner, even as Felix sent for St Paul (Acts xxiv. 
26), and listened to him as he reasoned with him of righteousness 
temperance, and judgment to come, and not only listened, but listened 
gladly; nay more he "did many things;" many things, but not "the 
thing. He would not put away his unlawful wife. 

21. a convenient day] i. e. a suitable day for her fell designs. 

on his birthday] In imitation of the Roman emperors, the Herodian 
princes kept their birthdays with feasting and revelry and magnificent 
banquets. Wieseler, however, considers the word denotes a feast cele- 
brating Herod s accession, but this is more than doubtful. Birthdav 
festivals were one sample of foreign habits introduced into Palestine 
and spread there by the Herodians. "ie&une 

made a supper] probably at Machaerus or some neighbouring palace. 

lords high captains] or chiliarchs." The words here used denote 
servants of the state, civil and military 

CaSn'noKi 1 ThiS 'T d T t6S men f hi S h rank > and deludes the 
Galilaean nobles generally. Comp. Fuller Ch. Hist. v. iii 28 "God 

rrich g r a n g " ce s?^ kno T ledge ? f H , iy ? cripture to * * ** 

or rich man State is also employed m the same way. Thus Adams 

hl^ ( 1Ch 1S /"f^ Divines) > Sin deals wi * ^ guests a S tS 
bloody prince that having invited many great states to a solemn feast " 
J?,' a dau S ht ^ l f--^dias] Her name was Salome, and she 
ulcle and TTTt^ 1? ^ tetmrch f Gonitis, her paternal 
Z Period tl bulU !5 ? e km < Ch * 1 - " A luxurious feast of 
Lrosf^rl regarded as complete unless it closed with some 

?h >L$ f I mi , ^presentation ; and doubtless Herod had adopted 
e evil fashion of his day. But he had not anticipated for his guests 
the rare luxury of seeing a princess- his own niece, a granddaughter of 

74 ST MARK, VI. [vv. 23 

that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of 

23 whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware 
unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give // 

24 thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, 
and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, 

25 The head of John the Baptist. And she came in straightway 
with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou 
give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Bap- 

2 6tist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's 

Herod the Great and of Mariamne, a descendant, therefore, of Simon 
the High Priest, and the great line of Maccabaean princes a princess, 
who afterwards became the wife of a tetrarch, and the mother of a 
king honouring them by degrading herself into a scenic dancer." 
Farrar's Life of Christ, I. 391. 

23. unto the half of my kingdom] Compare the words of Ahasuerus 
(i.e. Xerxes) to Esther: "What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it 
shall be granted thee : and what is thy request? and it shall be per- 
formed, even to the half of the kingdom" (Esther v. 3, vii. 2). 

24. The head of John the Baptist] Flerodias saw that her hour was 
come. No jewelled trinket, no royal palace, no splendid robe, should be 
the reward of her daughter's feat "Ask," said she, "for the head of 
John the Baptizer." 

25. straightway with haste] Observe the ready alacrity, with which 
she proved herself a true daughter of her mother. 

by and by] i.e. "immediately" Comp. Matt. xiii. 21, "when tribu- 
lation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is 
offended ;" Luke xvii. 7, ' ' which of you, having a servant plowing or 
feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by?" xxi. 9, "but the end is 
not by and by." In all these instances the expression has its old mean- 
ing of "at once," "immediately." Thus Edward IV. is reported to 
have said on his death-bed, ' ' I wote not whether any prechers' woordes 
ought more to moue you than I that is goyng by and by to the place 
that they all preche of," Hall, Ed. v. fol. 116 ; " Men dare not give the 
name of emperor to any other, for he punisheth his offender and traitor 
by and by ; but they dare give the name of God to others, because He for 
repentance suffereth the offenders ;" Homily Against Idolatry, pt. iii. 

a charger] ="a large dish" or "platter." This word only occurs 
here and in the parallel, Matt. xiv. 8. It comes from the Fr. charger and 
O. E. charge=" to load;" hence it means " that on which anything is 
laid, a dish," as the Hebrew word thus rendered (Num. vii. 13, &c.) is 
elsewhere given (Exod. xxv. 29). Thus Fuller says of Oswald, king of 
Northumberland, when he was told that a number of poor people were 
at his gate, that he commanded ' ' not onely that the meat set before him 
should be given them, but also that the large Silver- Charger holding the 
same should be broken in pieces and (in want, perchance, of present 
coin) parted betwixt them :" Ch. Hist. 11. ii. 76. 

26. exceeding sorry] The Greek word thus translated is very 



vv. 2732.I ST MARK, VI. 75 

sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not 
reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, 27 
and commanded his head to be brought : and he went and 
beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a 28 
charger, and gave it to the damsel : and the damsel gave it 
to her mother. And when his disciples heard of it, they 29 
came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb. 

30 44. Return of the Twelve. Feeding of the Five Thousand. 

And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, 30 
and told him all things, both what they had done, and what 
they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye your- 3 , 
selves apart into a desert place, and rest a while : for there 
were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so 
much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by 3? 

strong, and denotes very great grief and sorrow. It is used of (1) the 
rich young ruler, "when he heard this, he was very sorrowful" Luke 
xviii. 23 ; (2) of our Lord Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane, " My 
soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death," Matt. xxvi. 38; Markxiv.34. 
27. an executioner] Literally, a soldier of the guard. The word 
Speculator denotes (1) a looker-out, spy, scout ; (2) a special adjictant, 
soldier of the guard. These scouts formed a special division in each 
legion ; but under the emperors a body bearing this name was specially 
appointed to guard the emperor and execute his commands (Tac. Hist. 1. 
24, 25; 11. 11 ; Suet. Claud, xxxv.). Hence they were often employed 
as special messengers in seeking out those who were proscribed or sen- 
tenced to death (Seneca, de Ira 1. 16). In the earlier English Versions 
the word is rendered " hangman,'* but this term describes a mere 
accident of his office. The use of a military term, compared with 
Luke iii. 14, is in accordance with the fact that Herod was at this 
time making war on Aretas (Jos. Antiq. xviii. 5. 1). 

29. laid it in a tomb] and then ' ' went and told Jesits " (Matt. xiv. 12) of 
the death of His great Forerunner, over whom He had pronounced so 
remarkable a eulogy (Luke vii. 27, 28). 

3044. Return of the Twelve. Feeding of the Five 

30. gathered themselves together] Their brief tentative mission was 
now over, and they returned to Capernaum. 

31. there were many coming and going] The Passover was now 
nigh at hand (John vi. 4) and the pilgrim companies would be on the 
move towards the Holy City. 

32. they departed into a desert place] They crossed the Lake of 
Gennesaret (John vi. 1) and proceeded in the direction of Bethsaida- 
Julias, at its north-eastern corner (Luke ix. 10), just above the entrance 

76 ST MARK, VI. [w. 33- 

33 ship privately. And the people saw them departing, and many 
knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent 

34 them, and came together unto him. And Jesus, when he 
came out, saw much people, and was moved with compas- 
sion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a 

35 shepherd, and he began to teach them many things. And 
when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto 
him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time 

36 is far passed: send them away, that they may go into the 
country round about, and into the villages, and buy them- 

37 selves bread : for they have nothing to eat. He answered 
and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say 
unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of 

of the Jordan into it. Bethsaida-Tulias was originally only a village, 
but was rebuilt and enlarged by Herod Philip not long after the birth 
of Christ. He raised it to the dignity of a town, and called it Julias 
after Julia the daughter of Augustus. Philip occasionally resided there, 
and there died and was buried in a costly tomb (Jos. Antiq. xvm. 4. 6). 
To the south of it was the green and narrow plain of El-Batihah, 
" with abundant grass, and abundant space for the multitudes to have 
sat down" (Tristram's Land of Israel, p. 439). 

33. ran afoot] The multitudes saw the vessel start from Capernaum, 
and quickly ran along the coast and round the northern extremity of the 
Lake, where they met the little company disembarking on the shore. 
The motive of their coming in such large numbers is stated by St John, 
vi. 2. 

34. he came out] Comparing the account in the Fourth Gospel, we 
may conjecture that on landing the Lord and His disciples ascended 
the hill-side (John vi. 3) and there waited awhile till the whole multitude 
was assembled. Then descending, He saw them all, and moved with 
compassion began to "teach them many things concerning the king- 
dom of God" (Luke ix. 11), and healed them that had need of healing. 

35. a desert place] The locality was probably part of the rich but 
uninhabited plain at the mouth of the Jordan. 

36. send them away] Already earlier in the day the Lord had 
asked the Apostle Philip, Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat ? 
and he, thinking of no other supplies save such as natural means could 
procure, had replied that two hundred pence would not suffice to provide 
sustenance for such a number (John vi. 5 7). Then He left this con- 
fession of inability to work in their minds, and it was now in the 
eventide that the Apostles came to Him with the proposition contained 
in this verse. 

37. Shall we go and buy] With one mouth they seem to have 
reiterated what St Philip had said earlier in the day. 

two hundred pennyworth] The specifying of this sum is peculiar to 
St Mark and St John. The word translated penny is the denarius, a 

w. 38 41.J ST MARK, VI. 


bread, and give them to eat? He saith unto them, How 38 
many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew 
they say, Five, and two fishes. And he commanded them 39 
to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. 
And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.' 40 
And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, 4 i 
he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves] 

silver coin of the value originally of 10 and afterwards of 16 ases. The 
denarius was first coined in B.C. 269, or 4 years before the first Punic 
war and originally was of the value of 8^. of our money, later it 
- 74* It Was the day-wages of a labourer in Palestine (Matt. xx. 
2, 9. 13). it so happens that in almost every case where the word 
denarius occurs in the N. T. it is connected with the idea of a liberal 
or large amount ; and yet in these passages the English rendering 
names a sum which is absurdly small." Prof. Lightfoot on the Revision 
of the N. T. p. 100. 

38. go and see] In the interval between their going and return 
they learnt that a lad m their company had five barley loaves, and two 
small fishes, which they could secure for purchase. They were only 
barley loaves (John vi. 9 ), the food even then, for the most part, of 
beasts, or of the poor and the unfortunate. Comp. 2 Kings vii. 1. The 
fact has an important bearing on Judges vii. 13. 

39. by companies] Literally, drinking parties. The word alludes to an 
orderly social grouping, catervatim. The words are repeated by a 
Hebraism in the original, like the "two and two of very 

upon the green grass] St Mark alone mentions the green grass, still 
fresh in the spring of the year before it had faded awly in the summer 

or\ori] W ^ S6aSOn ^ Passover ' corresponding to our March 
or April, hence : there was " much grass in the place ; comp. John vi. 10. 

-As'thevTr \ LltGra i ly ' 1 they reClined in P^erres (areolalim). 
KW !r,7 n T rderly S rou P s u P n the g rass > the gay red and 

wear caUed' W "iw f . the . clothin g> which the 'poorest Orientals 
K.T' P *?, th ? . ima g lnatio * of St Peter a multitude of flower- 

Our English , ranks* does not reproduce the picture to the eye 
giving rather the notion of continuous lines. Wyclif was better, 'by 

FWHA P t P V* E Up , WOuld be as near as we could get to it in 
English. Trench, Miracles, p. 265. St Mark here as elsewhere 
doubtless reproduces the description of the scene by St Peter elS6Wheie ' 

.0 oerlons ThTf K&$ " Tw ! ng r0WS f '' a shorter one <* 
50 persons. The fourth side remained, after the manner of the tables 

of the ancients, empty and open." Gerlach. 

th^vZivTrfJ i T ? e W rdS ' th Ugh n0t given > were probably those of 
GoH nc tv,/ ?\l bef re T at ln use in IsraeL " H ^ gives thanks to 
God as the father surrounded by his household was on the occasion of 

This a'cHon 6 ^^ V* ^ H }f natUral ^ and covenant blessings 
ihis action is made almost equally prominent in each of the four NarL 

78 ST MARK, VI. [w. 42 - 

and gave them to his disciples to set before them ; and the 

42 two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, 

43 and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the 

44 fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the 
loaves were about five thousand men. 

45 52. The Walking on the Lake. 

45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the 
ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while 

46 he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, 

47 he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was 
come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on 

tives, and after the thanksgiving, He distributed the food, as the father 
was accustomed to do at the Paschal meal." See note on xiv. 16. 

and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples} The first of 
these words denotes an instantaneous, the second a continuous act. 
The multiplication of the loaves and fishes had a beginning and went 
on in the hands of Christ between the acts of breaking and distributing 
the bread. Comp. 2 Kings iv. 42 44. 

43. they took up] in obedience to our Lord's command (John vi. 12), 
Who would teach them that wastefulness even of miraculous power was 
wholly alien to the Divine economy. 

baskets] " tuelue coffyns full," Wyclif. All the Evangelists alike 
here use cophinoi for the small common wicker-baskets, in which these 
fragments were collected, at the feeding of the Five Thousand, and 
the word spurides, or large rope-baskets, when they describe the feeding 
of the Four Thousand. These wicker baskets were the common pos- 
session of the Jews, in which to carry their food in order to avoid 
pollution with heathens; "Judaeis, quorum cophinus foenumque supel- 
lex," Juv. Sat. ill. 14. The same distinction is made by our Lord when 
He alludes to both miracles (Mark viii. 19, 20; Matt. xvi. 9, 10). 

44. five thousand men] besides women and children (Matt xiv. 2 1), 
who would not sit down with the men, but sit or stand apart. 

45 52. The Walking on the Lake. 

45. And straightway] The impression made upon the people by 
the miracle just narrated was profound. It was the popular expectation 
that the Messiah would repeat the miracles of Moses, and this "bread 
of wonder," of which they had just partaken, recalled to the minds of 
the multitudes the manna, which the Great Lawgiver had given to their 
forefathers. They were convinced, therefore, that the Saviour was 
none other than "the Prophet," of whom Moses had spoken, and in this 
conviction they would have taken Him by force and made Him a king 
(John vi. 14, 15). To defeat this intention the Saviour bade His Apos- 
tles take ship and cross over to the other side of the Lake. 

unto Bethsaida] i. e. the western Bethsaida, the town of Philip, 
drew, and Peter, in the neighbourhood of Capernaum (John vi. 17) 



w. 48 51.] ST MARK, VI. 

the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind 4 8 
was contrary unto them : and about the fourth watch of the 
night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would 
have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon 49 
the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out : 
for they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately so 
he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: 
it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the s* 
ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in 

47. in the midst of the sea] With all their efforts and the toil of 
the entire night they had not in consequence of contrary winds (John vi. 
r8) accomplished more than five and twenty or thirty furlongs, i. e. 
scarcely more than half of their way, the Lake being forty or forty-five 
furlongs in breadth, when one of the sudden storms, to which the Lake 
is subject, rushed down from the western mountains. See above, iv. 37. 

48. he saw them toiling in rowing] The word translated "toiling," 
which also occurs in Matt. xiv. 24, is a very striking expression. It 
denotes (1) to test metals with the touchstone, (2) to rack, torture, (3) to 
torment as in Matt. viii. 29, "art Thou come to torment us before the 
time?", and Matt. viii. 6, "Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of 
the palsy, grievously tormented." Here it seems to imply that they 
were tortured, baffled, by the waves, which were boisterous by reason 
of the strong wind that blew (John vi. 18). Wyclif translates it 
"travailing in rowing;" Tyndale and Cranmer, " troubled in rowing." 

the fourth watch] The proper Jewish reckoning recognised only three 
watches or periods, for which sentinels or pickets remained on duty. 
They were entitled (1) the first, or beginning of the watches, from sunset 
to 10 p.m. (Lam. ii. 10), (2) the middle watch, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. 
(Judg. vii. 19), and (3) the morning watch, from 2 a.m. to sunrise 
(Ex. xiv. 24 ; 1 Sam. xi. n). After the Roman supremacy the number 
of watches was increased to four, sometimes described by their nume- 
rical order, as here and in Matt. xiv. 25 ; sometimes by the terms (1) 
even, closing at 9 p.m.; midnight; cock-crowing, at 3 a.m.; morning, at 
6 a.m. 

would have passed by them] He came quite near their vessel on the 
storm-tost waves, and seemed to wish to lead the wav before them to the 
western shore. Comp. Luke xxiv. 28, 29. 

49. a spirit] An unsubstantial appearance. So they thought on the 
evening of the world's first Easter Day, when they saw Him after 
His resurrection. See Luke xxiv. 36, 37. Wyclif translates it "they 
gessiden him for to be a fantum;" Tyndale and Cranmer "a sprete-" 
the Rhemish "a ghost." 

50. be not afraid] St Mark does not record St Peter's attempt to 
go to his Lord upon the Lake, which is narrated only by St Matthew, 
xiv. 28 30. 

51. they were sore amazed] Observe the strong expressions here 
employed. Not only were they "sore amazed," but "beyond measure." 

80 ST MARK, VI. [vv. 52 

52 themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they con- 
sidered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was 

53 56. Miracles of Healing in the Land of Gennesaret. 

53 And when they had passed over, they came into the 

54 land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore. And when 
they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him, 

55 and ran through that whole region round about, and began 
to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard 

56 he was. And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or 
cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and be- 
sought him that they might touch if it were but the border 
of his garment: and as many as touched him were made 

Never had the disciples been so impressed by the majesty of Christ as 
they were now in consequence of this miracle. St Matthew, xiv. 33, tells 
us that the impression made extended also to those who were with them 
in the ship, i. e. probably the crew. Not only did they approach Him 
with an outward unforbidden gesture of worship, "but they avowed 
for the first time collectively, what one of them had long since separately 
declared Him to be, the Son of God'''' (Matt. xiv. 33; comp. John i. 49), 
Bp. Ellicott's Lectures, p. an. 

52. hardened] See note above, iii. 5. 

5356. Miracles of Healing in the Land of Gennesaret. 

53. the land of Gennesaret is only mentioned here and in Matt. xiv. 
34. It is the same as the modern el-Ghuweir, a fertile crescent-shaped 
plain, on the north-western shore of the Lake of Gennesaret, about 3 
miles in length and 1 in width. From its sheltered situation, and 
especially from its depression of more than 500 feet below the level of 
the ocean, its climate is of an almost tropical character. Josephus 
speaks of it as if it were an earthly paradise, in which every kind 
of useful plant grew and flourished. Jos. B. J. III. 10. 8. 

drew to the shore] or, as Tyndale and Cranmer translate it, "drew up 
into the haven." 

54. they knew him] The dawn had now broken, and the people on 
shore at once recognised the Great Healer, and craved His help in be- 
half of their sick and afflicted. 

56. but the border of his garment] The numbers that pressed upon 
Him seemed almost too large for Him to be able to heal them singly by 
laying His hands upon them, therefore many begged that they might 
be allowed to touch if it were but the border of His garment. Comp. 
above, v. 27. Soon after followed the ever memorable discourse so 
strikingly in accordance with the present Passover-season in the syna- 
gogue of Capernaum respecting " the Bread of Life" (John vi. 22 65). 

yv - I ~ 4-1 ST MARK, VII. 


123. Contest with the Pharisees of Jerusalem concernitig 
Traditions of Eating. 
Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain 7 
of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they , 
saw some of his disciples eat bread with denied, that is 
to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the 3 
Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, 
eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they 4 

Ch. VII. 123. Contest with the Pharisees of Jerusalem 


1. Then came, together} A few days only were assigned to the per- 
formance of those deeds of mercy described at the close of the last 
chapter But the Saviour s labours of love were soon rudely interrupted. 
Having kept the Feast at Jerusalem the Scribes and Pharisees returned 
Ph S ,H k T 7 a r eV r r acc fation against Him. The combination of the 
Pharisees of Galilee and the Pharisees of Judaea had already been 
concerted and entered upon, and they now watched His every step. 

2 _ with defiled that is to say, with unwashen, hands] Thus St Mark 
explains for his Roman readers, and then proceeds more fully to set 
forth certain Jewish usages. The Pharisees had probably crept in 
secretly into some of the social gatherings of the disciples 
(i 8. except they wash their hands oft] Oft, literally, with the fist. 

When they washed their hands, they washed the fist unto the jointing 
of the arm The hands are polluted, and made clean unto thefointi/g 
of the arm." Lightfoot Hor. Heb. upon St Mark. When water waf 

SerrTn iinib"" 5 ;^ 67 had l !* ?** ** S that the wa^houfd 
fore hvTTr ah T h r e Wmt ? norbacka gain upon the hand; best, there- 
OnW y i d0 " blm S; 1 ; e fl ^ ev l mto a fist The Israelites, who, like other 
fo tr Ll" nf nS l r Wlth * f 'T rS ' Washed th eir hands before meals 
fror^rt, cleanliness. But these customary washings were distinc 

hands ir! ^T^f l Z h T> * thC f rmer Water was *t ** the 
hands, in i the latter the hands were plunged in water. When, therefore 

"w, i the / h 7 e f- rCmarked that OUr Lord ' s disciples ate wkh 
at 7Z.Z 1 i V S u 0t t0 . bG underst0 d literally that they did not 
accoldTn^n^ andS ' bUt - that theydid not ^them ceremonially 
L the dtfn f Wn ? raCtlCe - And this was ex P ected of them only 
SaSLd htfl S ^F !*$"* '> f r these dements were not 
drawn SS P6 P which the disci P les wer e chiefly 

how^thf LhJ^^^ / kt - er ti - meS related with intense admiration 
3 t\ f Ak l ba ' ^ hen lm P ris ned and furnished with only suffi- 
eat wkhout t ?^ aintain hfe ' P refe ^ ed to die of starvation rather than 
SwS / I th / P r P er things." Buxtorf, Syn. Jud. ; quoted in 
T I Lt /l J Ck r st > L P- 443; Geikie, 11. 203-20^ 4 

the tradition of the elders] The Rabbinical rules about ablutions 
occupy a large portion of one section of the Talmud. aD 'ons 



82 ST MARK, VII. [w. 51 

come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And 
many other things there be, which they have received to 
hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and 

5 of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why 
walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, 

6 but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said 
unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, 
as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, 

7 but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they 
worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of 

8 men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold 
the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups : and 

9 many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, 
Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may 

10 keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy 
father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mo- 

11 ther, let him die the death: but ye say, If a man shall say 
to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, 

4. except they wash] "Wash" here implies complete immersion as 
contrasted with the mere washing of the hands in verse 3. 

pots] The original word thus translated is one of St Mark's Latinisms. 
It is a corruption of the Latin sextarius, a Roman measure both 
for liquids and dry things. In Tyndale and Cranmer's Versions it is 
translated "cruses." Earthen vessels were broken; those of metal and 
wood scoured and rinsed with water. See Levit. xv. 12. 

tables] Rather, banqueting- couches, triclinia, the benches or couches 
on which the Jews reclined at meals. 

6. Well hath Esaias] Rather, Well, or full well did Esaias prophesy 
of you. " Well" is said in irony. This expression recurs in v. 9, "full 
well ye reject" = "finely do ye set at naught and obliterate." 

This people honoureth me] The words are found in Isaiah xxix. 1 3. 

10. Honour thy father] The words are quoted partly from Ex. xx. 
12, and partly from Ex. xxi. 17. 

11. // a man shall say] Literally it runs, If a man shaU say to 
Ms father or his mother, That, from which thou mightest have 
been benefited by me, is Corban, that is to say, a gift, or offering 
consecrated to God, he shall be free, and ye suffer him no longer 
to do aught for his father or his mother. A person had merely to 
pronounce the word Corban over any possession or property, and it was 
irrevocably dedicated to the Temple. Our Lord is quoting a regular 
formula, which often occurs in the Talmudic tracts Nedarim and Nazir. 
Others would give to the words an imperative force, Be it Corban from 
which thou mightest have been benefited by me, i. e. "If I give thee 
anything or do anything for thee, may it be as though I gave thee that 
which is devoted to God, and may I be accounted perjured and 

2 19-] ST MARK, VII. g 3 

by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be 
free. _ And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father , a 
or his mother; making the word of God of none effect .3 
through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many- 
such like things do ye. And when he had called all the 
people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every 
one of you, and understand: there is nothing from without a 15 
man, that entering into him can defile him : but the things 
which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. 
If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And when he l6 
was entered into the house from the people, his disciples * 7 
asked him concerning the parable. And he saith unto them, l8 
Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive 
that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man' 
it cannot defile him; because it entereth not into his heart' 19 
but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging 

sacrilegious." This view certainly gives greater force to the charge 

rno?h,X,v ^V 1 !? 1 ft? command "Whoso curseth father or 
mother, iet him die the death" was nullified by the tradition. 

"Writ/^T**^ J***;! The J ews ^tinguished between the 
Written Law and the traditional or "Unwritten Law." The Un- 
written Law was said to have been orally delivered by God to Moses 

Talnnfd Tr 2*5 ^"^ to the Eld f erS ' 0n * was founded the 
tion nf I T doct <-> , wlu ,<* consists of (1) the Mishna or "repeti- 
Ja%\*' (2) the Gemara or "supplement" to it. So extra- 
vagant did the veneration for the Traditional Law become, that there 
was amongst many other sayings this assertion, -The Law s hke sal 
^ ch hi ^^ thC GCmara Hke h ^ y Spice '" B^torfw 
,,nto Trfrf the J e t k] , ?? thei > when He had caUed tlie People again 
le cTpante 5 &*" * * * *** >* he *** ^ge 

J?* i U f S <i P / es] Fr St Matth we learn that the questioner 
was St Peter (Matt. xv. 15). As in the walking on the water, so here 
he modestly suppresses himself in the Gospel 4ich was written under 

J^r/oraAU They regarded the words uttered in the hearing of the 
mixed multitude and which deeply offended the Pharisees (MaU. S xv 12) 
as a parable or ''dark saying." See note above, iv. 2. * 

19. into the draught} Comp. 2 Kings x. 27, "And thev brake 
Drlu^ e /^ f / Eaa1 ' f d madG [t **rauihthouse unto^his day >' 

^tS% r ^ f S m i ICeL dra * dre Z S > dirt > connected with 
A.b. diabbe drefe. Comp. Shakespeare, Tim. of Ath. v. 1. io "H 
them, or stab them, drown them in a draught/^ There was a Vodde of 
idlenesse, a goddesse of the draught or ja4." Burton' Anal $L 




[vv. 2023. 

*o all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the 

31 man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the 

heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, 

22 murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lascivious- 

23 ness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness : all these evil 
things come from within, and defile the man, 

21* evil thoughts] Thirteen forms of evil are here noticed as proceed- 
ing from the heart. The first seven in the plural number, are predominant 
actions ; the latter six in the singular, dispositions. Comp. the blending 
of the singular and plural in St Paul's enumeration of the works of the 
flesh, Gal. v. 19 St. 

adulteries] The preferable order appears to be fornications, thefts, 
murders, adulteries, covetousnesses, wickednesses. 

22. covetousness] "avarises," Wyclif. The original word denotes more 
than the mere love of money, it is "the drawing and snatching to him- 
self, on the sinner's part, of the creature in every form and kind, as it 
lies out of and beyond himself." Hence we find it joined not only with 
"thefts" here and with "extortion" in 1 Cor. v. 10, but also with sins 
of the flesh as in 1 Cor v. n; Eph. v. 3, 5; Col. iii. 5. "Impurity 
and covetousness may be said to divide between them nearly the whole 
domain of human selfishness and vice." "Homo extra Deum quaerit 
pabulum in creatura materiali vel per voluptatem vel per avaritiam." 
See Canon Lightfoot on Col. iii. 5 C 

wickedness] or wickednesses. The word thus translated occurs in 
the singular in Matt. xxii. 18, "but Jesus perceived their wickedness," 
and again in Luke xi. 39; Rome i. 29; 1 Cor. v. 8; Eph. vi. 12. In 
the plural it only occurs twice, here and in Acts iii. 26, where we have 
translated it "iniquities." It denotes the active working of evil, "the 
cupiditas nocendi, or as Jeremy Taylor explains it, an "aptness to do 
shrewd turns, to delight in mischief and trajedies; a love to trouble our 
neighbour and to do him ill offices ; crossness, perverseness, and peevish- 
ness of action in our intercourse." Trench's N. T. Synonyms, p. 36. 

lasciviousness] The word thus rendered is of uncertain etymology, 
and in our Version is translated generally "lasciviousness," as here and 

2 Cor. xii. 21; Gal. v. 19; Eph. iv. 19; 1 Pet. iv. 3; sometimes (2) 
"wantonness," as in Rom. xiii. 13; 2 Pet. ii. 18. The Vulgate renders 
it now "impudicitia," now "lascivia." "Wantonness" is the better 
rendering. In Classical Greek it signifies "lawless insolence" or 
"boisterous violence" towards another; in later Greek "sensuality." 

an evil eye, blasphemy] Of these the first denotes concealed, the 
second open enmity. The evil eye is notorious in the East ; here it is 
the description of an envious look; "invidia et de malis alienis 
gaudium." Bengel. 

pride] The substantive thus translated only occurs here in the 
N. T., its adjective occurs in Luke i. 51, "He hath scattered the proud 
in the imagination of their hearts;" Rom. i. 30, "proud, boasters;" 

3 Tim. iii. 2, "proud, blasphemers;" James iv. 6, 1 Pet. v 5, "God 

V. 24.] ST MARK, VII. 85 

24 30. The Syrophaznician Woman. 
And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of 24 
Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have 

resisteth the proud." The true seat of this sin, the German " Hoch- 
muth, " is within, and consists in comparing oneself secretly with others, 
and lifting oneself above others, in being proud in thought. 

foolishness] only occurs here in the Gospels, and three times in 
the Epistles of St Paul, 2 Cor. xi. 1, 17, 21. "Causa cur insipientia 
extremo loco ponatur : quae etiam reliqua omnia facit incurabiliora. 
Non in sola voluntate est corruptio humana." Bengel. 

24 30. The Syrophgenician Woman. 

24. from thence he arose] The malevolence of our Lord's enemies 
was now assuming hourly a more implacable form. The Pharisaic party 
in Eastern Galilee were deeply offended (Matt. xv. 12) ; even those who 
once would fain have prevented Him from leaving them (Luke iv. 42) 
were filled with doubts and suspicions ; Herod Antipas was inquiring 
concerning Him (Luke ix. 9), and his inquiries boded nothing but ill. 
He therefore now leaves for awhile eastern Galilee and makes His way 
north-west through the mountains of upper Galilee into the border-land 
of Phoenicia. See the Analysis of the Gospel, p. 22. 

the borders of Tyre and Sidon] His travelling towards these regions 
was the prophetic and symbolical representation of the future progress 
of Christianity from the Jews to the Gentiles. So in ancient times 
Elijah travelled out of his own land into Phoenicia (1 Kings xvii. 10 
24). Our Lord, however, does not actually go into Phoenicia, but into 
the adjoining borders of Galilee, the district of the tribe of Asher. 

Tyre] A celebrated commercial city of antiquity, situated in 
Phoenicia. The Hebrew name "Tzor" signifies "a rock," and well 
agrees with the site of SH, the modern town on a rocky peninsula, 
which was formerly an island, and less than 20 miles distant from Sidon. 
We first get glimpses of its condition in 2 Sam. v. ti in connection 
with Hiram, King of Tyre, who sent cedar- wood and workmen to 
David and afterwards to Solomon (1 Kings ix. n 14, x. 22). Ahab 
married a daughter of Ithobal, King of Tyre (1 Kings xvi. 31), and 
was instrumental in introducing the idolatrous worship of Baalim and 
Ashtaroth. The prosperity of Tyre in the time of our Lord was very 
great. Strabo gives an account of it at this period, and speaks of the 
great wealth which it derived from the dyes of the celebrated Tyrian 
purple. It was perhaps more populous even than Jerusalem. 

Sidon] The Greek form of the Phoenician name Zidon, an ancient 
and wealthy city of Phoenicia, situated on the narrow plain between the 
Lebanon and the Sea. Its Hebrew name T sidon signifies "Fishing" 
or "Fishery." Its modern name is Saida. It is mentioned in the 
Old Testament as early as Gen. x. 19; Josh. xi. 8; Judg. i. 31, and in 
ancient times was more influential even than Tyre, though from the 
time of Solomon it appears to have been subordinate to it# 

86 ST MARK, VII. [vv. 25 38. 

*5 no man know it: but he could not be hid. For a certain 
woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard 

26 of him, and came and fell at his feet : the woman was a 
Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him 

27 that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But 
Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled : for it is 
not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the 

28 dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord : 
yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. 

would have no man know it] desiring seclusion and rest after His 
late labours. 

25. heard of him] The fame of His miracles had already pene- 
trated even to these old Phoenician cities, and we have seen (Mark 
iii. 8) "a great multitude" from Tyre and Sidon coming to Him (comp. 
also Matt. iv. 24). 

26. a Greek] St Matthew describes her as a "woman of Canaan" 
(Matt. xv. 22), St Mark calls her a Greek, a Syrophosnician. The first 
term describes her religion, that she was a Gentile; the second the 
stock of which she came, "which was even that accursed stock once 
doomed of God to total excision, but of which some branches had been 
spared by those first generations of Israel that should have extirpated 
them root and branch. Everything, therefore, was against this woman, 
yet she was not hindered by that everything from drawing nigh, and 
craving the boon that her soul longed after." Trench on the Parables, 
p. 339. She is called a Syrophosnician, as distinguished from the Liby- 
phcenicians, the Phoenicians of Africa, that is, Carthage. Phoenicia 
belonged at this time to the province of Syria. 

27. But Jesus said imto her] St Mark passes more briefly over the 
interview than St Matthew. The latter Evangelist points out three 
stages of this woman's trial; (i) Silence; "He answered her not a word" 
(Matt. xv. 23) ; (ii) Refusal ; "/ am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the 
house of Israel" (Matt. xv. 24) ; (iii) Reproach; "It is not meet to take the 
children's bread and cast it to the dogs" (Matt. xv. 26). But in spite of 
all she persevered and finally conquered. 

the dogs] In the original the diminutive is used =" little dogs." 
"Little whelps" Wyclif; "the whelps" Tyndale, Cranmer. The Jews, 
"the children of the kingdom" (Matt. viii. 12), were wont to designate 
the heathen as "dogs," the noble characteristics of which animal are 
seldom brought out in Scripture (comp. Deut. xxiii. 18; Job xxx. 1; 
2 Kings viii. 13; Phil. iii. 2; Rev. xxii. 15). Here however the term 
is somewhat softened. The heathen are compared not to the great 
wild dogs infesting Eastern towns (1 Kings xiv. 11, xvi. 4; 2 Kings 
ix. 10), but to the small dogs attached to households. In the East now 
the Mahometans apply this name to the Christians. 

28. yet the dogs] Rather, Yea Lord, for even the little dogs under 
the table eat of the children's crumbs. So it is rightly translated in 

w. 2931.] ST MARK, VII. 87 

And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil 29 
is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her 30 
house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid 
upon the bed. 

3 1 3 7. The Healing of one Deaf and Dumb. 
And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he 31 

Wyclif s and Cranmer's Versions, following the Vulgate "Etiam, Domine, 
nam et catelli edunt. " " Truth it is Maister, for indeed the whelpes eat vnder 
the table, of the childerns crommes." Geneva, 1557. Her "yea" is the 
"yea" of admission not of contradiction. She accepts the declaration 
of Christ, and in that very declaration she affirms is involved the grant- 
ing of her petition. "Saidst Thou dogs? It is well; I accept the 
title and the place ; for the dogs have a portion of the meat not the 
first, not the children's portion, but a portion still the crumbs which 
fall from the table." Her words speak to us even now across the cen- 
turies, and our Church adopts her words of faith in the "Prayer of 
Humble Access" at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. 

crumbs] These were probably something more than what would 
accidentally fall from the table. It was the custom during the meal 
for the guests after thrusting their hands into the common dish to wipe 
them on ihe soft white part of the bread, which, having thus used, they 
threw to the dogs. 

30. she found the devil gone out] Thus the daughter was healed in 
consequence of the mother's faith and in answer to her prayers. This 
is an instance of a cure effected at a distance: other instances are, (1) the 
nobleman's son at Capernaum, whom our Lord healed while Himself 
at Cana (John iv. 46), (2) the centurion's servant (Luke vii. 6). The case 
also of this lonely woman not suffering the Lord "to go" until He had 
blessed her (comp. Gen. xxxii. 24 32) is the greatest of the three 
ascending degrees of faith, "as it manifests itself in the breaking 
through of hindrances which would keep from Christ. The paralytic 
broke through the outward hindrances, the obstacles of things merely 
external (Mark ii. 4) ; blind Bartimseus through the hindrances opposed 
by his fellow-men (Mark x. 48) ; but this woman, more heroically than 
all, through apparent hindrances, even from Christ Himself." Trench 
on the Miracles, p. 347. 

31 37. The Healing of one Deaf and Dumb. 

31. the coasts] A misleading archaism is this word for "border" or 
"region." No allusion is made in the original word to the sea-board. 
Thus we are told that Herod "slew all the children that were in Beth- 
lehem, and in all the coasts thereof, " though Bethlehem was not near the 
sea; and again we read of "the coasts" ( = borders) of Judaea in Matt. 
xix. 1; comp. Mark x. 1, where there is no sea-coast at all; of the 
coasts ( = borders) of Gadara in Mark v. 17 ; "the coasts of Decapolis" 
in this verse; of "the coasts" ( = regions) of Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 
xiii. 50). Comp. r Sam. v. 6. The word comes from the Latin costa, 
"arib," "side" through Fr. "coste." Hence it = "a border" generally, 

88 ST MARK, VII. |w. 32-34. 

came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts 

32 of Decapolis. And they bring unto him one that was deaf, 
and had an impediment in his speech ; and they beseech him 

33 to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the 
multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and 

34 touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, 

though now applied to the sea-coast only. Wyclif translates it here 
"bitwix be Endis {or coostis) of Tire, be myddil endis of Decapoleos." 

and Sidon] The preferable reading here, supported by several 
MSS. and found in several ancient versions, is, And again, departing 
from the coasts of Tyre, He came through Sidon unto the Sea of 
Galilee. This visit of the Redeemer of mankind to the city of Baal and 
Astarte is full of significance. 

he came unto the sea of Galilee] The direction of the journey appears 
to have been (1) northward towards Lebanon, then (2) from the foot of 
Lebanon through the deep gorge of the Leontes to the sources of the 
Jordan, and thence (3) along its eastern bank into the regions of 
Decapolis, which extended as far north as Damascus, and as far south as 
the river Jabbok. 

32. one that was deaf] The healing of this man, on the east side of 
the Jordan, is related only by St Mark. 

and had an impediment] The word thus rendered does not imply that 
he was a mute, as some have thought, but that with his deafness was 
connected a disturbance of the organs of speech, so that he could make 
no intelligible sounds. Tyndale renders it "one that was deffe and 
stambred in hys speche." 

they beseech him] This is one of the few instances where the friends 
of the sufferer brought the sick man to Christ. We have already met 
with another instance in the case of the paralytic borne of four (Mark 
ii. 3 5), and shall meet with another in the case of the blind man of 
Bethsaida in Mark viii. 22 26. 

33. aside from the multitude] Comp. Mark viii. 23. Why? (1) Some 
think it was to avoid all show and ostentation; (2) others, to prevent a 
publicity which might bring together the Gentiles in crowds; (3) others, 
far more probably, that apart from the interruptions of the crowd the 
man might be more recipient of deep and lasting impressions. 

and ptit his fingers into his ears] In this man's case there were 
evidently circumstances which rendered it necessary that his cure should 
be (1) gradual, and (2) effected by visible signs. And so our Lord (a) took 
him aside from the multitude ; (b) put His fingers into his ears, (c) 
touched his tongue with the moisture of His mouth (comp. ch. viii. 
23; John ix. 6; 2 Kings ii. 21); (d) looked up to heaven (comp. Matt, 
xiv. 19; Mark vi. 41; John xi. 41), and sighed (comp. Mark viii. 12; 
John xi. 33, 38), and (e) spake the one word Ephphatha (comp. Mark 
v. 41). 

34. looking up to heaven] This upturned look expressive of an act of 
prayer and an acknowledgment of His oneness with the Father, occurs 
also (1) in the blessing of the five loaves and two fishes (Matt. xiv. 19; 

w.35 37; i 4-] ST MARK, VII. VIII. 89 

and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And 35 
straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue 
was loosed, and he spake plain. And he charged them that 36 
they should tell no man : but the more he charged them, so 
much the more a great deal they published it; and were 37 
beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things 
well : he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to 

1 9. The Feeding of the Four Thousand. 
In those days the multitude being very great, and having 8 
nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith 
unto them, I have compassion on the multitude, because 
they have now been with me three days, and have nothing 
to eat : and if I send them away fasting to their own houses, 3 
they will faint by the way : for divers of them came from 
far. And his disciples answered him, From whence can a 4 

Mark vi. 41), (2) at the raising of Lazarus (John xi. 41), and (3) before 
the great high-priestly prayer for the Apostles (John xvii. 1). 

he sighed] or "groaned" as in the Rhemish Version. The sigh of 
the "First-born among many brethren " (Rom. viii. 29), attesting that 
the Human sympathies of the Saviour were co-extensive with human 
suffering and sorrow. Comp. John xi. 33. 

Ephphatha] The actual Aramaic word used by our Lord, like the 
"Talitha cumi" of Mark v. 41, treasured up by actual eye and ear 
witnesses, on whom the actions used and the word spoken made an 
indelible impression. 

36. he charged them] i. e. the friends of the afflicted man, who 
had accompanied or followed him into the presence of his Healer. 

so much the more] Observe the accumulation of comparatives, "The 
more He charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it, 
and were beyond measure astonished." The original word for "beyond 
measure " occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. 

Ch. VIII. 1 9. The Feeding of the Four Thousand. 

1. the multitude being very great] The effect of these miraculous 
cures on the inhabitants of the half-pagan district of Decapolis was very 
great. So widely was the fame of them spread abroad, that great multi- 
tudes brought their sick unto the Lord (Matt. xv. 30), and upwards of font 
thousand, without counting women and children (Matt. xv. 38), gathered 
round Him and His Apostles, and continued with Him upwards of three 
days (Mark viii. 1). 

4. And his disciples annvered him] Though the Apostles are the 
writers, they do not conceal from us their own shortcomings, or the fact 
that they had so soon forgotten so great a miracle. 

90 ST MARK, VIII. [vv 

man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? 
s And he asked them, How many loaves have ye ? And they 

6 said, Seven. And he commanded the people to sit down 
on the ground : and he took the seven loaves, and gave 
thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before 

7 them ; and they did set them before the people. And they 
had a few small fishes : and he blessed, and commanded to 

8 set them also before them. So they did eat, and were filled : 
and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven 

9 baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thou- 
sand : and he sent them away. 

From whence can a man satisfy'] It has been suggested that "it is 
evermore thus in times of difficulty and distress. All former deliver- 
ances are in danger of being forgotten ; the mighty interpositions of 
God's hand in former passages of men's lives fall out of their memories. 
Each new difficulty appears insurmountable ; as one from which there is 
no extrication ; at each recurring necessity it seems as though the 
wonders of God's grace are exhausted and had come to an end." Comp. 
(a) Ex. xvii. i 7, and {b) Ex. xvi. 13 with Num. xi. i, 23. Trench on 
the Miracles, p. 356. Still it has also been well observed that "many and 
many a time had the Apostles been with multitudes before, and yet on 
one occasion only had He fed them. Further, to suggest to Him a 
repetition of the feeding of the Five Thousand would be a presumption 
which their ever-deepening reverence forbade, and forbade more than 
ever as they recalled how persistently He had refused to work a 
sign, such as this was, at the bidding of others. " Farrar's Life of Christy 
I. p. 480. 

6. to sit down] Where is not distinctly specified. All we can cer- 
tainly gather is that it was on the eastern side of the Lake, and 
in a desert spot (Matt. xv. 33), possibly about the middle or southern end 
of the Lake. 

8. seven baskets] Not the small wicker cophinoi of the former 
miracle, but large baskets of rope, such as that in which St Paul was 
lowered from the wall of Damascus (Acts ix. 25). We notice at once 
the difference between this and the Miracle of the Five Thousand : 

(a) The people had been with the Lord upwards of three days, a 
point not noted on the other occasion ; 

(b) Seven loaves are now distributed and a few fishes, then five 
loaves and two fishes ; 

(c) Five thousand were fed then, four thousand are fed now; 

(d) On this occasion seven large rope-baskets are filled with frag- 
ments, on the other twelve small wicker baskets. 

(e) The more excitable inhabitants of the coast-villages of the North 
would have taken and made Him a king (John vi. 15) ; the men of 
Decapolis and the Eastern shores permit Him to leave them with- 
out any demonstration 

w, 10-12.] ST MARK, VHI. 91 

10 21. The Leave?i of the Pharisees and of Herod. 

And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, 10 
and came into the parts of Dalmanutha. And the Pharisees u 
came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him 
a sign from heaven, tempting him. And he sighed deeply in 12 
his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a 

1021. The Leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod. 

10. the parts of Dalmanutha] or as St Matthew says, into the coasts 
of Magdala (xv. 39), or according to some MSS. Magadan. Nothing 
is known of Dalmanutha. It must clearly have been near to Magdala, 
which may have been the Greek name of one of the many Migdols (i. e. 
watch-towers) to be found in the Holy Land, possibly the Migdal-el of 
Josh. xix. 38, and its place may now be occupied by a miserable collec- 
tion of hovels known as el-Mejdel, on the western side of the Lake, and 
at the S. E. corner of the Plain of Gennesaret. "Just before reaching 
Mejdel, we crossed a little open valley, the Ain-el-Barideh, with a few 
rich cornfields and gardens straggling among the ruins of a village, and 
some large and more ancient foundations by several copious fountains, 
and probably identical with the Dalmanutha of the New Testament." 
Tristram's Land of Israel, p. 425. If the reading Magadan in Matt. 
xv. 39 stands, we may conjecture either (a) that it and Dalmanutha 
were different names for the same place, or (b) that they denoted 
contiguous spots, either of which might give its name to the same 

11. And the Pharisees'] Our Lord seems purposely to have avoided 
sailing to Bethsaida or Capernaum, which lay a little north of Magdala, 
and which had become the head-quarters of the Pharisees ; but they had 
apparently watched for His arrival, and now "came forth" to meet Him 
accompanied for the first time by the Sadducees (Matt. xvi. 1), their 
rivals and enemies. 

began] They had made their arrangements for a decisive contest, 
which began with a demand for a sign. 

a sign from heaven] The same request had already been twice 
proffered. (1) After the first cleansing of the Temple (John ii. 18); 
(2) after the feeding of the Five Thousand (John vi. 30) ; and (3) again 
shortly after the walking through the cornfields (Matt. xii. 38). By such a 
"sign" was meant an outward and visible luminous appearance in the 
sky or some visible manifestation of the Shechinah, the credentials of a 
prophet. They asked in effect, "Give us bread from heaven, as Moses 
did, or signs in the sun and moon like Joshua, or call down thunder 
and hail like Samuel, or fire and rain like Elijah, or make the sun turn 
back on the dial like Isaiah, or let us hear the Bath-Kdl, the 'daughter 
of the Voice,' that we may believe Thee." 

12. he sighed deeply in his spirit] Not merely, we may conclude, 
at their hardened disbelief, but also with the feeling that the decisive 
crisis of the severance from the ruling powers had come. "For the 

92 ST MARK, VIII. [vv. 1319. 

sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given 
I3 unto this generation. And he left them, and entering into 
i 4 the ship again departed to the other side. Now the 
disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in 
i 5 the ship with them more than one loaf. And he charged 
them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the 
t 6 Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. And they rea- 
soned among themselves, saying, // is because we have no 

17 bread. And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why 
reason ye, because ye have no bread ? perceive ye not yet, 

18 neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? having 
eyes, see ye not ? and having ears, hear ye not ? and do ye 

i 9 not remember ? When I brake the five loaves among five 

demand for a sign from heaven was a demand that He should, as 
the Messiah of their expectation, accredit Himself by a great over- 
mastering miracle; thus it was fundamentally similar to the tempta- 
tion in the wilderness, which He had repelled and overcome." Lange. 
There shall no sign be given] Literally, If a sign shall be given to 
this generation, a Hebrew form of strong abjuration. Comp. Heb. iii. 
11, where see the margin; iv. 3, 5; Gen. xiv. 23; Num. xiv. 30. St 
Mark does not mention the sign of "Jonah the prophet" mentioned by 
St Matthew (xvi. 4). 

13. he left them] "Justa severitas," Bengel. "It was His final 
rejection on the very spot where He had laboured most, and He was 
leaving it, to return, indeed, for a passing visit, but never to appear 
again publicly, or to teach, or work miracles." 

the other side] i. e. the eastern side of the Lake. 

14. had forgotten] In the hurry of their unexpected re-embarkation 
they had altogether omitted to make provision for their own personal 

15. the leaven of the Pharisees'] Leaven in Scripture, with the single 
exception of the Parable (Matt. xiii. 33; Luke xiii. 20, 21), is always a 
symbol of evil (comp. 1 Cor. v. 6, 7, 8; Gal. v. 9), especially insidious 
evil, as it is for the most part also in the Rabbinical writers. See Lightfoot 
on Matt. xvi. 6. The strict command to the children of Israel that they 
should carefully put away every particle of leaven out of their houses 
during the Passover- week, rests on this view of it as evil. 

t/ie leaven of Herod] "and," as it is in St Matthew's Gospel, "of the 
Sadducees." The leaven of the Pharisees was hypocrisy (Luke xii. 1), 
of the Sadducees, unbelief of Herod, worldliness ; all which working in 
secrecy and silence, and spreading with terrible certainty, cause that in 
the end "the whole man is leavened," and his whole nature trans- 

17. yet hardened] as on the former occasion, the walking on the sea 
(Mark vi. 52). 

vv. 2026.] ST MARK, VIII. 93 

thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up ? 
They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among 20 
four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye 
up ? And they said, Seven. And he said unto them, How * 
is it that ye do not understand ? 

22 26. The Blind Man in Eastern Bethsaida. 
And he cometh to Bethsaida ; and they bring a blind 22 
man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he 23 
took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the 
town ; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands 
upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked 24 
up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put 25 
his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up : and 
he was restored, and saw every man clearly. And he sent 26 

19. how many baskets] Observe how our Lord reproduces in this 
allusion to the putting forth of His miraculous power not only the 
precise number but the precise kind of baskets taken up on each occa- 
sion. See above, on vi. 43. Wyclif brings out this in his translation: 
" Whanne I brak fyue looues among fyve J?ousand, and hou many 
coffyns ful of brokene mete ye token up?... whanne also seuene looues 
among foure thousand, how many leepis of brokene mete ?e token up?" 

21. ye do not understand] They seem to have thought that He was 
warning them against buying leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 

22 26. The Blind Man in Eastern Bethsaida. 

22. Bethsaida] i.e. Bethsaida Julias, which lay upon the north- 
eastern coast of the Sea of Tiberias. 

23. he took the blind man] Even as He did with the other 
sufferer, whose case came before us in Mark vii. 33. As then, so now, 
the Lord was pleased to work gradually and with external signs : (i) He 
leads the man out of the town ; (ii) anoints his eyes with the moisture 
of His mouth; (iii) lays His hands upon him twice (Mark viii. 23, 25) ; 
(iv) inquires of the progress of his restoration. 

24. as trees, walking] He had not been born blind. He remem- 
bered the appearance of natural objects, and in the haze of his 
brightening vision he saw certain moving forms about him, "trees he 
should have accounted them from their height, but men from their 
motion. " 

25. saw every man dearly] or rather, began to see all things clearly. 
"So bat he sy? clerely alle jnngis," Wyclif. The word translated 
"clearly" literally = "far-shining," "far-beaming." The man meant 
that he could now see clearly far and near. This is one of the few 
instances of a strictly progressive cure recorded in the Gospels. "His 
friends asked that He would touch him. To this demand for an instant 
act followed by an instant cure, the Lord opposed His own slow and 

94 ST MARK, VIII. [v. 

him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, 
tell it to any in the town. 

27 IX. 1. Ccesarea Philippi. The Confession of St Peter. 

27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of 

Caesarea Philippi : and by the way he asked his disciples, 

circumstantial method of procedure." Lange. Comp. the cure of 
Naaman, 2 Kings v. 10, 11, 14. 

26. to his house] Bethsaida, therefore, was not the place of his resi- 
dence; he was to go immediately from the place to his own home not 
even to the village to which he had already come, and he was not to 
mention it to any one dwelling in that village, or whom he might meet 
by the way. 

27 IX. l. Caesarea Philippi. The Confession of St Peter. 

27. And Jesus went out] The Redeemer and His Apostles now set 
out in a northerly direction, and travelled some 25 or 30 miles along 
the eastern banks of the Jordan and beyond the waters of Merom, 
seeking the deepest solitude among the mountains, for an important 
crisis in His Life was at hand. The solitude of the beautiful district, 
whither the Saviour now journeyed, is illustrated by the fact that it is 
the only district of Palestine where a recent traveller found the pelican 
of the wilderness (Ps. cii. 6). See Thomson's Land and the Book, 
pp. 260, 261; Caspari's Introduction, p. 163, n. 

into the towns] The little company at length reached the "villages," 
as it is literally, or the "parts" or "regions" (Matt. xvi. 13) of the 
remote city of Caesarea Philippi, near which it is possible He may have 
passed in His circuit from Sidon a very few weeks before. See above, 
vii. 24, n., Bishop Ellicott's Lectures, p. 225. 

CcEsarea Philippi] "Sezarie of Philip" (Wyclif) lay on the north-east 
of the reedy and marshy plain of El Huleh, close to Dan, the extreme 
north of the boundaries of ancient Israel, (i) Its earliest name according 
to some was Baal-Gad (Josh, xi 17, xii. 7, xiii. 5) or Baal-Hermon (Judg. 
iii. 3; 1 Chron. v. 23), when it was a Phoenician or Canaanite sanctuary 
of Baal under the aspect of " Gad," or the god of good fortune, (ii) In 
later times it was known as Panium or Paneas, a name which it derived 
from a cavern near the town, "abrupt, prodigiously deep, and full 
of still water," adopted by the Greeks of the Macedonian kingdom 
of Antioch, as the nearest likeness that Syria afforded of the beautiful 
limestone grottoes, which in their own country were inseparably asso- 
ciated with the worship of the sylvan Pan, and dedicated to that deity. 
Hence its modern appellation Paneas. (iii) The town retained this 
name under Herod the Great, who built here a splendid temple, of the 
whitest marble, which he dedicated to Augustus Caesar, (iv) It after- 
wards became part of the territory of Herod Philip, tetrarch of Tracho- 
nitis, who enlarged and embellished it, and called it Ca>sarea Philippi, 
partly after his own name, and partly after that of the Emperor 
Tiberius. Jos. Ant. xv. 10. 3; Bel. Jud. I. 21. 3. It was called Caesarea 


w. 28 3i.: ST MARK, VIII. 95 

saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am ? And they 28 
answered, John the Baptist : but some say, Elias : and others, 
One of the prophets. And he saith unto them, But whom 29 
say ye that lam? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, 
Thou art the Christ. And he charged them that they should 30 
tell no man of him. And he began to teach them, that the 3* 

Philippi to distinguish it from Caesarea Palestine or Csesarea "on the 
sea." Dean Stanley calls it a Syrian Tivoli, and "certainly there is 
much in the rocks, caverns, cascades, and the natural beauty of the 
scenery to recall the Roman Tibur. Behind the village, in front of a 
great natural cavern, a river bursts forth from the earth, the 'upper 
source' of the Jordan. Inscriptions and niches in the face of the cliffs 
tell of the old idol worship of Baal and of Pan." Tristram, Land of 
Israel, p. 581. 

he asked his disciples] It was in this desert region that the Apostles 
on one occasion found Him engaged in solitary prayer (Luke ix. 18), a 
significant action which had preceded several important events in His life, 
as (a) the Baptism, (b) the election of the Twelve, and {c) the discourse 
in the synagogue of Capernaum. It was now the precursor of a solemn 
and momentous question. Hitherto He is not recorded to have asked 
the Twelve any question respecting Himself, and He would seem to 
have forborne to press His Apostles for an explicit avowal of faith in 
His full Divinity. But on this occasion He wished to ascertain from 
them, the special witnesses as they had been of His life and daily words, 
the results of those labours, which were now drawing in one sense to a 
close, before He went on to communicate to them other and more 
painful truths. 

28. they answered] In this answer we have the explanation, which 
common rumour, in His own days, offered of His marvellous works. 
(1) Some, like the guilty Herod, said He was John the Baptist risen 
from the dead; (2) others that He was Elijah, who, like Enoch, had 
never died, but was taken up bodily to heaven and had now returned 
as Malachi predicted (iv. 5) ; (3) others that He was Jeremiah (Matt. 
xvi. 14), who was expected to inaugurate the reign of the Messiah ; (4) 
others again that He was one of the "old prophets" (Luke ix. 19). 
But they did not add that any regarded Him as the Messiah. 

29. Thou art the Christ] To the momentous question, But whom 
say ye that I am ? St Peter, as the ready spokesman of the rest of the 
Apostles, made the ever-memorable reply, Thou art the Christ, the 
Messiah (Matt. xvi. 16; Luke ix. 20), the Son of the living God (Matt. 
xvi. 16), but in the Gospel written under his eye the great announce- 
ment respecting his own memorable confession and the promise of 
peculiar dignity in the Church the Lord was about to establish, find no 

31. And he began to teach them] The question and the answer it 
called forth ,Wjefe^alik--nierj aratory to st range and mournful tidings, 
which He now began toreveal distinctly^Trj~the~'Ap os t i e s respecting 
Himself, for clear and full before His eyes was the whole history of 

96 ST MARK, VIII. [vv. 32, 

Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the 
elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, 

32 and after three days rise again. And he spake that saying 
openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. 

33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, 
he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan : for 
thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things 

His coming sufferings, the agents through whom they would be brought 
about, the form they would take, the place where He would undergo 
them, and their issue, a mysterious resurrection after three days. 

32. openly} i.e. not publicly, but "plainly" {"pleinli," Wyclif) and 
"without disguise." Comp. John xi. 14, "Then said Jesus unto them 
plainly, Lazarus is dead." Before this there had been intimations of the 
End, but then they had been dark and enigmatical, (a) The Baptist 
had twice pointed Him out as the La?nb of God destined to take away the 
sin of the world (John i. 29). \b) At the first Passover of His public 
ministry He Himself had spoken to the Jews of a Temple to be destroyed 
and rebuilt in three days (John ii. 19), and to Nicodemus of a lifting up 
of the Son of Man, even as Moses had lifted up the serpent in the wilder- 
ness (John iii. \i 16); (c) He had intimated moreover to the Apostles 
that a day would come when the Bridegroom should be taken from them 
(Matt. ix. 15), and (d) in the synagogue at Capernaum He had declared 
that He was about to give His flesh for the Life of the world (John vi. 
47 51). Now for the first time He dwelt on His awful Future dis- 
tinctly, and with complete freedom of speech. 

And Peter] The selfsame Peter, who a moment before had witnessed 
so noble and outspoken a confession to his Lord's Divinity. 

took him] i.e. took Him aside (and so Tyndale and Cranmer render 
it), by the hand or by the robe, and began earnestly and lovingly to re- 
monstrate with Him. The idea of a suffering Messiah was abhorrent to 
him and to all the Twelve. 

33. when he had turned about and looked on his disciples] Observe 
the graphic touches of St Mark. The Apostle who had restrained the 
Evangelist from preserving the record of that which redounded to his 
highest honour, suppresses the record neither of his own mistaken zeal, 
nor of the terrible rebuke it called forth. 

Get thee behind me] The very words which He had used to the 
Tempter in the wilderness (Matt. iv. 10), for in truth the Apostle was 
adopting the very argument which the great Enemy had adopted there. 

thou savourest not] Thou art thinking of, thy thoughts centre on. 
This rendering of the Greek word for "to think" is suggested by the 
Latin sapere, which is found in the Vulgate and retained from Wyclif s 
Version. It is derived directly from the substantive savour, Fr. saveur, 
Lat. sapor, from sapere. Thus Latimer quoting 1 Cor. xiii. 1 1 writes, 
"When I was a child I savoured as a child." "In confusion of them 
that so saveren earthely thinges." Chaucer, Parson's Tale. "Thy 
words shew," our Lord would say to the Apostle, "that in these things 


w. 34 38; 1.] ST MARK, VIII. IX. 97 

that be of men. And when he had called the people unto 34 
him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever 
will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his 
cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall 35 
lose it ; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and 
the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit 36 
a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own 
soul ? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ? 37 
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my 38 
words in this adulterous and sinful generation ; of him also 
shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the 
glory of his Father with the holy angels. And he said unto 9 
them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them 
that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have 
seen the kingdom of God come with power. 

thou enterest not into the thoughts and plans of God, but considerest all 
things only from the ideas of men. This attempt of thine to dissuade 
Me from My 'baptism of death' is a sin against the purposes of God." 

34. he had called] Even in these lonely regions considerable num- 
bers would seem to have followed Him, apparently at some little dis- 
tance. These He now called to Him, and addressed to them, as well as 
to His Apostles, some of His deepest teaching, making them sharers in 
this part of His instruction. 

will] i.e. whosoever is resolved. "Will" here is not the will simply 
of the future tense, but the will of real desire and resolution. Comp. 
John vii. 17, if any man will do His will (i. e. is resolved at all costs to 
do it), he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God. 

take up his cross] The first intimation of His own suffering upon the 

35. shall lose it] This solemn saying our Lord is found to have 
uttered on no less than four several occasions : (a) here, which corre- 
sponds with Matt. xvi. 25, Luke ix. 24; (b) Matt. x. 39; (c) Luke xvii. 
33 W John xii - 2 5- 

37. in exchange] i.e. to purchase back. By soul here is meant "life" 
in the higher sense. The "price" which the earthly-minded man gives 
for the world is his soul. But after having laid that down as the price, 
what has he for a "ransom-price," to purchase it again? The LXX. 
use the original word in Ruth iv. 7; Jer. xv. 13. 

38. adulterous] The generation is called " adulterous, " because its 
heart was estranged from God. Comp. Jer. xxxi. 32; Isai. liv. 5. 

IX. 1. And he said unto them] The opening verse of the Ninth 
Chapter connects closely with what goes before. 

Verily I say unto you] This well-known formula occurs 13 times in 
St Mark, 31 times in St Matthew, 7 times in St Luke, 25 times in 
St John. It always introduces solemn and important announcements. 

the kingdom of God] On this expression see above, ch. i. 15. Of 


98 ST MARK, IX. 


2 13. The Transfiguration. 
And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and 
James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high moun- 
tain apart by themselves : and he was transfigured before 

those then standing with the Lord, three six days afterwards beheld 
Him transfigured; all, save one, were witnesses of His resurrection; 
one at least, St John, survived the capture of Jerusalem and the destruc- 
tion of the Temple, and on each of these occasions "the kingdom of 
God" came "with power." 

Ch. IX. J 13. The Transfiguration. 

2. after six days] St Luke's words " about an eight days after" 
(ix. 28) may be considered an inclusive reckoning. 

Peter, and James, and John] the flower and crown of the Apostolic band, 
the privileged Three, who had already witnessed His power over death 
in the chamber of Jairus: St Peter who loved Him so much (John xxi. 
17), St John whom He loved so much (John xxi. 20), and St James 
" who should first attest that death could as little as life separate from 
His love (Acts xii. 2)." Trench's Studies in the Gospels, p. 191. 

leadeth them up] It is the same expression in the original, which is 
used in reference to His own Ascension (Luke xxiv. 51). 

into an high mountain] One of the numerous mountain-ranges in the 
neighbourhood, probably one of the spurs of the magnificent snow-clad 
Hermon, the most beautiful and conspicuous mountain in Palestine or 
Syria. The Sidonians called it Sirion= " breastplate," & name suggested 
by its rounded glittering top, when the sun's rays are reflected by the 
snow that covers it (Deut. iii. 9; Cant. iv. 8). It was also called Sion 
= "the elevated," and is now known as Jebel-esh Sheikh, "the chief 
mountain." "In whatever part of Palestine the Israelite turned his 
eye northward, Hermon was there terminating the view. From the 
plain along the coast, from the mountains of Samaria, from the Jordan 
valley, from the heights of Moab and Gilead, from the plateau of 
Bashan, that pale-blue, snow-capped cone forms the one feature 00 the 
northern horizon." 

apart by themselves] St Luke (ix. 28) tells us that one object of His 
own withdrawal was that He might engage in solitary prayer. We may 
infer, therefore (comparing Luke ix. 37), that evening was the time of 
this solitary retirement. The fact that it was night must have infinitely 
enhanced the grandeur of the scene. 

was transfigured] St Luke, writing primarily for Greek readers, 
avoids the word, "transfigured," or "transformed," "metamor- 
phosed" would be a still closer rendering, which St Matthew and 
St Mark do not shrink from employing. He avoids it, probably, 
because of the associations of the heathen mythology which would so 
easily, and almost inevitably, attach themselves to it in the imagination 
of a Greek. In naming this great event, the German theology, calling 
it "die Verklarung," or "the Glorification," has seized this point, not 

vv . 3 _ 5 .] ST MARK, IX. 99 

them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as 3 
snow ; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there a 
appeared unto them Elias with Moses : and they were talk- 
ing with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, 5 
Master, it is good for us to be here : and let us make three 

exactly the same as our "Transfiguration." From the records of the 
three Evangelists we infer that while He was engaged in prayer (Luke 
ix. 29), a marvellous change came over the Person of our Lord. 
The Divinity within Him shone through the veiling flesh, till His 
raiment became exceeding white as the light (Matt. xvii. 2), or as the 
glittering snow (Mark ix. 3) on the peaks above Him, so as no 
fuller on earth could white them ; moreover the fashion of His coun- 
tenance was altered (Luke ix. 29), and His face glowed with a sunlike 
majesty (Matt. xvii. 2, comp. Rev. i. 16). "St Mark borrows one 
image from the world of nature, another from that of man's art and 
device ; by these he struggles to set forth and reproduce for his readers 
the transcendant brightness of that light which now arrayed, and from 
head to foot, the Person of the Lord, breaking forth from within, and 
overflowing the very garments which He wore ; until in their eyes who 
beheld, He seemed to clothe Himself with light as with a garment, 
light being indeed the proper and peculiar garment of Deity (Ps. civ. 2 ; 
Hab. iii. 4)." Trench s Studies, pp. 194, 195. 

4. there appeared unto them] The three Apostles had not witnessed 
the beginning of this marvellous change. They had been weighed down 
with sleep (Luke ix. 32), lying wrapped like all Orientals in their abbas on 
the ground, but awakened probably by the supernatural light, they 
thoroughly roused themselves (Luke ix. 32), and saw His glory ; and the 
two men standing with Him. It was clearly no waking vision or 

Elias with Moses] (i) Among all the prophets and saints of the 
Old Testament these were the two, of whom one had not died (2 Kings 
ii. 11), and the other had no sooner tasted of death than his body 
was withdrawn from under the dominion of death and of him that 
had the power of death (Deut. xxxiv. 6; Jude 9). Both, therefore, 
came from the grave, but from the grave conquered, (ii) Again, 
these two were the acknowledged heads and representatives, the one of 
the Law, the other of the Prophets (comp. Matt. vii. 12). 

they were talking] St Luke tells us what was the subject of mysterious 
converse which the Three were privileged to hear "the decease, which 
He was about to accomplish at yerusalem" (Luke ix. 31). St Peter him- 
self reproduces this remarkable word in his second Epistle i. 15. " Vo- 
cabulum valde grave, quo continetur Passio, Crux, Mors, Resurrectio, 
Ascensio." Bengel. 

5. And Peter] Eager, ardent, impulsive as always. This proposal 
he made as the mysterious visitants were being parted from Him (Luke 
ix. 33). It was for him too brief a converse, too transient a glimpse and 
foretaste of the heavenly glory. 

it is good for us to be here] "Better, as no doubt he felt, than to be 


ioo ST MARK, IX. [vv. 6-8. 

tabernacles ; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for 

6 Elias. For he wist not what to say ; for they were sore 

7 afraid. And there was a cloud that overshadowed them : 
and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my be- 

8 loved Son : hear him. And suddenly, when they had looked 

rejected of the Jews, better than to suffer many things of the Elders and 
Chief Priests and Scribes and be killed" (Matt. xvi. 21). Trench's 
Studies, p. 202. 

three tabernacles] Three booths of wattled boughs, like those of the 
Feast of Tabernacles. It seemed to him that the hour for the long- 
looked-for reign had come. From the slopes of Hermon he would have 
had the Laws of the New Kingdom proclaimed, so that all men might 
recognise the true Messiah attended by the representatives of the Old 

6. he xvist not] " Sobli he wiste not what he schulde seie." Wyclif. 
This word also occurs Ex. xvi. 15, a.nd = he k?iew not. Wist is the 
past tense of A. S. 7vitan = to know. Compare \vh = knowledge (Ps. 
cvii. 27), and wit = /<? know (Gen. xxiv. 21), "And the man wondering 
at her held his peace, to wit whether the Lord had made his journey 
prosperous or net ;" Ex. ii. 4, " And his sister stood afar off, to wit what 
would be done to him;" 2 Cor. viii. 1, "Moreover, brethren, we do 
you to wit ( = cause you to know) of the grace of God." Witan = to 
know, Du. weten, G. wissen; the pr. t. in A. S. ic wdt, Mceso-Goth. ik 
wait, E. I wot; the pt. t. in A. S. ic wiste, Mceso-Goth. ik wissa, E. / 

sore afraid] The original word only occurs here and in Heb. xii. 
2r, "Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake;" comp. Deut. ix. 
19. Wyclif 's rendering is very striking, "forsobe bei weren agast by 

7. a cloud] not dark and murky, but bright (Matt. xvii. 5), over- 
shadowed the lawgiver and the prophet, and perhaps also the Lord. 
"Light in its utmost intensity performs the effects of darkness, hides as 
effectually as the darkness would do." Comp. 1 Tim. vi. 16, and the 
words of Milton, "dark with excess of light," and of Wordsworth, "a 
glorious privacy of light." Trench's Studies, pp. 205, 206. 

a voice came out of the cloud] The same Voice which had been heard 
once before at the Baptism (Matt. iii. 1 7), and which was to be heard 
again when He stood on. the threshold of His Passion (John xii. 28), 
attesting His Divinity and Sonship at the beginning, at the middle, and 
at the close of His ministry. Looking back afterwards on the scene now 
vouchsafed to him and to the "sons of thunder," St Peter speaks of him- 
self and them as " eyewitnesses of His majesty " (2 Peter i. 16), i.e. literally, 
as men who had been admitted and initiated hi to secret and holy mysteries, 
and says that the Voice "came from the excellent glory" (2 Peter i. 17), 
from Him, that is, Who dwelt in the cloud, which was the symbol and 
the vehicle of the Divine Presence. St John also clearly alludes to the 
scene in John i. 14 and 1 John i. 1. 


w. 912.] ST MARK, IX. 101 

round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only 
with themselves. And as they came down from the moun- 9 
tain, he charged them that they should tell no man what 
things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the . 
dead. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning 10 
one with another what the rising from the dead should mean. 
And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that n 
Elias must first come ? And he answered and told them, 12 
Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things ; and how 

This is my beloved Son] "In the words themselves of this majestic 
installation there is a remarkable honouring of the Old Testament, and 
of it in all its parts, which can scarcely be regarded as accidental ; for 
the three several clauses of that salutation are drawn severally from the 
Psalms (Ps. ii. 7), the Prophets (Isaiah xlii. 1}, and the Law (Deut. 
xviii. 15); and together they proclaim Him, concerning whom they are 
spoken, to be the King, the Priest, and the Prophet of the New Cove- 
nant." Trench, Studies, p. 207. 

8. when they had looked round about] At first ( 1 ) they fell prostrate 
on their faces (Matt. xvii. 6; comp.Ex. iii. 6; 1 Kings xix. 13), then (2) 
recovering from the shock of the Voice from heaven (Matt. xvii. 6 ; comp. 
Ex. xx. 19; Hab. iii. 2, 16; Heb. xii. 19), they (3) suddenly gazed all 
around them, and saw no man, save Jesus only. " Hinc constat, hunc 
esse Filium, audiendum, non Mosen, non Eliam." Bengel. "Quse ex 
Verbo coeperunt, in Verbo desinunt." S. Ambrose. 

9. they should tell no man] This implies that they were forbidden to 
reveal the wonders of the night, and what they had seen, even to their 
fellow- Apostles. The seal set upon their lips was not to be removed till 
after the Resurrection. 

10. questioning one with another] St Mark alone mentions the per- 
plexity which this language of their Lord occasioned to the Apostles. It 
was not the question of the resurrection generally, but of His resurrec- 
tion, and the death, so abhorrent to their prejudices, that rendered 
it possible and necessary, which troubled them. 

11. first come] that is before the Messiah (Mai. iv. 5). The Pharisees 
and Scribes may have urged as a capital objection against the Messiah- 
ship of their Master that no Elias went before Him. "It would be an 
infinite task," says Lightfoot, "to produce all the passages out of the 
Jewish writings which one might concerning the expected coming of 
Elias." He was to restore to the Jews the pot of manna and the rod of 
Aaron, to cry to the mountains, "Peace and blessing come into the 
world, peace and blessing come into the world!" "Salvation cometh, 
Salvation cometh, to gather all the scattered sons of Jacob, and restore 
all things to Israel as in ancient times." 

12. and how] Rather, but how is it written of the Son of Man 
that He must suffer many things and he set at naught? See 
Tischendorf, Synop. Evang. The words that He must, or in order that 
He may, are very striking. They set before us the design of the // is 

102 ST MARK, IX. [v. 

it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many 
13 tilings, and be set at nought. But I say unto you, That 
Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatso- 
ever they listed, as it is written of him. 

wi'itten. " Elias cometh first. But how or to what purpose is it 
written of the Son of Man that He cometh ? In order that He may 
suffer, not conquer like a mighty prince." 

13. That Elias is indeed come] that is in the person of John the 
Baptist, to whom men acted even as it had been written of the persecu- 
tion of the real Elijah. A few remarks here will not be out of place (i) 
On the three accounts of the Transfiguration ; (ii) On the meaning and 
significance of the event itself. 

(i) The three accounts, (a) All three Evangelists relate the conver- 
sation which preceded, and the Miracle which succeeded it. (b) 
St Matthew alone records the prostration of the disciples through 
excessive fear, and the Lord's strengthening touch and cheering 
words uttered once before on the stormy lake (Matt. xvii. 6, 7, xiv. 
27), recalling, as the Hebrew Evangelist, the scene in the Exodus 
when the face of Moses shone, and the children of Israel were 
afraid to come nigh him (Ex. xxxiv. 29, 30). {c) St Mark, in 
describing the effect of the Transfiguration, uses the strongest 
material imagery, "white as snow," "so as no fuller on earth 
can whiten,'''' and he alone has the sudden vanishing of the 
heavenly visitors, and the inquiring look around of the disciples, 
and their questioning amongst themselves what " the rising from 
the dead could mean." (d) St Luke alone tells us that our Lord 
was engaged in prayer at the moment of His glorification (Luke 
ix. 29), and mentions the slumbrous and wakeful condition of 
the three witnesses, the subject of mysterious converse between 
the Lord and His visitors from the other world (Luke ix. 31), 
and the fact that the Heavenly Voice succeeded their departure 
(Luke ix. 35). (<?) Both St Matthew and St Mark place in im- 
mediate connection with the Event the remarkable conversation 
about Elias, but St Matthew alone applies the Lord's words 
concerning that great prophet to John the Baptist (Matt. xvii. 13). 
(ii) The meaning and significance of the Event. This we may 
believe had respect (a) to the Apostles, and (b) to our Lord Himself. 

(a) As regards the Apostles. This one full manifestation of His Divine 
glory, during the period of the Incarnation, was designed to confirm 
their faith, to comfort them in prospect of their Master's approach- 
ing sufferings, to prepare them to see in His Passion the fulfilment 
alike of the Law and the Prophets, to give them a glimpse of the 
celestial Majesty of Him, whom they had given up all to follow. 

(b) As regards our Lord. As regards the Redeemer we may conclude 
that the transaction marked His consecration as the Divine Victim, 
Who was to accomplish the great " Decease " at Jerusalem, even 
as the Baptism inaugurated the commencement of His public 
ministry; it was the solemn attestation of His perfect oneness with 

vv. 1418.] ST MARK, IX. 103 

14 29. The Healing of the Lunatic Child. 
And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multi- 14 
tude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. 
And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were 15 
greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. And he 16 
asked the scribes, What question ye with them ? And one 17 
of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought 
unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit ; and whereso- 18 
ever he taketh him, he teareth him : and he foameth, and 

His Father in heaven at the very time when He was about to 
descend into the valley of the shadow of death. It was, as it has 
well been called, "the summit-level" of the Life Incarnate. From 
this time forward there is a perceptible change, (a) Miracles, which 
hitherto had abounded in prodigal profusion, well-nigh cease. 
Only five mark the period between the Transfiguration and the 
Passion. Those, for whom "signs" could avail, were already won. 
For the rest, no more could be done. They were like those, 
amongst whom in His earlier ministry, "He could do no mighty 
work because of their unbelief." (b) As regards His teaching, 
public addresses, before the rule, now become few and rare ; His 
special revelations of the future to the chosen Twelve become more 
frequent, and they uniformly circle, unenshrouded in type or figure 
or dark saying, round the Cross. 

14 29. The Healing of the Lunatic Child. 

14. And when he came to his disciples'] The great picture of 
Raphael has enshrined for ever the contrast between the scene on the 
Mount of Glorification and that which awaited the Saviour and the 
three Apostles on the plain below, between the harmonies of heaven 
and the harsh discords of earth. 

scribes] Thus far north had they penetrated in their active hostility to 
the Lord. Many of them would be found in the tetrarchy of Philip. 

15. were greatly amazed] "was astonied and much afraid," Rhemish 
Version. His face would seem, like that of Moses (Ex. xxxiv. 30), to 
have retained traces of the celestial glory of the Holy Mount, which 
had not faded into the light of common day, and filled the beholders 
with awe and wonder. The word points to an extremity of terror. It 
is used four times in the New Testament, and only by St Mark. What 
is here said of the multitudes is said (Mark xiv. 34) of our Lord in 
Gethsemane, and (Mark xvi. 5) of the holy women at the Sepulchre 
on the first Easter-day at the sight of the Angel seated, "theywwv 

17. my son] and his "only son " (Luke ix. 38). 

a dumb spirit] dumb in respect to articulate sounds, to which he 
could give no utterance, though he could suddenly cry out (Luke ix. 39). 

18. wheresoever] According to St Matthew these crises had a con- 
nection with changes of the moon (Matt. xvii. 15). 

io4 ST MARK, IX. [w. 19-: 

gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away : and I spake to 
thy disciples that they should cast him out ; and they could 

19 not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, 
how long shall I be with you ? how long shall I suffer you ? 

20 bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him : and 
when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he 

21 fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked 
his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? 

22 And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into 
the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him : but if thou 
canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. 

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are 

24 possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father 
of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe ; 

25 help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people 

he teareth him] Probably this manifested itself in violent convulsions, 
St Vitus' dance, or the like. 

pineth away] "wexib drye," Wyclif. The word may denote either 
that he pined away like one, the very springs of whose life were dried 
up, or that in the paroxysms of his disorder his limbs became un- 
naturally stiff and stark. The fundamental form of his malady was 
epilepsy in its worst form, accompanied by dumbness, atrophy, and 
suicidal mania (Mark be. 22). 

19. faithless generation] These words, though primarily addressed 
to the father, apply also to the surrounding multitude, and indeed to the 
whole Jewish people of which he was a representative, and in a sense 
to the disciples. 

20. straightway the spirit] The mere introduction to our Lord 
brings on one of the sudden and terrible paroxysms, to which he was 

21. And he asked] This conversation with the father is parallel to 
another conversation with an actual sufferer (Mark v. 9). 

22. if thou canst] More literally, if at all Thou canst. This is a 
strong expression of an infirm faith, which at the beginning had been 
too weak, but had become more and more weak owing to the failure of 
the disciples to aid him. 

23. If thou canst] According to the best reading here the transla- 
tion would be, Jesus said unto him, As for thy if thou canst, all 
things are possible to him that believeth. For the use of the article 
compare Matt. xix. 18; Luke ix. 46. "Thou hast said," replies our 
Lord, "if I can do anything. But as for thy if Thou canst, the 
question is if thou canst believe; that is the hinge upon which all must 
turn." Then He pauses, and utters the further words, " all things are 
possible to him that believeth." "Hoc, si potes credere^ res estj hoc 
agitur." BengeL 



2 6 30.] ST MARK, IX. 105 

came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying 
unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come 
out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit 26 
cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him : and he was 
as one dead ; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But 27 
Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up ; and he 
arose. And when he was come into the house, his disciples 28 
asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out ? And 29 
he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but 
by prayer and fasting. 

30 32. Predictions of the Passion. 
And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee ; 30 

25. I charge thee] Notice the words of majestic command, / charge 
thee, I, whom thou darest not to disobey, and against whom it is vain 
for thee to struggle. 

26. and rent him sore] Observe here the minuteness and exactness 
of the Evangelist in all the details of the incident. Who was more 
likely to treasure up every detail of the scene than that Apostle, who 
had been with His Master on the Mount of Glorification ? 

28. Why could not we cast him out?] He had given them "power 
and authority over all demons" (Lukeix. 1), and " against unclean spirits 
to cast them out " (Matt. x. 1) ; what was the reason of their failure now ? 

29. This kind] In His reply to their question our Lord impresses 
upon them a twofold lesson : (i) The omnipotence of a perfect faith (see 
Matt. xvii. 20, 21); (ii) that, as there is order and gradation in the 
hierarchy of blessed spirits, so is it with the spirits of evil (see Eph. vi. 
12). There are degrees of spiritual and moral wickedness so intense 
and malignant that they can be exorcised by nothing save by prayer and 
fasting, and the austerest rules of rigour and self-denial. These last 
words and fasting are wanting in the Sinaitic MS. and some Versions. 

30 32. Predictions of the Passion. 

30. And they departed thence] From the northern regions, into 
which our Lord had penetrated, He now turned His steps once more 
towards Galilee, probably taking the route by Dan across the slopes of 
Lebanon, thus escaping the publicity of the ordinary high roads, and 
securing secrecy and seclusion. " It was the last time He was to visit 
the scene of so great a part of His public life, and He felt, as He jour- 
neyed on, that He would no more pass from village to village as openly 
as in days gone by, for the eyes of His enemies were everywhere upon 

and passed] The word thus translated occurs five times in the N. T. 
It is applied to the disciples passing through the cornfields (Mark ii. 23) ; 
to their passing by along the road from Bethany and noticing the 
withered fig-tree (Mark xi. 20) ; to those that passed by and reviled our 
Lord upon the Cross (Matt, xxvii. 39; Mark xv. 29). Here it seems to 

106 ST MARK, IX. [v v. 3138. 

31 and he would not that any man should know it. For he 
taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is 
delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him ; 

32 and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. But 
they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him. 

33 37. True Greatness in Chris fs Kingdom. 

33 And he came to Capernaum : and being in the house 
he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among your- 

34 selves by the way ? But they held their peace : for by the 
way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the 

35 greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith 
unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be 

36 last of all, and servant of all. And he took a child, and set 
him in the midst of them : and when he had taken him in 

37 his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of 
such children in my name, receiveth me : and whosoever 
shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. 

38 50. The Question of John. 

38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one 

denote that, avoiding populous places, He and His Apostles sought bye- 
paths among the hills, where He would meet few and be little known. 

31. For he taught] The tense in the original implies that the 
constant subject of His teaching in private now was His approaching 
sufferings, death, and resurrection. 

32. were afraid] St Matthew adds that they were "exceeding 
sorry." His words concerning His violent death contradicted all their 

3337. True Greatness in Christ's Kingdom. 

33. he came] or rather they came, to Capernaum. Here, the next 
recorded event was the miraculous payment of the tribute-money (Matt. 
xvii. 24 27), the half-shekel for the Temple-service. 

34. who should be the greatest] They called to mind perhaps the 
preference given on Hermon to Peter and the sons of Zebedee, and now 
disputed who should be the greatest in the Messianic kingdom, which 
they fondly believed was about to be speedily set up. 

35. And he sat down] Observe the many graphic and pathetic 
touches in this and the following verse. (1) He sits down; (2) He 
calls the Twelve to Him ; (3) He takes a little child, and places it in the 
midst of them ; (4) He takes it into His arms, and then He speaks to 

38 41. The Question of John. 
38. And John answered him] The words in My name of v. 37 

vv. 3943.] ST MARK, IX. 107 

casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us : 
and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus 39 
said, Forbid him not : for there is no man which shall do a 
miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For 40 
he that is not against us is on our part. For whosoever shall 41 
give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye 
belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his 
reward. And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones 42 
that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were 
hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. And 43 
if thy hand offend thee, cut it off : it is better for thee to 
enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into 

seem to have reminded the Apostle of an incident in their recent 

because he followeth not us] Observe what the Apostle affirms to have 
been the ground of their rebuke, "because he followeth not us," not 
"because he followeth not Thee." It is the utterance of excited party 
feeling. "We gather from this passage," observes Meyer, "how 
mightily the words and influence of Christ had wrought outside the 
sphere of His permanent dependants, exciting in individuals a degree of 
spiritual energy that performed miracles on others." 

39. Forbid him not] Compare the words of Joshua and the reply of 
Moses in Num. xi. 28, 29; "and Joshua the son of Nun, the servant 
of Moses... answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses 
said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? Would God that all the 
Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His Spirit 
upon them." 

41. a cup of water] which all gave readily in those sultry lands. 

42. a millstone] Literally, an ass-mill- stone, a mill-stone turned by 
an ass. These were much larger and heavier than the stones of hand- 
mills. Comp. Ov. Fast. VI. 318, 

"Et quae pumiceas versat asella molas." 

It was not a Jewish punishment, but was in use among the Greeks, 
Romans, Syrians, and Phoenicians. "Paedagogum ministrosque C. 
fill... oneratos gravi pondere cervicibus praecipitavit in flumen." Sueton. 
Oct. lxvii. 

43. offend thee] or, as in margin, cause thee to offend, lead thee 
into sin. Our Lord makes special mention of the Hand, the Foot, the 
Eye, those members, whereby we do amiss, or walk astray, or gaze an 
what is sinful. 

into hell] Literally, the Gehenna, or the Gehenna of fire (v. 47). 
The "Ravine of Hinnom," also called " Topheth" (2 Kings xxiii. 10; 
Isai. xxx. 33), is described in Josh, xviii. 16, as on the south of Mount 
Zion. Its total length is a mile and a half. It is a deep retired glen, 
shut in by rugged cliffs, with the bleak mountain sides rising over all. 

io8 ST MARK, IX. [vv. 44 5^ 

44 hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched : where their 

45 worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy 
foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt 
into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the 

46 fire that never shall be quenched : where their worm dieth not, 

47 and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, 
pluck it out : it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom 
of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into 

48 hell fire : where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not 

49 quenched. For every one shall be salted with fire, and 

50 every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good : but if 
the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it ? 
Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another. 

It became notorious in the times of Ahaz and Manasseh as the scene of 
the barbarous rites of Molech and Chemosh, when the idolatrous 
inhabitants of Jerusalem cast their sons and daughters into the red-hot 
arms of a monster idol of brass placed at the opening of the ravine 
(2 Kings xvi. 3; 2 Chron. xxviii. 3; Jcr. vii. 31). To put an end to 
these abominations the place was polluted by Josiah, who spread over 
it human bones and other corruptions (2 Kings xxiii. 10, 13, 14), from 
which time it seems to have become the common cesspool of the city. 
These inhuman rites and subsequent ceremonial defilement caused the 
later Jews to regard it with horror and detestation, and they applied the 
name given to the valley to the place of torment. 

44. where their worm] These words are cited from Isai. lxvi. 24. 

49. every one shall be salted with fire] Salt and fire have properties 
in common. Salt, like a subtle flame, penetrates all that is corruptible, 
and separates that which is decaying and foul, whilst it fixes and 
quickens that which is sound. Fire destroys that which is perishable, 
and thereby establishes the imperishable in its purest perfection, and 
leads to new and more beautiful forms of being. Thus both effect a 
kind of transformation. Now "every one," our Lord saith, "shall be 
salted with fire;" either (1) by his voluntary entering upon a course of 
self-denial and renunciation of his sins, and so submitting to the purifying 
fire of self-transformation; or (2) by his being involuntarily salted with 
the fire of condemning judgment (Heb. x. 27, xii. 29), as the victims on 
the altar were salted with salt (Lev. ii. 13; Ezek. xliii. 24). See Lange. 

60. Salt is good] in its kind and its effect, as preserving from corruption. 

have lost] "It was the belief of the Jews that salt would by exposure 
to the air lose its virtue (Matt. v. 13) and become saltless. The same 
fact is implied in the expressions of Pliny sal iners, sal tabescere, and 
Maundrell asserts that he found the surface of a salt rock in this con- 

his saltness] Observe his here, where we should now use its. This 
is frequently the case in the Bible, and indeed the word its does not 
occur at all in the English Version of 161 1. 

v. I.] ST MARK, X. 109 

1 12. Marriage Legislation of the Pharisees. 
And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts 10 
of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan : and the people 
resort unto him again ; and, as he was wont, he taught them 

Have salt in yourselves] In the common -life of Orientals, salt was a 
sign of sacred covenant engagements and obligations (Lev. ii. 13; 2 
Chron. xiii. 5 ). To eat salt together, meant to make peace, and enter 
into covenant with each other. Hence the connection here between the 
disciples having salt in themselves and being at peace one with another, 
which our Lord further enforced during this "brief period of tran- 
quillity and seclusion" by speaking of the duty not only of avoiding all 
grounds of offence, but also of cultivating a spirit of gentleness and 
forgiveness (Matt, xviii. 1 5 20), which He illustrated by the Parable of 
the Lost Sheep (Matt, xviii. 12 14), and the Debtor who awed Ten 
Thousand Talents (Matt, xviii. 21 35). 

Ch. X. 1 12. Marriage Legislation of the Pharisees. 

1. And] Between the events just recorded and those of which the 
Evangelist now proceeds to treat, many others had occurred, which he 
has passed over. The most important of these were 

(o) The visit of our Lord to Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles 
(John vii. 8 10), which was marked by 

(a) The rebuke of the " Sons of Thunder" at the churlish conduct 

of the inhabitants of a Samaritan village on their way to the 
Holy City (Luke ix. 51 56) ; 

(b) Solemn discourses during the Feast, and an attempt of the 

Sanhedrim to apprehend Him (John vii. 11 51, viii. 12 


(r) The opening of the eyes of one born blind (John ix. 1 41), the 

revelation of Himself as the Good Shepherd (John x. 1 18); 

(/S) Ministrations in Judaa and Mission of tlie Seventy (Luke x. 

xiii. 17); 
(7) Visit to Jerusalem at the Feast of Dedication (John x. 22 39); 
(S) Tour in Percea (Luke xiii. 22 xvii. 10); 

(e) The raising of Lazarus (John xi. 1 46); 

(f) Resolve of the Sanhedrim to put Him to death, and His retirement 

to Ephraim (John xi. 47 54). 

he arose] The place, whither He now retired, has been identified with 
Ophrah, and was situated in the wide desert country north-east of Jeru- 
salem, not far from Bethel, and on the confines of Samaria. Caspari 
would identify it with a place now called El-Faria, or El-Farah, about 
2 hours N.E. of Nablous. Chron. and Geog. Lntrod. p. 185. Here in 
quiet and seclusion He remained till the approach of the last Passover, 
and then commenced a farewell journey along the border-line of Samaria 
and Galilee (Luke xvii. 11) and so by the further side of Jordan towards 
Judaea (Markx. 1). 

he taught them again] Portions of His teaching are recorded by St 
Luke, and include the Parables of {a) the Unjust Judge, and {b) the 

no ST MARK, X. [vv. 2 12. 

a again. And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it 

3 lawful for a man to put away his wife ? tempting him. And 
he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command 

4 you ? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of 

5 divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and 
said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you 

6 this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God 

7 made them male and female. For this cause shall a man 

8 leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife ; and 
they twain shall be one flesh : so then they are no more 

9 twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined to- 

10 gether, let not man put asunder. And in the house his dis 

11 ciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith 
unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry 

12 another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman 
shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she 
committeth adultery. 

Pharisee and the Publican (Luke xviii. 1 14). On the frontier of 
the region now traversed occurred in all probability the Healing of the 
ten lepers (Luke xvii. 12 ro). 

2. Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife] "for every cause?" 
as St Matthew adds (Matt. xix. 3). On this point the rival schools of 
Hillel and Shammai were divided, the former adopting the more lax, 
the latter the stricter view : the one holding that any dislike, which he 
felt towards her, would justify a man inputting away his wife; the other, 
that only notorious unchastity could be a sufficient reason. It has also 
been suggested that the object of the question may have been to involve 
Him with the adulterous tetrarch, in whose territory He was. 

7. For this cause] He thus shews that from the beginning God had 
designed that the marriage tie should be the closest and most indis- 
soluble of all ties, and in the words added by St Matthew (xix. 9) 
rebukes the adultery of Herod Antipas, though without naming him, in 
the severest terms. 

9. What therefore God] In Gen. ii. 24 these are the words of Adam ; 
in St Matthew xix. 4 the words of God; in St Mark the words of 
Christ. They are words of Adam as uttering prophetically a Divine, 
fundamental, ordinance ; they are words of God as being eternally 
valid ; they are words of Christ, as rules for Christian life re-established 
by Him, Who "adorned and beautified" the holy estate of matrimony 
with His presence and first miracle at Cana of Galilee. 

10. in the house] St Mark records several confidential household 
words of our Lord to His disciples, e.g. concerning (a) the power of 
casting out demons (ix. 28, 29); (b) the great in the kingdom of heaven 
(ix. 33 37); and (c) here, the Christian law of marriage. 

w. 1317.] ST MARK, X. 

13 16. Suffer little Children to come unto Me. 

And they brought young children to him, that he should 13 
touch them : and his disciples rebuked those that brought 
them. But when Jesus saw //, he was much displeased, and 14 
said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, 
and forbid them not : for of such is the kingdom of God. 
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the king- 15 
dom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And 16 
he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and 
blessed them. 

1 7 3 1 . The Rich Young Ruler. 

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came I7 

13 16. Suffer little Children to come unto Me. 

13. they brought] These probably were certain parents, who 
honoured Him and valued His benediction. The "children" in St 
Mark and St Matthew are "infants" in St Luke xviii. 15. 

that he should touch them] or, as St Matthew adds, that he should lay 
his hands upon them and pray for them (xix. 13). Hebrew mothers 
were accustomed in this manner to seek a blessing for their children 
from the presidents of the synagogues, who were wont to lay their 
hands upon them. "After the father of the child," says the Talmud, 
"had laid his hands on his child's head, he led him to the elders one 
by one, and they also blessed him, and prayed that he might grow 
up famous in the Law, faithful in marriage, and abundant in good 
works. " 

14. he was much displeased] This feature is peculiar to St Mark. 
Only lately the Lord had expressed His love towards little children in a 
very remarkable manner (Mark ix. 36, 37). 

of such] Rather, to such belongs the Kingdom of God. He 
says not of these, but of such: shewing that it is not children only, but 
the disposition of children which obtains the kingdom, and that to 
such as have the like innocence and simplicity the reward is promised. 

16. took them up in his arms] He ever giveth more than men ask 
or think. He had been asked only to touch the children. He takes 
them into His arms, lays His Hands upon them, and blesses them. 
Twice we read of our Lord taking into His arms, and both times they 
were children whom He embraced, and both times the scenes are re- 
corded only by St Mark (ix. 36, x. 16). 

blessed them] Rather, He blesses them, according to some MSS. 
The present tense is in keeping with the graphic style of the Evangelist. 

17 31. The Rich Young Ruler. 

17. when he was gone forth] Literally, when He was going forth. 
He was just starting, it would seem, on His last journey towards? 

ST MARK, X. [vv. 1821. 

one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good 
18 Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life ? And 
Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is 
i 9 none good but one, that is y God. Thou knowest the com- 
mandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not 
steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy 

20 father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, 

21 Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then 
Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One 

one] He was young (Matt. xix. 22), of great wealth, and a ruler of a 
local synagogue (Luke xviii. 18). 

running\ Running up to Him, apparently from behind, eager 
and breathless. Then he knelt before Him, as was usual before a 
venerated Rabbi. 

what shall I do] He had probably observed our Lord's gracious 
reception of little children, and he desired to have part in the Kingdom 
promised to them. But his question betrays his fundamental error. 
Not by doing; but by being, was an entrance into it to be obtained. 

18. Why callest thou me good?] The emphasis is on the "why." 
"Dost thou know what thou meanest, when thou givest Me this appel- 
lation?" If we combine the question and rejoinder as given by St 
Matthew and St Luke it would seem to have run, Why askest thou 
Me about the good? and why callest thou Me good? None is good save 
One, God. Our Lord does not decline the appellation "good." He 
repels it only in the superficial sense of the questioner, who regarded 
Him merely as a "good Rabbi." 

19. Thou knowest the commandments] The young man is referred to 
the Commandments of the Second Table only, and they are cited 
generally from Ex. xx. 12 17. A striking instance of the free mode of 
quotation from the Old Testament even in such a case as the Ten 

Defraud not] The word thus rendered occurs in 1 Cor. vi. 7, 8, 
vii. 5 ; 1 Tim. vi. 5 ; James v. 4. It means deprive none of what is 
theirs, and has been thought to sum up the four Commandments which 

Honour thy father and mother] Rendered by Wyclif "worschippe bi 
fadir and modir," which illustrates the meaning of the word as used 
in the Marriage Service, "with my body I thee worship" = honour. 
St Mark places this commandment at the end. 

20. all these have I observed] adding, according to St Matthew, what 
lack I yet? We are told that when the Angel of Death came to fetch 
the R. Chanina, he said, "Go and fetch me the Book of the Law, and 
see whether there is anything in it which I have not kept. " Farrar's Life 
of Christ, II. 161, n. 

21. beholding him] The same word, which occurs also in v. 27, in 
the original is applied (a) to the Baptist, when he "looked upon Jesus" 
and said, "Behold the Lamb of God" (John i. 36), [b) to our Lord's 

w. 22 25.] ST MARK, X. 113 

thing thou lackest : go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, 
and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven : 
and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was z 
sad at that saying, and went away grieved : for he had great 
possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto 23 
his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into 
the kingdom of God ! And the disciples were astonished at 24 
his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, 
Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter 
into the kingdom of God ! It is easier for a camel to go 25 

look at St Peter (i) when He named him Cephas (John i. 42), and (ii) 
when He turned and looked upon him just before the cock crew for the 
second time (Luke xxii. 61). 

loved him~\ Literally, esteemed him, or was pleased with him, for 
His Eye penetrated his inmost being, and saw within him an honest 
striving after better things, and the noblest form of life. Lightfoot 
remarks that the Jewish Rabbis were wont to kiss the head of such 
pupils as answered well. Some gesture at least we may believe that 
our Lord used to shew that the young man pleased Him, both by his 
question and by his answer. 

One thing thou lackest] He thus proposed to him one short crucial 
test of his real condition, and way to clearer self-knowledge. He bad 
fancied himself willing to do whatever could be required: he could now 
see if he were really so. 

take up the cross, and follow me] See ch. viii. 34. But some MSS. 
omit the words. "Poor, friendless, outlawed, Jesus abated no jot of 
His awful claims, loftier than human monarch had ever dreamed of 
making, on all who sought citizenship in His Kingdom." 

22. he was sad] "Sorrowful," says St Matthew (xix. 22); "very 
sorrowful" says St Luke (xviii. 23); "sad," says St Mark, or rather 
lowring, with a cloud upon his brow. The original word only occurs 
in one other place, Matt. xvi. 3, "for the sky is red and lowring." 

he had great possessions] and these he preferred to possessions in 
heaven, and made, as Dante calls it, "the great refusal!" "Yet within 
a few months," to quote the words of Keble, "hundreds in Jerusalem 
remembered and obeyed this saying of our Lord, and brought their 
goods, and laid them at the Apostles' feet" (Acts iv. 34 37). 

23. looked round about] "Ssepe describitur vultus Christi, affectui 
conveniens, et affectibus auditorum attemperatus. " Bengel. Comp. 
Mark iii. 5, 34, viii. 34; Luke vi. 10, xxii. 61. 

24. Children] By this affectionate title He softens the sadness and 
sternness of His words. 

for them that trust in riches] Some important MSS. omit these 
words, and then the verse would run, " Children, how hard it is to 
enter into the kingdom of God. " 

25. // is easier for a camel] This figure has been variously interpreted. 
(a) Some have rendered it an "anchor-rope," as though the word was 


U4 ST MARK, X. |vv. 26 32. 

through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter 

26 into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out 
of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be 

27 saved ? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it 
is impossible, but not with God : for with God all things are 

28 possible. Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left 

29 all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, 
Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, 
or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or chil- 

30 dren, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, but he shall 
receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and bre- 
thren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with 

3 x persecutions ; and in the world to come eternal life. But 
many that are first shall be last ; and the last first. 

3 2 3 4. Predictions of the Passion. 
32 And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and 
Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as 

"kamilon" and not " kamelon;" {b) others think it refers to the side 
gate for foot passengers, close by the principal gate, called in the East 
the "eye of a needle;" but (<r) it is best to understand the words 
literally. Similar proverbs are common in the Talmud. 

28. and have followed thee~\ adding, as St Matthew relates, "what 
shall we have therefore ?" In reply to which our Lord uttered glorious 
words respecting the Twelve Thrones to be occupied by the Apostles 
"in the Regeneration," or "restoration of all things" (Matt. xix. 28). 

30. with persecutions] An important limitation. See 2 Cor. xii. 10; 
1 Thess. i. 4; 1 Tim. iii. n. 

31. many that are firsi\ Very signally was the former part of this 
verse fulfilled temporarily in the case of St Peter himself, finally in that 
of Judas ; while the latter part was wonderfully realised in the instance 
of St Paul, so that this passage is chosen for the Gospel of the Festival 
of " the Conversion of St Paul." It was now that, to impress upon His 
hearers the important lesson that entrance into the kingdom of heaven 
is not a matter of mercenary calculation, our Lord delivered tlve memo- 
rable Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard (Matt. xx. 1 16). 

32 34. Predictions of the Passion. 

32. they were in the way] Our Lord would seem to have now de- 
scended from Ephraim to the high road in order to join the caravans of 
Galilaean pilgrims going up to Jerusalem. St Mark gives a special pro- 
minence to this critical period in His human history : He describes (a) the 
prophetic elevation and solemnity of soul which He displayed ; (b) His 
advancing before them as the destined Sufferer, (c) the awe of the dis- 
ciples as they followed Him. 

and Jesus went before them] "After the manner of some leadei who 

w. 33-37-1 ST MARK, X. 115 

they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the 
twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen 
unto him, saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem ; and the 32 
Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priescs, and 
unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and 
shall deliver him to the Gentiles : and they shall mock him, 34 
and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall 
kill him : and the third day he shall rise again. 

35 45. The Ambitious Apostles. 
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto 35 
him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us 
whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, What 36 
would ye that I should do for you ? They said unto him, 37 
Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and 

heartens his soldiers by choosing the place of danger for himself." 
Trench, Studies, p. 216. 

and as they followed] Or, according to the better reading, and they 
that followed, as though there were two bands of the Apostles, of whom 
one went foremost, while the others had fallen behind. "There are few 
pictures in the Gospel more striking than this of Jesus going forth to 
His death, and walking alone along the path into the deep valley, while 
behind Him, in awful reverence, and mingled anticipations of dread 
and hope their eyes fixed on Him, as with bowed head He preceded 
them in all the majesty of sorrow the disciples walked behind and 
dared not disturb His meditations. " Farrar, Life, 11. p. 1 79. 

And he took again] This was for the third time. The two previous 
occasions are described in (a) Mark viii. 31, in the neighbourhood of 
Csesarea Philippi, just after St Peter's confession, and (b) Mark ix. 
30 32, shortly afterwards, during the return to Capernaum. The parti- 
culars are now more full and more clear than ever before. St Matthew 
(xx. 1 7) distinctly tells us that this mournful communication was made 
privately to the Apostles. 

34. and shall kill him] Or, as St Matthew adds, u crucify Him." 
Now for the first time is revealed this last, this greatest horror (see 
Matt. xx. 19). St Luke lays stress upon the fact that the disciples 
would not and could not understand His words (Luke xviii. 34). This 
absence of all sympathy was one of His greatest trials. 

35 45. The Ambitious Apostles. 

35. James and John] and with them their mother Salome, to ask 
the same favour on their behalf. She was one of the constant attendants 
of our Lord, and now falling on her knees preferred her request (Matt, 
xx. 20). Nothing could have been more ill-timed than this selfish 
petition when He was going forth to His death. 

37. that we may sit] The mention of Thrones (Matt. xix. 28), as in 

n6 ST MARK, X. [w. 38-42. 

38 the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. But Jesus said 
unto them, Ye know not what ye ask : can ye drink of the 
cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that 

39 I am baptized with ? And they said unto him, We can. 
And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup 
that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized 

40 withal shall ye be baptized : but to sit on my right hand and 
on my left hand is not mine to give ; but it shall be given 

<i to them for whom it is prepared. And when the ten heard 
it, they began to be much displeased with James and John. 

42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know 
that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles 

reversion for the Twelve at the coming of their Master in glory, may 
have suggested the idea to the aspiring Three. This session on the 
. right hand and on the left was a Jewish form of expression for being 
next to the king in honour. 

39. And they said unto him, We can] They knew not at the time 
what they said, and their words were recorded in heaven. They had 
yet to learn how serious their words were, and afterwards they were 
enabled to drink of that Cup, and to be baptized with that Baptism. To 
St James was given strength to be steadfast unto death, and be the first 
martyr of the Apostolic band (Acts xii. 1) ; to St John (a) to bear be- 
reavement, first, of his brother, then of the other Apostles ; (b) to bear a 
length of years in loneliness and exile in sea-girt Patmos (Rev. i. 9) ; 
and (c) then to die last of the Apostles, as St James first. 

the cup] Comp. John xviii. 11, " The cup which my Father 
hath given me, shall I not drink it?" and Mark xiv. 36, "Take away 
this cup from me." Their thoughts were fastened on thrones and high 
places ; His on a Cup of Suffering and a baptism of blood. For this 
use of the word "baptism" here, compare Luke xii. 50, "I have a 
baptism to be baptized with. " 

40. but it shall be given] This is not a very happy interpolation. 
The verse really runs thus : But to sit on My right hand and on My 
left hand is not mine to give except to those for whom it is prepared. 
To "give" here denotes to give, as of mere favour ; to lavish out of 
caprice, as in kingdoms of the world. "The throne," says one of old, 
"is the prize of toils, not a grace granted to ambition." 

41. began to be much displeased] "hadden endignacioun," Wyclif. 
The sons of Zebedee had been in a better social position than most of 
their brethren, and this attempt to secure a pre-eminence of honour 
kindled a storm of jealousy. 

42. which] Commonly used at the time our translation was made 
for the relative "who," and applied to persons, from the A.-S. hwilc, 
Mceso-Goth. hwtteiks, literally, who-like. Comp. Latimer's Sermons, 
p. 331, "Whosoever loveth God, will love his neighbour, whuh is 
made after the image of God." See Bible Word-Book, p. 528. 

w. 43 46.] ST MARK, X. 117 

exercise lordship over them ; and their great ones exercise 
authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you : 43 
but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minis- 
ter : and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be 44 
servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be 45 
ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom 
for many. 

46 5 2. Passing through Jericho. Blind Bartimceus. 
And they came to Jericho : and as he went out of Jericho 46 

are accounted] = those "who profess to exercise rule," those who have 
the reputation of being governors. " Qui censentur imperare; i.e. quos 
gentes habent et agnoscunt, quorum imperio pareant." Beza. 

exercise lordship] The word is used in an unfavourable sense. It is 
applied in Acts xix. 16 to the man possessed with an evil spirit prevail- 
ing against and overcoming the seven sons of Sceva. St Peter himself 
uses it in his first Epistle (v. 3), recalling possibly this very incident, 
where he warns the elders of the Church "not to be lords over God's 
heritage," or as it is in the margin, "to overrule." The preposition in 
the original is emphatic, and gives the force of oppressive, tyrannical 
rule, where the ruler uses his rights for the diminution of the ruled 
and the exaltation of himself. The same unfavourable sense attaches to 
the word rendered "exercise authority" which only occurs here and in 
the parallel in Matt. xx. 25. 

45. and to give his life] We have here one of the early intimations 
of the mysterious purport of the Passion, that the Redeemer was about to 
give His life as a ransom for many ( 1 Tim. ii. 6). The word translated 
"ransom" only occurs here and in the parallel, Matt. xx. 28. Wyclif 
renders it "and jyue his soule, or lyf redempcioun, or a^en-biyng, for 
manye." The three great circles of images, which the Scriptures 
employ when they represent to us the purport of the death of Christ, are 
(a) a sin-offering, or propitiation (1 John ii. 2, iv. 10); (b) reconciliation 
( = at-one-ment) with an offended friend (Rom. v. 1 1, xi. 15 ; 2 Cor. v. 18, 
19); (c), as here, redemption from slavery (Rom. Hi. 24; Eph. i. 7; 
Col. i. 14). 

46 62. Passing through Jericho. Blind Bartim^eus. 

46. And they came] Leaving behind them the upland pastures of 
Persea, the little company travelled along the road which led down to 
the sunken channel of the Jordan, and the luxuriant "district" of 

to yericho] This ancient stronghold of the Canaanites, taken by 
Joshua (ii., vi.), founded for the second time under Hiel the Bethelite 
(1 Kings xvi. 34), visited by Elisha and Elijah before the latter "went 
up by a whirlwind into heaven" (2 Kings ii. 4 15) was still in the 
days of Christ surrounded by towers and castles. Two of them lay in 
ruins since the time of Pompeius, but "Kypros, the last fortress built 

u8 ST MARK, X. [vv. 47 49. 

with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bar- 

timaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. 
47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began 

to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on 
4 s me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace : 

but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have 
, 9 mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him 

by Herod the Great, who had called it after his mother, rose white in 
the sun on the south of the town. ... The great palace of Herod, in the 
far-famed groves of palms, had been plundered and burnt down in the 
tumults that followed his death, but in its place a still grander structure, 
built by Archelaus, had arisen amidst still finer gardens, and more 
copious and delightful streams. A grand theatre and spacious circus, 
built by Herod, scandalized the Jews, while a great stone aqueduct of 
eleven arches brought a copious supply of water to the city, and the 
Roman military road ran through it." Geikie's Life and Words of 
Christ, II. p. 385. 

as he went] It is most probable that at the entrance of Jericho He 
met one of the sufferers, who having learnt from the crowd that He was 
passing, joined the other sufferer, whom the Saviour encountered as 
He was going out of the city on the following morning. (Comp. Luke 
xviii. 35; Matt. xx. 29, 30.) 

a great number] of pilgrims accompanied our Lord, who had come 
from Peraea and Galilee, and met at this central point to go up to the 
Passover, at Jerusalem. 

Bartimceus] The patronymic is made into a proper name after the 
analogy of Bartholomew and others. The true reading seems to be 
the son of Timaeus, Bartimseus, a blind man. "This account of 
him hints that he was a personage well known to Christians in St Mark's 
time as a monument of the Lord's miracle, as was probably also 
Simon the Leper ; and the designation ' son of Timaeus ' would dis- 
tinguish him, not merely from the father but also from other sons." 
Lange. As in the case of the Gadarene demoniacs, he was probably 
better known, and hence his case is more particularly recorded. "All 
the roads leading to Jerusalem, like the Temple itself, were much fre- 
quented at the time of the feasts, by beggars, who reaped a special 
harvest from the charity of the pilgrims. " 

47. Son of David] This was the popular designation of the Messiah. 
He may have heard of the recent resurrection of Lazarus, which took 
place in his own neighbourhood. 

48. charged him] "bretnyden hym, bat he schulde be stille." Wyclif. 
They rebuked him and his companion, deeming their clamours ill- 
mannered and unworthy of Him, who was passing onward to Jeru- 

49. stood still] in the fulness of His compassionate heart. 
commanded him to be called] Or, more graphically, according to some 

MSS., said, Call him. 

w. 50-5251.] ST MARK, X. XI. 119 

to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, 
Be of good comfort, rise ; he calleth thee. And he, casting S o 
away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus 51 
answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should 
do unto thee ? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I 
might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy 52 
way ; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he 
received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way. 

1 11. The Triumphal Entry. 
And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Beth- 11 

50. casting away his garment} i.e. his abba, or upper garment, 
he rose, or, according to a better reading, leaped up. "Sturtinge cam 
to him," Wyclif. 

51. Lord} The original word is ' ' Rabboni " = my Master. The blind 
man gives Him the title of greatest reverence that he knew. The title 
occurs only here and in John xx. 16, where it is used by Mary Magdalene 
to her risen Lord. The gradations of honour were Rab, Rabbi, 
Rabban, Rabboni. 

52. and followed Jesus'] ox followed him along the road, glorifying 
God, as St Luke adds (xviii. 43), and joining the festal company of his 
Healer, who all likewise gave praise unto God for the miracle, which they 
had witnessed. Comp. Acts iii. 8 10. In the account of this Miracle 
the graphic power of St Mark is signally displayed. He describes {a) 
the great crowds that accompanied the Saviour, records (b) the full 
name of the blind man, (c) the words of the people to him, (d) how he 
cast away his garment, (<?) started up, and (/) came to his Healer, (g) 
how he immediately recovered his sight, and (h) followed in the pilgrim 
train. After this signal proof of His miraculous power the Lord 
accepted the hospitality of Zacchseus, a superintendent of customs or 
tribute at Jericho (Luke xix. 1 10); uttered the Parable of " the Rounds" 
in order to correct the idea that the kingdom of heaven was about 
to appear immediately (Luke xix. 11 27); and at length, six days before 
the Passover, reached the safe seclusion of the mountain hamlet of 
Bethany (John xii. 1). 

Ch. XI. 111. The Triumphal Entry. 

1. And when] The order of events at this point needs explanation, 
(r) The Saviour apparently reached Bethany on the evening of Friday, 
Nisan 8. There (2) in quiet retirement He spent His last earthly Sab- 
bath; and (3) in the evening, sat down to a festal meal provided by 
the sisters of Lazarus at the house of one Simon, who had been a 
leper (Matt. xxvi. 6 ; John xii. 1). (4) At this feast He was anointed 
by Mary (John xii. 3) ; and (5) during the night a council of the Jews 
was convened to consider the propriety of putting not Him only but 
Lazarus also to death (John xii. 10). 

they came} Rather, when they draw near. The Evangelist, pass- 

ST MARK, XL [vv. 24. 

phage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth 

a two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go your way into 

the village over against you : and as soon as ye be entered 

into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat j 

3 loose him, and bring him. And if any man say unto you, 
Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; 

4 and straightway he will send him hither. And they went 
their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a 

ing over for the present the peaceful scene at the festal meal (Mark xiv. 
3 11), translates us at once to Palm Sunday, as to time; and, as to 
place, to the region between Bethany and the mount of Olives. Observe 
how he writes in the present tense. 

unto Bethphage] On the first day of the Holy Week the Saviour left 
Bethany and proceeded towards Beth phage = M<? house of unripe figs, a 
little hamlet on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem. As in a 
journey towards Jerusalem it is always mentioned before Bethany, it 
seems to have been to the east of that village. 

he sendeth] Note again the present tense. 

two of his disciples'] The minuteness of the description that follows 
suggests that St Peter may have been one of these. If so, he was not 
improbably accompanied by St John. 

2. into the village over against you] Either Bethphage or an adjoin- 
ing hamlet. 

a colt tied] " In the East the ass is in high esteem. Statelier, livelier, 
swifter than with us, it vies with the horse in favour. Among the Jews 
it was equally valued as a beast of burden, for work in the field or at 
the mill, and for riding. In contrast to the horse, which had been in- 
troduced by Solomon from Egypt, and was used especially for war, it 
was the symbol of peace. To the Jew it was peculiarly national, for 
had not Moses led his wife, seated on an ass, to Egypt ; had not the 
Judges ridden on white asses; and was not the ass of Abraham, the 
friend of God, noted in Scripture? Every Jew, moreover, expected, 
from the words of one of the prophets (Zech. ix. 9), that the Messiah would 
enter Jerusalem riding on an ass. No act could be more perfectly in 
keeping with the conception of a king of Israel, and no word could 
express more plainly that the king proclaimed Himself the Messiah." 
Geikie, 11. p. 395- 

whereon never man sat] This agrees with St Matthew's account of 
the she-ass (Matt. xxi. 2) and her colt with her. The colt would not 
have been used, so long as it was running with the mother. Unused 
animals were put to sacred purposes. See Num. xix. 1 ; Deut. xxi. 3 ; 
1 Sam. vi. 7. 

3. the Lord hath need of him] The words suggest that the man may 
have been a secret disciple. " Secret disciples, such as the five hundred 
who afterwards gathered to one spot in Galilee, and the hundred and 
twenty who met after the resurrection (1 Cor. xv. 6; Acts i. 15), were 
scattered in many places." 

w. 5 _8.] ST MARK, XI. 121 

place where two ways met ; and they loose him. And cer- s 
tain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, 
loosing the colt ? And they said unto them even as Jesus 6 
had commanded : and they let them go. And they brought 7 
the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him ; and he 
sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way : 8 
and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them 

4. in a place where two ways met] So Wyclif, "in be meeting of 
tweye weyes," following the Vulgate bivium. The word in the original 
thus rendered denotes (r) any road that leads round a place, a street, or 
a crooked lane; (2) a block of houses surrounded by streets; (3) the 
quarter of a town = Lat. vicus. Here it means the passage round the 
house. They went and found the ass tied at the door, and the colt 
with her, not in the highway, but in a back way or alley, which went 
round the house. Observe the minuteness of the circumstances speci- 
fied. The Apostles would find the colt tied ; it had never been ridden ; 
it would be found not in the courtyard, but outside, at the door of the 
house; not in the highway, but in a back lane or alley skirting the 
house ; and persons would be near it, and the words which they would 
speak are predicted, and the answer is suggested which the Apostles 
were to make. The colt, untamed, and tied at the back gate, as if 
ready for a rider, has been interpreted as a symbol of the Gentile world 
to be brought to Christ from the lanes and alleys of Heathendom (Luke 
xiv. 21); the she-ass as symbolizing God's ancient people who were 
familiar with the yoke of the Law. 

7. and cast their garments on him] over both indeed (Matt. xxi. 7), 
to do Him regal honour, just as the captains "took every man his garment, 
and put it under Jehu on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, 
saying, Jehu is king" (2 Kings ix. 13). 

he sat upon] the unused colt, while probably some of the Apostles led 
it by the bridle. 

8. spread their garments in the way] i.e. their "abbas" or "hykes," 
the loose blanket or cloak worn over the tunic or shirt. So myrtle- 
twigs and robes had been strewn by their ancestors before Mordecai, 
when he came forth from the palace of Ahasuerus (Targ. Esther viii. 15), 
so the Persian army had honoured Xerxes when about to cross the 
Hellespont (Herod, vn. 54), and so Robinson tells us the inhabitants 
of Bethlehem threw their garments under the feet of the horses of the 
English consul at Damascus, whose aid they were imploring (Biblical 
Researches, II. 16-2). 

branches] "sobeli obere men kittiden bowis, or branches, fro 
trees," Wyclif. These were not the "branches" (kladoi) cut from the 
trees as they went along, mentioned in Matt. xxi. 8, but "mattings" 
(stoibades) which they twisted out of the palm-branches as they passed. 
The original word denotes (1) a bed of straw, rushes, or leaves, whether 
strawed loose or stuffed into a mattress ; (2) a mattress, especially of 
Soldiers ; (3) the nest or lair of mice or fish. 

122 ST MARK, XI. [w. 9 ii. 

9 in the way. And they that went before, and they that fol- 
lowed, cried, saying, Hosanna ; Blessed is he that cometh in 

io the name of the Lord : blessed be the kingdom of our father 
David, that cometh in the name of the Lord : Hosanna in 

n the highest. And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into 
the temple : and when he had looked round about upon 
all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out 
unto Bethany with the twelve. 

off the trees] The reading of some MSS. here is from the 
gardens, and the verse would run, And many strewed thetr gar- 
ments in the way, and others twisted branches, cutting them from 
the gardens. Eastern gardens are not flower gardens, nor private 
gardens, but the orchards, vineyards and fig-enclosures round a town. 
The road from Bethany to Jerusalem wound through rich plantations of 
palm trees, and fruit- and olive-gardens. 

9. they that went before] From St John xii. n we gather that a 
second stream of people issuing from the Holy City came forth to meet 
the Saviour, and these joining the others coming from Bethany, turned 
round and swelled the long procession towards Jerusalem. See Stanley's 
Sinai and Palestine, p. 191. 

10. blessed be the kingdom] The feelings of the multitudes found 
expression in the prophetic language of the Psalms, and they heralded 
the coming of the "Son of David" to establish His Messianic kingdom. 
See Ps. cxviii. 26. 

11. And Jesus entered] At a particular turn in the road the whole of 
the magnificent city, as if rising from an abyss, burst into view. Then 
it was that the procession paused, and our Lord wept over the devoted 
capital (Luke xix. 4 1 44), and afterwards resumed His route towards 
Jerusalem, crossing the bridge over the Kedron, and passing through the 
gate now St Stephen's into Bezetha, the new town, through narrow 
streets, "hung with flags and banners for the feast, and crowded on the 
raised sides, and on every roof, and at every window, with eager 
faces. " 

the temple] Jerusalem was stirred to its very centre (Matt. xxi. 10). 
Who is this? inquired many, and were told by His exultant northern 
followers and disciples that it was "the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee" 
They doubtless expected that He would, as He passed on towards the 
Temple, display some unmistakable "sign," and claim the sceptre, and 
ascend the throne. But they were doomed to disappointment. 

when he had looked round about upon all things] ' * The actual procession 
would not proceed farther than the foot of Mount Moriah, beyond 
which they might not advance in travelling array, or with dusty feet. " 
Before they reached the Shushan gate they dispersed, and Jesus entered 
the courts of the Temple, surveyed the scene of disorder and dese- 
cration which they presented, with prolonged and calm and searching 
glance, and when 

the eventide was come] or rather, It being now late, returned with the 

w. 1215.] ST MARK, XI. 123 

12 19. The Second Cleansing of the Temple. 
And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, 12 
he was hungry : and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, 13 
he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon : and 
when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves ; for the 
time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, 14 
No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples 
heard it. And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into 15 
the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought 

Twelve to the seclusion of Bethany, and the great Palm Sunday was 

1219. The Second Cleansing of the Temple. 

12. he was hungry] Probably, after a night of fasting; "shewing His 
Humanity, as usual, when about to give a proof of His Deity, that we 
may believe Him to be both God and Man." Bp Wordsworth. 

13. seeing a Jig tree] The very name Bethany means " the place for 
dates, " while Bethphage is " the place for the green or winter fig, a 
variety which remains on the trees through the winter, having ripened 
only after the leaves had fallen. 

having leaves] It stood alone, a single fig-tree, by the wayside (Matt. 
xxi. 19), and presented an unusual show of leaves for the season. 

if haply] Rather, if therefore, if, as was reasonable to expect under such 
circumstances, fruit was to be found. 

for the time of figs was not yet] that is, the ordinary fig-season had 
not yet arrived. The rich verdure of this tree seemed to shew that it 
was fruitful, and there was "every probability of finding upon it either 
the late violet-coloured autumn figs, which often hung upon the trees 
all through the winter, and even until the new spring leaves had come, 
or the first-ripe figs (Isai. xxviii. 4; Jer. xxiv. 2 ; Hos. ix. 10; Nah. in. 
12), of which Orientals are particularly fond." Farrar, Life, 11. 2 1 3. But 
this tree had nothing but leaves. It was the very type of a fair profession 
without performance ; a very parable of the nation, which, with all its 
professions, brought forth no "fruit to perfection." Comp. Luke 
xix. 42. 

14. answered and said unto it] " arbori fructum neganti. " Bengel. 
No man eat fruit] "And presently," i.e. immediately, writes St 

Matthew (xxi. 19), "the fig tree withered away," though the disciples 
did not notice it till the following morning. Thus our blessed Lord 
exhibited at once a Parable and a Prophecy in action. 

15. and Jesus went into the temple] The best MSS. omit the word 
Jesus here. The nefarious scene, which He had sternly rebuked on the 
occasion of His first Passover, and which is recorded only by St John 
(ii. 13 1 7), was still being enacted. 

them that sold and bought] For the convenience of Jews and proselytes 
residing at a distance from the Holy City, a kind of market had been 
established in the outer court, and here sacrificial victims, incense, oiL 

124 ST MARK, XL [w. 1619. 

in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, 
t6 and the seats of them that sold doves ; and would not suffer 

that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. 
.7 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My 

house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer ? but 
c8 ye have made it a den of thieves. And the scribes and 

chief priests heard //, and sought how they might destroy 

him : for they feared him, because all the people was asto- 
t9 nished at his doctrine. And when even was come, he went 

out of the city. 

wine, and other things necessary for the service and the sacrifices, were 
to be obtained. 

the tables of the moneychangers] Money would be required (1) to 
purchase materials for offerings, {a) to present as free offerings to the 
Temple treasury (Mark xii. 41 ; Luke xxi. 1), (3) to pay the yearly 
Temple-tax of half a shekel due from every Jew, however poor. All this 
could not be received except in a native coin called the Temple Shekel, 
which was not generally current. Strangers therefore had to change 
their Roman, Greek, or Eastern money, at the stalls of the money- 
changers, to obtain the coin required. This trade gave ready means 
for fraud, which was only too common. 

that sold doves'] Required for poor women coming for purification 
(Lev. xii. 6, 8 ; Luke ii. 24) from all parts of the country, and for other 
offerings. The sale of doves appears to have been in a great measure in 
the hands of the priests themselves, and one of the high priests es- 
pecially is said to have gained great profits from his dovecots on Mount 

16. any vessel] i.e. a pail or basket. He would not allow laden 
porters and others to desecrate the honour due to His Father's house by 
crossing the Temple courts as though they were public streets, " quasi 
per plateam." Bengel. This particular is peculiar to St Mark. 

17. of all nations] Rather, for all nations. See margin. The words 
are cited from Isaiah lvi. 7. 

a den of thieves] Literally, a cave of robbers or bandits. See 
Jer. vii. 11. The distinction is to be borne in mind between "the 
robber," brigand or violent spoiler (Matt. xxi. 13, xxvi. 55; Luke 
xxii. 52; John xviii. 40; 2 Cor. xi. 26), and the "thief" or secret pur- 
loiner (Matt. vi. 19; John xii. 6; 1 Thess. v. 2 ; Rev. in. 3, xvi. 15). 
Trench's Synonyms, 44. What our Lord alludes to is one of "those 
foul caves which He had so often seen, where brigands wrangled over 
their ill-gotten gains." Farrar, Life, II. 205. 

18. chief priests] This title was applied to (i) the high-priest 
properly so called ; (ii) to all who had held the high -priesthood (the 
office under Roman sway no longer lasting for life, and becoming little 
more than annual); (iii) the heads of the twenty-four courses (1 Chron. 
xxi v., Luke i. 9). 

was astonished at his doctrine] and hung upon His lips eager 


vv. 2023.] ST MARK, XI. 125 

20 26. The Withered Fig-Tree. 
And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig 20 
tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remem- 21 
brance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which 
thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith 22 
unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, 23 
That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou re- 
moved, and be thou cast into the sea ; and shall not doubt 
in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he 

hear Him (Luke xix. 48), and while He was thus high in favour, no 
one knew how far they might not be disposed to rise on Plis behalf, 
if an open effort was made to seize Him. Caution was therefore 

19. he went out] or rather, they went out, of the city, crossed the 
ridges of Olivet, and sought once more the retirement of Bethany. 

2026. The Withered Fig-Tree. 

20. And in the morning] The early morning of Tuesday in Holy 

as they passed by] On their return to the Holy City. 

dried up from the roots] From St Matthew (xxi. 19) it would 
appear that "some beginnings of the threatened withering began to 
shew themselves, almost as soon as the word of the Lord was spoken ; 
a shuddering fear may have run through all the leaves of the tree, which 
was thus stricken at its heart." Trench. 

21. And Peter] who doubtless related the incident with all its 
attendant circumstances to St Mark. 

22. Have faith in God] as the personal source of miraculous power. 
(Comp. Matt. xvii. 20 ; Luke xvii. 6.) 

23. verily I say unto you] With great solemnity He seeks to im- 
press upon them a truth which would be of the greatest import to 
them, when they went forth, as His Apostles, to establish and spread 
His kingdom that an unfaltering faith in God would overcome all 
difficulties, even the most insuperable to the eye of sense. 

shall say unto this mountain] Language like this was familiar in 
the schools of the Jews. They used to set out those teachers among 
them, that were more eminent for the profoundness of their learning, 
or the splendour of their virtues, by such expressions as these, "He 
is a rooter up or remover of mountains" "They called Rabbah Bar 
Nachmani, A rooter up of mountains, because he had a piercing judg- 
ment." Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. 

shall not doubt in his heart] The word here translated "doubt" 
(a) in the active voice means to discriminate, distinguish, discern, as 
Matt. xvi. 3, "ye can discern the face of the heaven;" Acts xv. 9, 
"He put no difference between us and them;" 1 Cor. xi. 29, "not 

126 ST MARK, XI. [vv. 2428. 

saith shall come to pass ; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 

, 4 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, 

when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have 

25 them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought 
against any : that your Father also which is in heaven may 

2 6 forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, nei- 
ther will your Father which is in heaven forgive your tres- 

27 33. Question respecting John the Baptist. 
*i And they come again to Jerusalem : and as he was walk- 
ing in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and 
28 the scribes, and the elders, and say unto him, By what au- 

discerning the Lord's Body." (b) In the passive and middle voice, it 
means (i) to get a decision, to go to law, to dispute, as Acts xi. 2, " they of 
the circumcision contended with him ;." Jas. ii. 4, "are ye not partial 
(become litigants or partisans) in yourselves?" (ii) to dispute with 
oneself, to doubt, waver, as Acts x. 20, "go with them, doubting nothing;'' 
Rom. iv. 20, "he staggered not at (i.e. with regard to) the promise 
through unbelief;" Jas. i. 6, "but let him ask in faith, nothing 
wavering ; for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea. " 

24. What things soever ye desire, when ye pray] Because Prayer 
is the very language of Faith, He passes on to speak concerning 

25. when ye stand praying] The posture of prayer among the Jews 
seems to have been most often standing; comp. the instance of 
Hannah (1 Sam. i. 26), and of the Pharisee (Luke xviii. 11). When 
the prayer was offered with especial solemnity and humiliation, this 
was naturally expressed by (a) kneeling; comp. the instance of Solomon 
(1 Kings viii. 54), and Daniel (vi. 10); or (b) prostration, as Joshua (vii. 6), 
and Elijah (1 Kings xviii. 42). 

forgive] In this place, where our Lord connects the strong assurance 
of the marvellous power of faith with the cursing of the fig-tree, He 
passes on most naturally to declare how such a faith could not be 
sundered from forgiving love, that it should never be used in the 
service of hate or fanaticism. 

26. your trespasses] The original word thus translated denotes (1) 
a falling beside, a falling from the right way. It is rendered in our 
Version (1) fault in Gal. vi. 1 ; Jas. v. 16 ; (2) offence in Rom. iv. 25, 
v. 15, 17, 18, 20; (3) fall in Rom. xi. 11, 12; (4) trespass, here, and 
in Matt. vi. 14, 15 ; 2 Cor. v. 19; Eph. ii. 1; Col. ii. 13; (5) sins 
in Eph. ii. 5 ; Col. ii. 13. 

27 33. Question respecting John the Baptist. 

27. as he was walking] This is in keeping with St Mark's vivid 
style of delineation. 

vv. 2933.] ST MARK, XL 127 

thority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this 
authority to do these things ? And Jesus answered and said 29 
unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer 
me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 
The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men ? an- 30 
swer me. And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we 31 
shall say, From heaven ; he will say, Why then did ye not 
believe him ? But if we shall say, Of men ; they feared the 3? 
people : for all men counted John, that he was a prophet 
indeed. And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot 3- 
tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I 
tell you by what authority I do these things. 

elders] "eldere men," Wyclif. The ancient senators or representatives 
of the people. With the chief priests and scribes they constituted 
on this occasion a formal deputation from the Sanhedrim. We 
find the earliest notice of the elders acting in concert as a political 
body in the time of the Exodus (Ex. xix. 7 ; Deut. xxxi. 9). Their 
authority, which extended to all matters of the common weal, they 
exercised under (a) the Judges (Judg. ii. 7 ; 1 Sam. iv. 3) ; under 
{b) the Kings (1 Sam. xxx. 26; 1 Chron. xxii 16; 1 Sam. xvii. 4); 
during (c) the Captivity (Jer. xxix. 1; Ezek. viii. 1) ; after (d) the Return 
(Ezra v. 5, vi. 7, 14, x. 8, 14); under (e) the Maccabees (1 Mace. 
xii. 6 ; 1 Mace. i. 10) ; in (/) the time of our Lord, when they de- 
noted a distinct body in the Sanhedrim, amongst whom they obtained 
their seat by election, or nomination from the executive authority. 

28. By what authority doest thou these things ?] They evidently 
wished to bring Him to account for His act of the day before, and 
for His assumption to teach as a Rabbi, without any license from the 
Schools, which was contrary to the established rule. The same 
question had been put to Him three years before and by the same 
persons (John ii. 18). 

29. And Jesus answered] They doubtless hoped that He would 
have claimed Divine authority, and then they would have had matter 
for accusation against Him, but He answered their question by another. 

30. The baptism of John] John was the most recent upholder of the 
validity of the prophetic order in Israel, and he had distinctly testified 
to the Messianic authority of our Lord (John i. 29 34, 36) ; from whom 
did he receive his commission to baptize? Was it from heaven, or a 
mere human assumption of his own ? 

32. if we shall say, Of men] Observe the impressive abruptness here, 
which is more significant than the full expression of St Matthew (xxi. 
26) and St Luke (xx. 6). They dared not face the alternative, and were 
driven to a feeble evasion. 

33. Neither do I tell you] The counter-question of Jesus was the 
consequence of the question of these men. "Him that inquires," saith 

128 ST MARK, XII. [v. i. 

i 12. Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen. 
12 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A cer- 
tain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and 
digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let 

one of old, "we are bound to instruct ; but him that tempts, we may 
defeat with a stroke of reasoning." 

Ch. XII. 1 12. Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen. 

1. by parables] Another Parable spoken at this time was that of 
"the Two Sons" (Matt. xxi. 28 32), and "the Marriage of the King's 
Son" (Matt. xxii. 1 14). St Mark relates only the second of these three 

A certain man planted a vineyard] Our Lord seems to take up the 
words of the prophet Isaiah (v. 1 7) and to build His teaching the 
more willingly on the old foundations, as He was accused of destroying 
the Law. Comp. Deut. xxxii. 32; Ps. lxxx. 8 16; Ezek. xv. 1 6; 
Hos. x. 1. By the Vineyard we are to understand the Kingdom of 
God, as successively realized in its idea (1) by the Jew, and (2) by the 
Gentile. Trench's Parables, p. 193. 

planted] The householder not merely possessed, he "planted' 1 '' the 
vineyard. So God planted His spiritual vineyard {a) under Moses (Deut. 
xxxii. 12 14; Ex. xv. 17), (b) under Joshua, when the Jews were 
established in the land of Canaan. 

an hedge about it] Not a hedge of thorns, but a stone wall to keep out 
wild boars (Ps. lxxx. 13), jackals, and foxes (Num. xxii. 24; Cant. ii. 15; 
Neh. iv. 3). The word only occurs (a) here, (b) in the parallel Matt, 
xxi. 33, (c) in Luke xiv. 23, "go ye into the highways and hedges" 
and (d) Eph. ii. 14, "the middle wall of partition." "Enclosures of 
loose stone, like the walls of fields in Derbyshire or Westmoreland, 
everywhere catch the eye on the bare slopes of Hebron, of Bethlehem, 
and of Olivet." Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, p. 421. 

a place for the winefat] "dalf a lake," Wyclif ; "digged a pit to 
receauve the lycour of the wynepresse," Geneva; "digged a trough," 
Rhemish Version. The original word only occurs here in the N. T., 
and = the Latin lacus. The winepress, = torcular (Matt. xxi. 33), con- 
sisted of two parts ; ( 1 ) the press (gath) or trough above, in which the 
grapes were placed, and there trodden by the feet of several persons 
amidst singing and other expressions of joy (Judg. ix. 27; Isaiah xvi. 10; 
Jer. xxv. 30); (2) a smaller trough (yekeb), into which the expressed 
juice flowed through a hole or spout (Neh. xiii. 15; Isaiah Ixiii. 2; 
Lam. i. 15). Here the smaller trough, which was often hollowed 
("digged") out of the earth or native rock and then lined with masonry, 
is put for the whole apparatus, and is called a wine-FAT. This word 
occurs also in Isaiah lxiii. 2 ; Hos. ix. 2, marg. ; compare piess-fat, 
Hag. ii. 16; and fat, Joel ii. 24, iii. 13. Pat from A. S. fset = a 
vessel, vat, according to the modern spelling. Comp. Shakespeare, Ant. 
and Cleop. n 7. 120: 

w. 24.] ST MARK, XII. 129 

it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. And at * 
the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he 
might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vine- 
yard. And they caught him y and beat him, and sent him 3 
away empty. And again he sent unto them another servant ; 4 
and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, 

"Come thou monarch of the vine, 
Plumpie Bacchus, with pinke eyne: 
In thy fattes our cares be drown'd." 

and built a tower] i. e. a "tower of the watchman," rendered "cottage" 
in Isaiah i. 8, xxiv. 20. Here the watchers and vinedressers lived 
(Isaiah v. 2), and frequently, with slings, scared away wild animals and 
robbers. At the corner of each enclosure "rises its square grey towers, 
at first sight hardly distinguishable from the ruins of ancient churches 
or fortresses, which lie equally scattered over the hills of Judaea." 
Stanley, p. 421. 

to husbandmen] By these the spiritual leaders and teachers of the Jewish 
nation (Mai. ii. 7 ; Ezek. xxxiv. 2) are intended. Their land, secluded 
and yet central, was hedged round on the east by the river Jordan, on 
the south by the desert of Idumaea, on the west by the sea, on the north 
by Libanus and Anti-Libanus, while they themselves were separated by 
the Law, "the middle wall of partition" (Eph. ii. 14), from the Gentiles 
and idolatrous nations around. 

went into a far country] "for a long while" adds St Luke, or 
"many times" "At Sinai, when the theocratic constitution was founded, 
and in the miracles which accompanied the deliverance from Egypt, the 
Lord may be said to have openly manifested Himself to Israel ; but then 
to have withdrawn Himself again for awhile, not speaking to the people 
again face to face (Deut. xxxiv. 1012), but waiting in patience to see 
what the Law would effect, and what manner of works the people, 
under the teaching of their spiritual guides, would bring forth. " Trench, 
Parables, p. 197. 

2. at the season] i. e. when the fruit season drew near. 

a servant] So Luke xx. 10; his servants, Matt. xxi. 34; the prophets 
and other eminent messengers of God raised up at particular periods for 
particular purposes. "Servi sunt ministri extraordinarii, majores; 
agricolse, ordinarii." Bengel. 

of the fruit] The householder's share. The rent not being paid in 
money, but in a stipulated portion of the produce, according to the well- 
known metayer system once prevalent over great part of Europe. The 
prophets were sent to the people from time to time to require of them 
"the repentance and the inward longing after true inward righteousness, 
which the Law was unable to bring about." 

3. they caught him] The gradual growth of the outrage is clearly 
traced: (1) The first servant they "caught, beat, and sent away empty ; 
(ii) at the second they "cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and 
sent him away shamefully handled ;" (iii) the third "they killed" 

4. wounded him in the head] The original word, which generally 


130 ST MARK, XII. [vv. 5-9. 

5 and sent him away shamefully handled. And again he sent 
another; and him they killed, and many others; beating 

6 some, and killing some. Having yet therefore one son, his 
well-beloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They 

7 will reverence my son. But those husbandmen said among 
themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the 

8 inheritance shall be ours. And they took him, and killed 

9 him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What shall therefore 
the lord of the vineyard do ? he will come and destroy the 

denotes to comprehend in one sum, or under one head, is nowhere else 
used in this sense. Some MSS. omit the words they cast stones, and 
instead of "sent him away shamefully handled," read simply, "used Aim 
shamefully" (comp. 2 Sam. x. 4). Thus Jezebel "slew the prophets of the 
Lord" (1 Kings xviii. 13) ; Micaiah was thrown into a dungeon by Ahab 
(1 Kings xxii. 24 27); Elijah was threatened with death by Jezebel 
(1 Kings xix. 2); Elisha by Jehoram (2 Kings vi. 31); Zechariah was 
stoned at the commandment of Joash (2 Chron. xxiv. 2 1 ; comp. xxxvi. 
16); Jeremiah was stoned by the exiles in Egypt; Isaiah, according to 
Jewish tradition, was sawn asunder (Heb. xi. 37, 38; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 
15, 16). 

6. Having yet therefore] Note here the description of this last of 
the ambassadors of the householder. Not only was he his son, but 
his only one, his well-beloved, "a sone most derewor}?," Wyclif. This 
marks as strongly as possible the difference of rank between Christ and 
the prophets, by whom "at sundry times and in divers ?nanners God 
spake in times past unto the fathers" (Heb. i. 1), the distinction between 
them and the dignity of Him, Who only was in the highest sense 
His Son, and Whom He hath "appointed heir of all things" (Heb. i. 2, 
iii. 5, 6). 

7. This is the heir] * ' he for whom the inheritance is meant, and to whom 
it will in due course rightfully arrive not as in earthly relations, by the 
death, but by the free appointment, of the actual possessor." Christ 
is "heir of all things," not as He is the Son of God, but as He is the 
Son of Man. 

come, let us kill him] Comp. Gen. xxxvii. 20; and especially John 
xi. 47 53, where "the servants" conspiring against "the Heir of 
all things" actually assign as their motive that "if they let Him alone," 
they "will lose both their place and nation." 

8. and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard] The order is re- 
versed in the first and third Gospels, which remind us of Naboth, whom they 
"carried forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones that he died' 
(1 Kings xxi. 13), and of Him, Who suffered without the gate (Heb. xiii. 
12, 13; John xix. 17). The second Evangelist represents them as first 
killing the son, and then flinging forth the body and denying it the 
ordinary rites of sepulture. 

9. he will come] According to St Matthew, this was the answer of 

w. 10 12.] ST MARK, XII. 131 

husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. And 10 
have ye not read this scripture ; The stone which the build- 
ers rejected is become the head of the corner : this was the u 
Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes ? And they 12 
sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people : for they 

the Pharisees themselves, either, before they were aware, pronouncing 
sentence against themselves, or pretending in the hardness of their 
hearts not to see the drift of the Parable. The answer was followed by 
"a deep God forbid" from several voices (Luke xx. 16). 

10. And have ye] Rather, And did ye never read this Scripture ? 
referring them to Psalm cxviii. 22, 23, a Psalm which the Jews applied 
to the Messiah, and which is actually twice applied to Him by St Peter, 
in Acts iv. 11 ; 1 Pet. ii. 7. St Luke (xx. 17)- tells us that our Lord 
fastened His eyes upon His wondering hearers, while He directed their 
attention to this ancient prophecy respecting Himself in the very 
Psalm, whence had been taken the loud Hosannas of Palm Sunday 
(Mark xi. 9). 

the head of the corner} The image of the vineyard is for a moment 
abandoned for that of a building. The "head of the corner" was a 
large and massive stone so formed as when placed at a corner to bind 
together the two outer walls of an edifice. Comp. for the application 
of the expression to Christ, Eph. ii. 20, and consult Isaiah xxviii. 16; 
Dan. ii. 44. The penalties of rejecting Him are more fully brought out 
in Matt. xxi. 43, 44 ; Luke xx. 18. 

12. they soughi\ All three Evangelists take note of the exaspera- 
tion of our Lord's hearers at words which they now clearly perceived 
were directed against themselves. The chief priests and Pharisees 
sought to arrest Him on the spot at once (Luke xx. 19), but they were 
afraid of the multitudes, who regarded Him if not with the same deep 
feelings as on Palm Sunday, yet still as a prophet (Matt. xxi. 46), so 
they left Him and went their way (Mark xii. 12). One more Parable 
followed, that of the "Marriage of the King's Son" (Matt. xxii. 1 14), 
and once more the rulers of the nation were solemnly warned of the 
danger they were incurring. "Thus within a few hours of crucifixion, 
and conscious of the fact ; in the intervals of mortal contest with the 
whole forces of the past and present, the wandering Galilsean Teacher, 
meek and lowly in spirit, so that the poorest and the youngest instinc- 
tively sought Him ; full of Divine pity, so that the most sunken and 
hopeless penitent felt He was their friend ; indifferent to the supports of 
influence, wealth, or numbers ; alone and poor, the very embodiment of 
weakness, as regarded all visible help, still bore Himself with a serene 
dignity more than human. In the name of God He transfers the 
spiritual glory of Israel to His own followers ; throws down the 
barriers of caste and nationality ; extends the new dominion, of which 
He is Head, to all races, and through all ages, here and hereafter ; pre- 
dicts the Divine wrath on His enemies in this world, as the enemies of 
God, and announces the decision of the final judgment as turning on 
the attitude of men towards Himself and His message." Geikie's Life 

Q 2 

i 3 2 ST MARK, XII. [w. 1315. 

knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and 
they left him, and went their way. 

13 17. The Question of the Tribute Money. 

13 And they .send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of 

t4 the Herodians, to catch him in his words. And when they 

were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou 

art true, and carest for no man : for thou regardest not the 

person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth : Is it 

is lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not ? Shall we give, or 

shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said 

unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I 

and Words of Christ, II. pp. 414, 415; Liddon's Bampton Lectures, 
pp. 113 118, Sixth Edition. 

1317. The Question of the Tribute Money. 

13. And they send] Having failed themselves, the Jewish authori- 
ties resolved to send some of the Pharisees in company with the 
Herodians, to try to force Him to commit Himself by the answers He 
might give to their treacherous questions. A series of distinct attacks 
was now made upon our Lord, (a) The Pharisees took the lead with 
theirs, which was, indeed, the most cunningly devised ; (b) the Saddu- 
cees followed ; and then {c) came the Scribes of the Pharisees' party. 

the Herodians] See note on ch. iii. 6. As before, so now, the Jewish 
royalists united themselves with the ultra-orthodox Pharisaic party. 
The Herodians came in person. The Pharisees sent some of their 
younger scholars (Matt. xxii. 16) to approach Him with the pretended 
simplicity of a guileless spirit, and a desire to solve a perplexing ques- 
tion (Luke xx. 20). 

14. Master, we know] This was said in a spirit of hypocritical flattery, 
as though they were ready to pay Him honour as the Messiah. We find 
Nicodemus saying the same thing in a spirit of sincerity (John iii. 2). 

and carest for no man] This was a cunning temptation to lift Himself 
above all respect for the Roman authorities. 

Is it lawful to give tribute...?] The snare was no longer laid in the 
sphere of ecclesiastical questions, but in the more dangerous area of 
political duty. The tribute-money alluded to was a capitation tax 
levied by the Roman government, and keenly resented by Judas the 
Gaulonite (Acts v. 37) and his followers. If our Lord held the payment 
unlawful, He would compromise Himself with the Romans ; if He 
sanctioned it, He would embroil Himself with the national party. 

15. knowing their hypocrisy] ' ' verum se eis ostendit, ut dixerant. " 

bring me] "They would not be likely to carry with them the 
hated Roman coinage with its heathen symbols, though they might have 
been at once able to produce from their girdles the Temple shekel. 

vv. 16 1 8.] ST MARK, XII. 133 

may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, 16 
Whose is this image and superscription ? And they said 
unto him, Caesar's. And Jesus answering said unto them, i 7 
Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the 
things that are God's. And they marvelled at him. 

18 27. The Question of the Sadducees respecting the 
Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is *s 

But they would only have to step outside the Court of the Gentiles, and 
obtain from the money-changers' tables a current Roman coin." 
Farrar, Life, II. p. 231. 
a penny] Literally, a denarius, for the value of which see vi. 37. 

16. Whose is this image~\ "The little silver coin, bearing on its 
surface the head encircled with a wreath of laurel, and bound round 
with the sacred fillet the well-known features, the most beautiful and 
the most wicked, even in outward expression, of all the Roman 
Emperors, with the superscription running round, in the stately language 
of imperial Rome, Tiberius Ccesar, Divi Augusti filius Augustus, Impe- 
rator. ' The image of the Emperor would be regarded by the stricter 
Jews as idolatrous, and to spare their feelings, the Romans had allowed 
a special coinage to be struck for Judaea, without any likeness upon it, 
and only the name of the Emperor, and such Jewish emblems as palms, 
lilies, grapes, and censers. 

17. Render] Literally, Give back, pay as being due. " )?erefore ylde 
y to Caesar," Wyclif. It was not a question of a voluntary gift, but 
of a legal due. The head of the Emperor on the coin, the legend 
round it, and its circulation in the country, were undeniable proofs of 
the right of the actually existing government to levy the tax. " Ubi- 
cunque numisma alicujus regis obtinet, illic incolae regem istum pro 
domino agnoscunt ;" Maimonides. Remembrance of this precept 
"would have spared the Jewish war, the destruction of Jerusalem, and 
the downfall of their nation." Lange. 

and to God] He would remind them that besides the claims of the 
ruling powers, they had also the claim upon them of their Spiritual 
King, and obedience to Caesar must ever be conditioned by obedience to 
God. "Render unto Caesar all that he can lawfully demand, but 
render also to God, what He requires of you as His spiritual subjects." 
"Give to God that which has the image and superscription of God, the 
soul " Erasmus. 

they mai-velled at him] Neither the orthodox Pharisee nor the 
aristocratic royalist had expected such an answer from the Galilaean 

18 27. The Question of the Sadducees respecting the 

18. the Sadducees] Hitherto the Sadducees, "few, rich, and 

i 3 4 ST MARK, XII. [vv. 1926. 

.9 no resurrection; and they asked him, saying, Master, Moses 
wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife 
behind hi??!, and leave no children, that his brother should 

20 take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now 
there were seven brethren : and the first took a wife, and 

21 dying left no seed. And the second took her, and died, 

22 neither left he any seed : and the third likewise. And the 
seven had her, and left no seed : last of all the woman died 

23 also. In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, 
whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her 

24 to wife. And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not 
therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither 

25 the power of God ? For when they shall rise from the dead, 
they neither marry, nor are given in marriage ; but are as 

2 6 the angels which are in heaven. And as touching the dead, 

dignified," had stood aloof, and affected to ignore the disciples of the 
despised " Prophet of Nazareth. " 

19. Moses wrote] The Law concerning the Levirate marriage is found 
in Deuteronomy xxv. 5. It was ordained for the preservation of families, 
that if a man died without male issue, his brother should marry his 
widow, and that the firstborn son should be held in the registers to be 
the son of the dead brother. 

20. there were seven brethren} It was probably a fictitious case, 
for the Jews were averse to the fulfilling of the enactment at all. 

23. In the resurrection therefore} Their difficulty originated 
entirely in a carnal notion that the connections of this life must be 
continued in another. 

24. because ye know not] Our Lord traces their error to ignorance (i) 
of the Scriptures, and (ii) of the power of God. He deals with the 
latter phase of ignorance first. 

25. when they shall rise] Had they known the power of God they 
could not have imagined that it was limited by death, or that the life of 
"the children of the resurrection" was a mere repetition of man's 
present mortal existence. Compare the argument of St Paul in 
1 Cor. xv. 39 44, based on the endless variety of the creative power 
of God. 

as the angels] The Sadducees denied not only the Resurrection, 
but the existence also of angels and spirits (Acts xxiii. 8). In His reply, 
therefore, our Lord embraces the whole area of their unbelief. He 
refers to the angels in heaven as persons, whose personal existence was 
a fact. Moreover in these words we have one of the few revelations 
which He was pleased to make as to the state after death. They imply 
that, as St Paul teaches, at the Resurrection "zve shall be changed" 
(r Cor. xv. 44), and the "spiritual body" will not be liable to the 
passions of the "natural body" 


vv. 27, 28.] ST MARK, XII. 135 

that they rise : have ye not read in the book of Moses, how 
in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God 
of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ? 
He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living : 27 
ye therefore do greatly err. 

28 34. The Question of the Scribe. 
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them 28 
reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered 
them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of 

26. in the book of Moses] They had brought forward the name of Moses 
to perplex Him, He now appeals to the same great name in order- 
to confute them. He does not reprove them for attaching a higher 
importance to the Pentateuch than to the Prophets, but for not tracing 
the Divine Mind on the important subject of the Resurrection even there. 

in the bush\ i. e. in the section of the Book of Exodus (iii. 6) called 
"the Bush." Similarly "the lament of David over Saul and Jonathan" 
in 2 Sam. i. 17 27 was called "the Bow;" and Ezekiel i. 15 28 i 'the 
Chariot." Compare also Rom. xi. 2; "in E\ias"=the section concerning 
Elias. In the Koran the chapters are named after the matter they 
contain, and so also the Homeric poems. Wyclif alone of our English 
translators gives the right meaning, "Han 3e not rad in ]?e book of 
Moyses on \>e bousche, how God seide to him." 

God spake unto him, saying] On that momentous occasion, which 
marked an epoch in the national history, God had revealed Himself to 
Moses as a personal God, by the august and touching title of "the God 
of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob," and there- 
fore as bearing a personal relation to these patriarchs, upon whom He had 
set His seal of Circumcision, and so admitted them into covenant union 
with Himself. How unworthy would such a title be, if He, the Eternal 
and Unchangeable, had revealed Himself only as the God of men who 
had long since crumbled to dust and passed away into annihilation ! 
How meaningless such a Name, if the souls of men at death perished with 
the body, "as the cloud faileth and passeth away " ! Was it possible to be- 
lieve He would have deigned to call Himself the God "of dust and ashes"? 

27. He is not the God of the dead] Our Lord thus taught them that 
the words implied far more than that God was the God, in Whom Abra- 
ham and the patriarchs trusted and worshipped. 

but the God of the living] Jehovah could not have called Himself the 
God of persons who do not exist, and over whom death had completely 
triumphed. The patriarchs, therefore, though their bodies were dead, 
must themselves have been still living in the separate state, and awaiting 
the resurrection. 

2834. The Question of the Scribe. 

28. one of the scribes] From Matt. xxii. 34, 35, it appears that he 
was a Pharisee, and a Master of the Law. 

Which is the first commandment of all?] This question, on which 

136 ST MARK, XII. [vv. 29 34. 

a 9 all ? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the com- 
mandments is, Hear, O Israel j The Lord our God is one 

30 Lord ; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with 

31 all thy strength : this is the first commandment. And the 
second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour 
as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than 

12 these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou 
hast said the truth : for there is one God ; and there is none 

33 other but he : and to love him with all the heart, and with 
all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the 
strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than 

34 all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus 

the schools of Hillel and Shammai were disagreed, the Lawyer put, 
tempting our Lord (Matt. xxii. 35), hoping that He would commit 
Himself as an enemy of the Traditions. The Rabbinical schools taught 
that there were important distinctions between the Commandments, 
some being great and others small, some hard and weighty, others 
easy and of less importance. Great commands were the observance of 
the Sabbath, circumcision, minute rites of sacrifice and offering, the 
rules respecting fringes and phylacteries. Indeed, all the separate com- 
mandments of the ceremonial and moral Law had been carefully weighed 
and classified, and it had been concluded that there were "248 affirma- 
tive precepts, being as many as the members in the human body, and 
365 negative precepts, being as many as the arteries and veins, or the 
days of the year; the total being 613, which was also the number of the 
letters in the Decalogue." 

29. And/Jestis answered him] Pointing, it may be, to the Scribe's 
tephillah, n?DD, the little leather box containing in one of its four 
divisions the SAema (Deut. vi. 4), which every pious Israelite repeated 
twice a day. 

TAe first of all tAe commandments] The Saviour quotes the introduc- 
tion to the ten Commandments (Deut. vi. 4, 5) as the first command, 
not as forming one of the commandments, but as containing tAe principle 
of all. 

31. the second is like, namely this] According to the best MSS. 
the reading is, the second is this. The Lord had named only one 
commandment as great to the rich young ruler (Luke x. 27). To the 
Scribe He names two, as forming together " the great and first com- 
mandment." Besides quoting Deut. vi. 4, 5, He refers him to Lev. 
xix. 18. 

33. burnt offerings and sacrifices] The Scribe gathers up in his 
reply some of the great utterances of the Prophets, which prove the 
superiority of love to God and man over all mere ceremonial ob- 
servances. See 1 Sam. xv. 22; Psalm li. ; Hosea vi. 6; Micah vi. 

w. 3537-] ST MARK, XII. 137 

saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art 
not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that 
durst ask him any question. 

35 37. Our Lord 's Counter-question. 

And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the 35 
temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David ? 
For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said 36 
to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine ' 
enemies thy footstool. David therefore himself calleth him 37 
Lord ; and whence is he then his son ? And the common 
people heard him gladly. 

34. discreetly} "wysely," Wyclif. The word only occurs here in 
the N. T., and denotes "with knowledge and understanding." 

Thou art not far] The perception of Divine truth which his answer 
had shewed, revealed that he wanted but little to become a disciple 
of Christ. "Si non procul es, intra; alias praestiterit, procul fuisse." 

no man... durst] No other attempt was henceforth made to entangle 
the Redeemer by replies to subtle questions; "all alike kept aloof from 
one, from Whom chief priests and Rabbis equally went away humbled.'' 
Some, however, would refer to this occasion the question respecting the 
woman taken in adultery (John viii. 1 11). 

3537. Our Lord's Counter-question. 

35. And yesus answered and said] He seemed to have turned to a 
number of the Pharisees (Matt. xxii. 41) who had collected together, to 
converse probably over the day's discomfiture. The great counter- 
question is brought forward by St Matthew in all its historic importance 
as the decisive concluding interrogation addressed to the Pharisees. St 
Mark points out by the words "Jesus answered" that the statement con- 
tained a reply to some question already put. 

36. David himself said] The Pharisees are referred to the ex 111 Psalm, 
which the Rabbis regarded as distinctly Messianic. " The Lord 
{Jehovah) said unto my Lord (Adonai), Sit thou on My right hand till 
I make thy foes a footstool for thy feet." In this lofty and mysterious 
Psalm, David, speaking by the Holy Ghost, was carried out of and 
beyond himself, and saw in prophetic vision that his Son would also be 
his Lord. The Psalm is more frequently cited by the New Testament 
writers than any other single portion of the ancient Scriptures (Acts ii. 
34, 35; 1 Cor. xv. 25; Heb. i. 13, v. 6, vii. 17, 21). "In later Jewish 
writings nearly every verse of it is quoted as referring to the Messiah." 
Perowne on the Psalms, II. 291. 

37. whence is he then his son ?] Abraham had never called Isaac or 
Jacob or any of his descendants his lord. Why then had David done 
so? There could be but one answer : " Because that Son would be 
David's Son as regarded human birth, his Lord as regarded His Divine 

138 ST MARK, XII. [vv. 38- 

38 40. Admonition to beware of the Scribes. 

38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the 
scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salu- 

39 tations in the marketplaces, and the chief seats in the 

40 synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts : which 
devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long 
prayers : these shall receive greater damnation. 

Nature." This answer, however, the Pharisees declined to make, not 
through ignorance, but through unbelief in our Lord's Messianic claims. 
the common people] Rather, the great multitude. "And moche 
cumpany gladli herde him." Wyclif. This fact is peculiar to St Mark, 
and implies that they listened to Him gladly, not merely in the general 
sense, but with special reference to His Divine dignity as the Messiah. 

38 40. Admonition to beware of the Scribes. 

38. And he said] The terrible denunciations of the moral and 
religious shortcomings of the leaders of the nation, which now fall 
from our Lord's lips, are given far more fully by St Matthew, xxiii. 
1 39. It was only the Jewish Christians, for whom that Evangelist 
wrote, who could at once, and at that time, understand and enter into 
the terrible declension of Pharisaic Judaism. To the Gentile Christians 
of Rome, for whom St Mark wrote, "the great woe-speech" would be 
to a certain extent unintelligible. Hence the picture of the Scribes is 
here shortly given in their three principal features; (1) ambition, 
(2) avarice, and (3) hypocritical external piety. 

in long clothing] "bat wolen wandre in stoolis," Wyclif. Sloolis 
from Latin stola z. robe. They came out to pray in long sweeping 
robes, wearing phylacteries of extra size, and exaggerated tassels, hung 
at the corners of their talliths. Many such were doubtless to be seen at 
Jerusalem at this very time, who had come up to celebrate the Feast of 
the Passover. See note on p. 64. 

love salutations] The sounding title of " Rabbi," " Rabbi." 

39. the chief seats] The seats of honour for the elders of the synagogue 
were placed in front of the ark containing the Law, in the uppermost 
part, where they sat with their faces to the people. In the synagogue 
at Alexandria there were seventy-one golden chairs, according to the 
number of the members of the Great Sanhedrim. 

the uppermost rooms] Rather, the chief seats, "be first sitting places 
in soperis," Wyclif. The highest place on the divan, as amongst the 
Greeks. Amongst the Romans, when a party consisted of more than 
three persons, it was the custom to arrange three of the couches on 
which they reclined round a table, so that the whole formed three sides 
of a square, leaving the bottom of it open for the approach of the 
attendants. These couches were then respectively designated lectus 
medius, summus, and imus. The middle place in the triclinium was 
considered the most dignified. At a large feast there would be many 
such triclinia. 

vv. 41,42-] ST MARK, XII. 139 

41 44. The Widow's Mite. 
And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how 4> 
the people cast money into the treasury: and many that 
were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor 4? 
widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 

40. devour widows' houses] as guardians and administrators of their 

greater damnation] "bei taken longe dom, " Wyclif. The word denotes 
"judgment," "punishment." The verb from which it comes denotes 
"to judge," pass sentence, condemn. In 1 Cor. xi. 29, the words ren- 
dered damnation, discerning, judged, and condemnation, are all, in the 
original, parts or derivations of one and the same word ; and so Wyclif 
admirably rendered them into the language of his day by words con- 
nected with one and the same English verb ; "He that etith and 
drinkith vnworthili, etith and drinkith doom to him, not wisely de?nyng 
the bodi of the Lord... and if we demyden wiseli us silf we schulden not 
be demyd, but while we be demyd of the lord we ben chastised, that we 
be not datnpnyd with this world." Compare also Chaucer, Monk's 
Tale, 1 509 1, 

" Dampnyd was he to deye in that prison." 
Bible Word- Book, pp. 142, 143. 

41 44. The Widow's Mite. 

41. And Jesus sat] In perfect calm and quiet of spirit after all the 
fierce opposition of this "day of Questions. " 

the treasury] This treasury, according to the Rabbis, consisted of 
thirteen brazen chests, called "trumpets," because the mouths through 
which the money was cast into the chest were wide at the top and 
narrow below. They stood in the outer "Court of the Women." 
' Nine chests were for the appointed temple-tribute, and for the sacri- 
fice-tribute, that is, money-gifts instead of the sacrifices ; four chests for 
freewill-offerings, for wood, incense, temple-decoration, and burnt- 
offerings." Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. 

beheld] The imperfect tense in the original implies that He continued 
watching and observing the scene. " Christus in hodierno quoque 
cultu spectat omnes." Bengel. 

how the people] "Before the Passover, freewill offerings in addition 
to the temple-tax were generally presented." Lange. 

42. a certain poor widow] One of the helpless class which He had 
just described as devoured by the extortion of the Scribes and Pharisees. 
In three words St Mark presents to us a picture of her desolation : she 
was alone, she was a widow, and she was poor. 

two mites] "Sche sente tweye mynutis, bat is, a ferbing," Wyclif. 
Mite is a contraction of minute, from Lat. minutum, though Fr. mite. 
Thus Becon says, "let us with the poor widow of the gospel at 
the least give two minutes, and God will surely approve and accept our 
good will." The Lepton, here mentioned, was the very smallest copper 
coin. Two made one Roman quadrans, which was Jth of an as. The 

Ho ST MARK, XII. XIII. [w. 43, 44; 

43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, 
Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more 

44 in, than all they which have cast into the treasury : for all 
they did cast in of their abundance ; but she of her want did 
cast in all that she had, even all her living. 

1 13. Prophecies of the Destruction of Jerusalem. 

13 And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith 

as in Cicero's time = nearly a halfpenny, and the quadrans = one-eighth 
of a penny. This poor widow gave two, though, as Bengel remarks, she 
might have kept back one. She gave her "all." " If we have regard to 
the origin of the expression, it argues more of presumption than 
humility to call any gift, as many do, however liberal, unless it were our 
all, a ' mite, ' while the frequent use of the term to excuse some shabby 
offering which costs the donor nothing, is a remarkable example of the 
serene unconsciousness with which persons will sometimes pass the most 
bitter sarcasms upon themselves." Davies, Bible English, p. 251. 

43. he called unto him] "De re magna. Specimen judicii olim 
exercendi, pro statu cordium." Bengel. 

more in, than all they] It is not said that the gifts of the others were 
worthless. Many possessed, no doubt, no worth (Matt. vi. 1) ; others, 
a greater or a less. The greatest value, however, attached itself to 
her gift, because of the self-denial which it implied. 

44. of their abundance] i.e. of their superfluity, "of bat bing bat was 
plenteuous to hem." Wyclif. 

she of her want] "of hir myseste sente alle bingis bat she hadde, 
al hir lyflode," Wyclif. Observe all the graphic touches in the account 
of the widow's mite. (i) Our Lord was sitting over against the 
Treasury ; (ii) He was watching the people casting in their contri- 
butions ; (iii) He called to Him His disciples ; and (iv) He points out 
to them the full meaning of her act of self-denial. After this incident 
in the "court of the women," and apparently while the Saviour was 
still there, it came to pass, that two of the Apostles, Andrew and 
Philip, brought to Him the "inquiring Greeks,' who had desired to 
see Him (John xii. 20 22). No sooner did He behold these "inquirers 
from the West," than He broke forth into words of mysterious joy 
(John xii. 24 26), and presentiments of His coming Passion (John 
xii. 27, 28); after which was heard the last of the Three Heavenly Voices, 
attesting the true dignity of His mission (John xii. 28). And so with 
the clear prevision that He was about to be "lifted up" upon His 
Cross, and, if "lifted up" would "draw all men unto Him" (John 
xii. 32), He prepared to leave the Temple, which He was never to 
enter again. His public work was over. His last counsels, His final 
warnings, had been delivered. 

Ch. XIII. 1 13. Prophecies of the Destruction of 
1. And as he went] Leaving the Temple, He passed with His 

w. 26.) ST MARK, XIII. 141 

unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what build- 
ings are here 1 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou 2 
these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon 
another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon 3 
the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James 
and John and Andrew asked him privately, Tell us, when 4 
shall these things be ? and what shall be the sign when all 
these things shall be fulfilled ? And Jesus answering them 5 
began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you : for 6 

Apostles down the eastern steps toward the valley of the Kidron. 
As they were passing on, 

one of his disciples) invited His attention to the marvellous structure 
they were quitting, to the enormous size of its marble blocks, the 
grandeur of its buildings, and the gorgeous gifts with which, though 
still unfinished, it had been endowed (Luke xxi. 5). Josephus tells 
us that while some of the stones were forty-five feet, most were thirty- 
seven and a half feet long, twelve feet high, and eighteen broad. 
Jos. Bell. Jud. v. 6.6; Ant. xv. n. 3. 

2. there shall not be left) Though now they seem fixed in their 
places for eternity. And even as He said, less than forty years 
afterwards, "Zion was ploughed as afield, and Jerusalem became heaps, 
and the mountain of the House as the high places of the forest" 
(Micah iii. 12). Titus himself was amazed at the massive buildings 
of Jerusalem, and traced in his triumph the hand of God (Jos. Bell. 
Jud. VI. 9. 1). At his departure after the capture of the city, he left 
the tenth legion under the command of Terentius Rufus to carry out 
the work of demolition, and Josephus tells us {Bell. Jud. VII. 1. 1) 
that the whole inclosing walls and precincts of the Temple were "so 
thoroughly levelled and dug up that no one visiting the city would 
believe it had ever been inhabited." 

3. the mount of Olives) Nothing more appears to have been said 
now, and crossing the valley of the Kidron, the little company as- 
cended the steep footpath that leads over the mount of Olives in 
the direction of Bethany. When they had reached the summit, He 
sat down (Matt. xxiv. 3 ; Mark xiii. 3) 

over against the temple) Notice this minuteness as regards details 
of place peculiar to the second Evangelist, and see Introduction, p. 19. 

Peter and James and John and Andrew) Observe again these 
minute particulars as to persons, and see Introd. p. 18. These Apostles 
probably now sat nearest to their Master, and were the most favoured 
of the apostolic band. 

4. what shall be the sign) The question is given more fully by 
St Matthew, xxiv. 3. It embraced three points : (i) the time of the 
destruction of the Temple ; the sign (ii) of His Coming, and (iii) of 
the end of the world. 

5. Take heed] "The four moral key-notes of the Discourse on 
the Last Things are "Beware," "Watch," "Endure," "Pray." 
Farrar, Life, II. p. 258. 

142 ST MARK, XIII. [vv. 710. 

many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and 

7 shall deceive many. And when ye shall hear of wars and 
rumours of wars, be ye not troubled : for such things must 

8 needs be ; but the end shall not be yet. For nation shall 
rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom : and 
there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be 
famines and troubles : these are the beginnings of sorrows. 

9 But take heed to yourselves : for they shall deliver you up 
to councils ; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten : 
and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my 

o sake, for a testimony against them. And the gospel must 

6. many shall come] Five tokens are here given, to which the Lord 
directs the attention of His disciples : (i) the rise of false prophets ; 
(ii) wars and rumours of wars ; (iii) the rising of nation against nation ; 
(iv) earthquakes ; (v) famines (some MSS. omit troubles) ; but the 
Apostles were not to be terrified, these things were 

8. the beginnings of sorrows] rather, of birth-pangs. The word only 
occurs in four places in the N. T. Here ; in the parallel, Matt. xxiv. 8 ; 
in Acts ii. 24, "having loosed the pains (rather the pangs) of death ;" 
and i Thess. v. 3, "then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as 
travail {ox birth-pangs) upon a woman with child." The occurrence of 
the expression here is remarkable, and recals other places of Scripture, 
where Creation is said to be "groaning and travailing" (Rom. viii. 22), 
waiting for its regeturation (Matt. xix. 28) or New Birth. For the 
fulfilment of these prophecies comp. Jos. Ant. xix. 1 ; Tac* Ann. 
xii. 38, xv. 22, xvi. 13; Sen. Ep. xci. Tacitus describing the epoch 
{Hist. 1. 2) calls it "opimum casibus, atrox praeliis, discors seditionibus, 
ipsa etiam pace ssevum." These "signs" then ushered in the epoch 
of the destruction of Jerusalem, but realized on a larger scale they are 
to herald the End of all things ; comp. r Thess. v. 3 ; 2 Thess. ii. 2. 

9. to councils] Of the actual hearers of the Lord some were 
destined to find this true within little more than fifty days. Thus, in 
Acts iv. 3, we find all the Apostles brought before the Sanhedrim, and 
again in Acts v. 18, 27. Similarly, St Paul was brought before the same 
Council, Acts xxiii. 1. 

in the synagogues ye shall be beaten] "Of the Jews," says St Paul 
(2 Cor. xi. 24), "five times received I forty stripes save one ;" "thrice 
was I beaten with rods." It was part of the duties of the Chazzan, 
or minister in each synagogue, to maintain order, and scourge the 

before rulers and kings] Thus St Paul stood before Felix (Acts xxiv. 
10 22), before Festus (Acts xxv. 1 n), before Agrippa (Acts xxvi. 
1 23), before Nero (2 Tim. iv. 16). Our Lord also, we may believe, 
alluded to the general persecutions of the Christians in later times, 
and especially to that of the emperor Nero, in which St Peter and 
St Paul suffered martyrdom. 

w. ii 13.] ST MARK, XIII. 143 

first be published among all nations. But when they shall u 
lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand 
what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate : but what- 
soever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye : for 
it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. Now the bro- 12 
ther shall betray the brother to death, and the father the 
son ; and children shall rise up against their parents, and 
shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated 13 
of all men for my name's sake : but he that shall endure 
unto the end, the same shall be saved. 

10. the gospel mtist first be published] And even so while many of 
His hearers were yet alive, the Gospel was proclaimed throughout the 
Roman Empire, from Arabia to Damascus, from Jerusalem to Illy- 
ricum, in Italy and in Spain. Comp. Rom. xv. 19, 24, 28 ; Col. i. 
6, 23. 

11. take no thought beforehand] Rather, be not anxious beforehand, 
or distracted beforehand with anxiety. " Nyle be \>enke what 3e 
schulen speke," Wyclif. "Thought," when our translation was made, 
signified undue care or anxiety. Thus Bishop Ridley in the Account 
of the Disputation at Oxford, 1544, says, "No person of any honesty, 
without thinking, could abide to hear the like spoken by a most 
vile varlet ;" and Shakespeare, Jul. Cces. II. 1. 186, says, 

"If he love Caesar, all that he can do 
Is to himself, take thought and die for Caesar," 

and Hamlet III. 1. 84, 

"And thus the native hue of resolution 
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought," 

and Ant. and Cleop. in. 13. 1, 

"Cleo. What shall we do, Enobarbus? 
Eno. Think, and die." 

See the Bible Word-Book, sub loc. ; and Davies, Bible English, 
pp. 99, 100. 

but whatsoever shall be given you] Comp. Matt. x. 19, 20, where the 
words occur as a portion of our Lord's charge to His Twelve Apostles. 
"These were very weighty words for the Roman Christians, at a 
time when the martyrdom of the Apostles Peter and Paul, in Rome, 
was about to take place." Lange. 

13. he that shall endure] "he bat schol susteyne in to be ende," 
Wyclif. The endurance here spoken of is the brave and persistent 
endurance of the Christian in faith and love. In this noble word, 
the "queen of virtues," as Chrysostom does not fear to call it, 
"there always appears in the New Testament a background of 
manliness; it does not mark merely the endurance, the 'sustinen- 
tiam,' or even the ' patientiam,' but the ' perseverantiam,' the 'brave 

144 ST MARK, XIII. [v. 14 

14 23. Immediate Tokens of the Downfall of Jerusalem. 
l4 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, 
spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought 

patience ' with which the Christian contends against the various 
hindrances, persecutions, and temptations, that befall him in his 
conflict with the inward and outward world." Bp Ellicott on 1 Thess. 
i. 3. The verb occurs twice in St Matthew, once to St Mark, eight 
times in St Paul's Epistles, twice in St James, and is twice used by 
St Peter in the striking passage 1 Pet. ii. 20, "if when ye be buffeted 
for your faults, ye shall take it patiently ;" '..."if when ye do well, and 
suffer, ye take it patiently. " 

14 23. Immediate Tokens of the Downfall of Jerusalem. 

14. But when ye shall see] Hitherto He had distinctly foretold the 
destruction of the Holy City, now He gives them tokens which should 
forewarn them of its approach, and tells them how they may secure 
their own safety. 

the abomination of desolation] The reference here is to Dan. ix. 
27, "and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it deso- 
late" or, as it is rendered in the margin, "and upon the battlements 
shall be the idols of the desolator." The LXX. render it, "and upon the 
temple the abomination of desolations ; " comp. 1 Mace. i. 54 ; 2 Mace, 
vi. 2. Hengstenberg would translate it, "and over the top of abomina- 
tion comes the desolation." 

i. The verb from which the Greek word rendered "abomination" 
comes means to cause disgust by bad smell or otherwise. Hence it is 
translated by Tertullian " abominamentum. " 
ii. In the Septuagint it is specially applied to (a) idols, and (b) things 
pertaining to idols. Thus in 1 Kings xi. 5 " Milcom" ( = Molech) is 
called i( the abomination of the Ammonites," and in 1 Kings xi. 7 
" Chemosh" is called "the abomination of Moab." Again Ahab is 
said (1 Kings xxi. 26) "to have done very abominably in following 
idols," and Ahaz (2 Kings xvi. 3) to have made "his son to pass 
through the fire according to the abominations of the heathen." 
Comp. also 2 Kings xxi. 2. 
iii. Thus the word passes into the New Testament, where it occurs 
6 times, (a) Here; (b) in the parallel, Matt, xxi v. 15; {c) Luke 
xvi. 15, "that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination 
in the sight of God;" and (d) Rev. xvii. 4, "having a golden cup in 
her hand full of abominations." Comp. also Rev. xvii. 5, xxi. 27. 
iv. The key to the interpretation seems to be supplied by St Luke, 
who says (xxi. 20), "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed 
with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh," and 
thus shews that it is to be explained in some connection with the 
Roman legions. 
v. Hence (a) Some would understand it to denote the vile abomina- 
tions practised by the Romans on the place where the Temple 
stood, (b) Others, the Eagles, the standards of the Roman army, 

w. 1518.] ST MARK, XIII. 145 

not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that 
be in Judaea flee to the mountains : and let him that is 15 
on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter 
therein, to take any thing out of his house : and let him that 16 
is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. 
But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give 17 
suck in those days ! And pray ye that your flight be not in 18 

which were held in abomination by the Jews, both on account of the 
representations of the Emperor which they bore, and because the 
soldiers were known to offer sacrifice to them. The Roman Eagles, 
therefore, rising over the site of the Temple, "where they otight 
not" and " compassing" the city (Luke xxi. 20), was the sign that 
the Holy Place had fallen under the dominion of the idolaters, (c) 
Others again would refer the words not only to the Roman Eagles, 
but to the outrages of lust and murder perpetrated by the "Zealots," 
which drove every worshipper in horror from the sacred Courts. 
See Jos. Bell. yiid. IV. 3. 7. But even this was in consequence of 
the compassing of the city by the Imperial Legions. 
let him that readeth] This of course is said parenthetically. 
flee to the mountains] Compare the flight of Lot from the doomed 
"cities of the plain" to "the mountains," Gen. xix. 17. In accord- 
ance with these warnings the Christian Jews fled from Jerusalem to 
the Persean town of Pella, a distance of about 100 miles. " Somewhere 
on the slopes of Gilead, near the scene of Jacob's first view of the land 
of his descendants, and of the capital of the exiled David, was Pella 
(identified with Tabathat Fakkil), so called by the Macedonian Greeks 
from the springing fountain, which likened it to the birthplace of their 

own Alexander From these heights Abner in his flight from the 

Philistines, and David in his flight from Absalom, and the Israelites on 
their way to Babylon, and the Christian Jews of Pella, caught the last 
glimpse of their familiar mountains." Stanley's Sinai and Palestine, 

P- 330- 

15. neither enter therein] The houses of Palestine, as we have seen 
in the case of the "paralytic borne of four," ch. ii. 3 12, were 
furnished with a flight of steps outside, by which the housetop could 
be reached without actually entering the house. The Christians were 
thus warned by our Lord to flee along the flat roofs to the city wall, 
and so make their escape. 

16. his garment] i.e. his " outer garment. " 

18. be not in the winter] with its rains and storms and swollen 
torrents, "neither" as St Matthew adds (xxi v. 20), "on the Sabbath 
day." We may well believe that the Christians made both these 
petitions theirs. At any rate we know what did take place, (a) The 
compassing of the city by the Roman armies spoken of by St Luke 
(xxi. 20) took place at the commencement of October, A.D. 66, when 
the weather was yet mild and favourable for travelling, {b) The final 
siege, if any Christian Jews lingered on till then, took place in the still 
more open months of April or May. See Lewin's Fasti Sacri, p. 344 

146 ST MARK, XIII. [w. 1921. 

i 9 the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as 
was not from the beginning of the creation which God 

20 created unto this time, neither shall be. And except that 
the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be 
saved : but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he 

21 hath shortened the days. And then if any man shall say to 

and p. 358. The Jewish custom, which forbade travelling on the 
Sabbath beyond a distance of 2000 ells, would make the Christian Jews' 
travelling on that day infinitely more difficult, even though they might 
themselves be possibly free from any scruple. "They would in addition 
to other embarrassments, expose themselves to the severest persecutions 
of fanaticism." Lange. 

19. in those days] There is no "in" here properly. Those days 
shall he affliction, "be ilke dayes of tribulacioun schulen be suche," 

such as was not from the beginning of the creation] The unexampled 
atrocities of the siege of Jerusalem are fully described by Josephus. He 
declares that "the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the 
world, if they be compared to those of the Jews, are not so terrible as 
theirs were," "nor did any age ever produce a generation more fruitful 
in wickedness from the beginning of the world. " The horrors of war 
and sedition, of famine and pestilence, were such as exceeded all example 
or conception. The city was densely crowded by the multitudes which 
had come up to the Passover. Pestilence ensued, and famine followed. 
The commonest instincts of humanity were forgotten. Acts of violence 
and cruelty were perpetrated without compunction or remorse, and 
barbarities enacted which cannot be described. Mothers snatched the 
food from the mouths of their husbands and children, and one actually 
killed, roasted, and devoured her infant son. (Comp. Lev. xxvi. 29; 
Deut. xxviii. 56, 57). Dead bodies filled the houses and streets 
of the city, while cruel assassins rifled and mangled with the 
exultation of fiends. The besieged devoured even the filth of the 
streets, and so excessive was the stench that it was necessary to hurl 
600,000 corpses over the wall, while 97,000 captives were taken during 
the war, and more than 1, 100,000 perished in the siege. See Josephus, 
Bell. Jud. vi. 9. 3; Tacitus, Hist. v. 13 ; Milman's History of the Jews 
II. 16 ; Merivale's History of the Romans, VI. 59. 

20. except that the Lord had shortened] The word rendered "shortened" 
only occurs here and in the parallel, Matt. xxiv. 22. It denotes to dock 
or curtail. It occurs in the LXX. version of 2 Sam. iv. 12, where we 
read that David "commanded his young men, and they cutoff the hands 
and the feet" of the murderers of Ishbosheth. If in God's pitying 
mercy the number of those awful days had not been shortened, no 
flesh could have been saved. 

for the elect's sake] i.e. for the sake of the Christians. 
he hath shorte?ied] Had the horrors within and without which 
accompanied the siege of Jerusalem been prolonged, the utter desola- 

w. 2225.] ST MARK, XIII. 147 

you, Lo, here is Christ ; or, lo, he is there ; believe him not : 
for false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew 22 
signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the 
elect. But take ye heed : behold, I have foretold you all 23 

2 4 3 1 . The Second Advent of the Lord. 

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be 2 4 
darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the 2 5 
stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven 

tion of the country would have been the result. But in mercy they were 
shortened, (1) by the swift and energetic measures of the invading 
armies, and (2) by the infatuation of the besieged. On his part Titus 
encircled the city with a wall five miles in extent, and fortified it with 
thirteen strong garrisons in the almost incredibly short space of three 
days, and Josephus makes special mention of his eagerness to bring the 
siege to an end. On the other hand, the leaders of the factions within 
slew the men who would have taught them how the siege might be pro- 
longed, burnt the corn which would have enabled them to hold out 
against the enemy, and abandoned the towers, which were in reality 
impregnable. Thus the city, which in the time of Zedekiah (2 Kings 
xxv. 1 6; Jer. xxxix. 1, 2) had resisted the forces of Nebuchadnezzar 
for sixteen months, was taken by the Romans in less than five. 

22. for false Christs and false prophets'] Josephus tells us that false 
prophets and impostors prevailed on multitudes to follow them into the 
desert, promising there to display signs and wonders (comp. Acts xxi. 
38); and even at the last, when the Temple was in flames, numbers of 
all ages flocked thither from the city upon the proclamation of a false 
prophet, and of six thousand assembled there on this occasion, not one 
escaped the fire or the sword. But such imposture is to be still more 
signally realized with "signs and lying wonders" before the final coming 
of Christ (2 Thess. ii. 1 10). 

23. But take ye heed] Repeated and emphatic exhortation to watch- 

24 31. The Second Advent of the Lord. 

24. in those days] He, to Whom " a thousand years are as one day, 
and one day as a thousand years" (2 Pet. iii. 8), to Whom there is no 
past or future but one eternal Present, passes from one chapter to 
another in the history of the world with the ease of One, Who seeth all 
things clearly revealed. 

the sun shall be darkened] Two of those then listening to the Lord, 
have themselves described the signs in the physical world which are to 
usher in the End; {a) St Peter, in his second Epistle, iii. 1 13, and 
(b) St John, in Rev. xx. xxi. 

148 ST MARK, XIII. [w. 2630. 

26 shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man 

97 coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then 

shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect 

from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to 

28 the uttermost part of heaven. Now learn a parable of the 
fig tree ; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth 

29 leaves, ye know that summer is near : so ye in like manner, 
when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is 

30 nigh, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, that this 
generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 

26. shall they see the Son of man] Even when speaking of the 
"glorious majesty" of His Second Advent, He calls Himself by the 
name which links Him to the Humanity He came to save. For the 
title see note on ch. ii. 10, and compare John v. 22, 27, " the Father 
judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, and 
hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is 
the Son of man." 

in the clouds] And so the Angels distinctly stated to the Apostles at 
the Ascension (Acts i. n); and Daniel foresaw Him coming with the 
clouds of heaven (Dan. vii. 13, 14). 

27. then shall he send his angels] As the only begotten Son, 
who is in the bosom of the Father (John i. 18), alone ever declared or 
manifested Him to His creatures, so to Him God hath delegated the 
universal and ultimate judgment of mankind, that "as in our nature He 
performed all that was requisite to save us, as in our nature He was 
exalted to God's right hand to rule and bless us, so He shall in our 
nature appear to judge us." Barrow's Sermons ; comp. also Pearson On 
the Creed, Art. vii. 

28. a parable] Rather, its parable, the lesson which in similitude it 
was meant to teach. 

of the fig tree] They had already been taught one lesson from the 
withered fig-tree, they are now bidden to learn another from the tree 
when her branch is yet tender. 

29. it is nigh] Rather, He is nigh, i.e. the Judge spoken of in verse 26. 
even at the doors] There is no " even " in the original. So St James 

says, "Behold, the Judge standeth before the door" (James v. 9). 
" There is something solemn in the brevity of the phrase, without the 
nominative expressed." Bp Wordsworth. 

30. this generation shall not pass] The word thus rendered denotes 
(1) birth, age, as in the phrases "younger," " older in age ;" (2) descent ; 
(3) a generation of men living at the same time ; (4) in a wider sense, a 
race. He, Who surveys all things as an Eternal Present, "turns the 
thoughts of His disciples to two horizons, one near and one far off:" 

(i) In 7'eference to the destruction of Jerusalem, He declares that the 
generation of the literal Israel then living would not pass away before 
the judgments here predicted would fall upon Jerusalem, just as 
God had made their forefathers wander in the wilderness "until all 

w. 3134] ST MARK, XIII. 149 

Heaven and earth shall pass away : but my words shall not 31 
pass away. 

32 37. Final Exhortation to Watchfulness. 
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not 32 
the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the 
Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray : for ye know not 33 
when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a 34 
far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his 

the generation was consumed" that had come out of Egypt "and 
done evil in the sight of the Lord " (Num. xxxii. 13) ; 
(ii) In reference to His own Second Coming, and the world at large, 
He affirms that the race of men, and especially the generation of 
them that sought the Lord (Ps. xxiv. 6), the faithful seed of Abra- 
ham, should not pass away until all these things should be fulfilled. 

31. but my words shall not pass away] Never did the Speaker seem 
to stand more utterly alone than when He uttered this majestic utter- 
ance. Never did it seem more improbable that it should be fulfilled. 
But as we look across the centuries we see how it has been realised. 
His words have passed into laws, they have passed into doctrines, they 
have passed into proverbs, they have passed into consolations, but they 
have never "passed away." What human teacher ever dared to claim 
an eternity for his words ? 

32 37. Final Exhortation to Watchfulness. 

32. neither the Son] As our Lord is said to have "increased in 
wisdom''' as well as "in stature" (Luke ii. 52), to have prayed to the 
Father (Matt. xiv. 23, xxvi. 39, 42 44, &c); to have received com- 
mandment from the Father (John xiv. 31), even so it is here said by 
Himself that His knowledge is limited. But we may believe (1) that it 
is only as the Son of Man, that anything could be unknown to Him, Who 
said " / and my Father are one;" and (ii) that as the Eternal Word, the 
one Messenger of Divine Revelation, He did not know of that day and 
that hour so as to reveal them to man. "In Patre Filius scit, though it 
is no part of His office to reveal it a Patre." St Augustine, quoted by 
Bp Wordsworth. 

33. Take ye heed, watch and pray] " Se }e, wake 3e, and preie 
3e," Wyclif. The word rendered "watch" only occurs 4 times in the 
New Testament : (r) here ; (2) in the parallel, Luke xxi. 36 ; (3) Eph. 
vi. 18, "Praying always... and watching thereunto with all perseve- 
rance ;" (4) Heb. xiii. 17, "Obey them that have the rule over you,... for 
they watch for your souls." It denotes (1) to be sleepless, (2) to be 

34. For the Son of man is] These words do not occur in the original. 
taking a far journey] Literally, one who is absent from his people, 

who goes on foreign travel. " Which gon fer in pilgrimage," Wyclif. 
The verb formed from it occurs in chap. xii. 1, "A certain man planted 
a vineyard... and went into a far country." Even so our Lord left His 

i 5 o ST MARK, XIII. XIV. [vv. 35 37; i. 

servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the 

35 porter to watch. Watch ye therefore : for ye know not when 
the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or 

36 at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly 

37 he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto 
all, Watch. 

1, 2. The Sanhedrim in Council. 
14 After two days was the feast of the passover, and of 

Church, gave authority to His servants the Apostles, and to those who 
should come after them, and to every man his work, and is now waiting 
for the consummation of all things. 

35. at even, or at midnight] On the night watches see above, 
ch. vi. 48. In the Temple the priest, whose duty it was to superintend 
the night sentinels of the Levitical guard, might at any moment knock 
at the door and demand entrance. " He came suddenly and unex- 
pectedly, no one knew when. The Rabbis use almost the very words 
in which Scripture describes the unexpected coming of the Master, when 
they say, Sometimes he came at the cockcrowing, sometimes a little 
earlier, sometimes a little later. He came and knocked, and they 
opened to him." Mishnah, Tamid, I. 1, 2, quoted in Edersheim's The 
Temple and its Services, p. 120. 

36. lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping] "During the night 
the ' captain of the Temple ' made his rounds. On his approach the 
guards had to rise and salute him in a particular manner. Any guard 
found asleep when on duty was beaten, or his garments were set on fire 
a punishment, as we know, actually awarded." Edersheim, p. 120. 

37. Watch] Observe in this chapter the emphasis given to Christ's 
exhortation, " Watch!" The Apostle, under whose eye St Mark 
wrote his Gospel, would seem to wish us to notice in spite of what fre- 
quent warnings he himself failed to watch and fell. St Matthew tells 
us how the Lord sought to impress these lessons of watchfulness and 
faithfulness still more deeply by the Parables of the "Ten Virgins" 
(Matt. xxv. 1 13), and the " Talents" (Matt. xxv. 14 30), and closed 
all with a picture of the Awful Day, when the Son of Man should 
separate all nations one from another as the shepherd divideth his sheep 
from the goats (Matt. xxv. 31 46). So ended the great discourse on 

* the Mount of Olives, and the sun set, and the Wednesday of Holy Week 
had already begun before the little company entered the hamlet of 

Ch. XIV. 1, 2. The Sanhedrim in Council. 
1. After two days] From St Matthew's account we gather that it 
was as they entered Bethany that our Lord Himself reminded the 
Apostles (Matt. xxvi. 1, 2) that after two days the Passover would be 
celebrated, and the Son of Man be delivered up to be crucified. He thus 
indicated the precise time when "the Hour" so often spoken of before 

w. 2, 3.] ST MARK, XIV. 151 

unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes 
sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to 
death. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an a 
uproar of the people. 

3 9. The Feast in Simon! s House. The Anointing by 

And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 3 

should come, and again speaks of its accompanying circumstances of 
unutterable degradation and infamy death by Crucifixion. 

and of unleavened dread] The Passover took place on the 14th of 
Nisan, and the "Feast of unleavened bread" commenced on the 15th and 
lasted for seven days, deriving its name from the Mazzoth, or unleavened 
cakes, which was the only bread allowed during that week (Exod. xii. 
34, 39 ; Deut. xvi. 3). From their close connection they are generally 
treated as one, both in the Old and in the New Testament, and Josephus, 
on one occasion, even describes it as "a feast for eight days." Jos. Antiq. 
II. 15. 1 ; Edersheim, p. 177. 

and the chief priests'] While our Lord was in quiet retirement at 
Bethany the rulers of the nation were holding a formal consultation in 
the court of the palace of Caiaphas (Matt. xxvi. 3) how they could put 
Him to death. Disappointed as they had been in ensnaring Him into 
matter for a capital charge, they saw that their influence was lost unless 
they were willing to take extreme measures, and the events of the 
Triumphal Entry had convinced them of the hold He had gained over 
many of the nation, especially the bold and hardy mountaineers of Galilee. 
The only place where He appeared in public after the nights had been 
spent at Bethany was the Temple, but to seize Him there would in the 
present excited state of popular feeling certainly lead to a tumult, and a 
tumult to the interposition of Pilate, who during the Passover kept a 
double garrison in the tower of Antonia, and himself had come up to 

by craft] It was formally resolved therefore to take Him by craft, and 
for this purpose to wait and take advantage of the course of events and 
of any favourable opportunity which might present itself. 

39. The Feast in Simon's House. The Anointing by 

3. And being in Bethany] Meanwhile circumstances had occurred 
which in their result presented to the Jewish authorities a mode 
of apprehending Him which they had never anticipated. To relate 
these the Evangelist goes back to the evening before the Triumphal 
Entry, and places us in the house of 

Simon the leper] He had, we may believe, been a leper, and possibly 
had been restored by our Lord Himself. He was probably a near friend 
or relation of Lazarus. Some suppose he was his brother, others that he 
was the husband of Mary. 

i 5 2 ST MARK, XIV. [vv. 4, 5. 

as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster 
box of ointment of spikenard very precious j and she brake 

4 the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some 
that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was 

5 this waste of the ointment made ? for it might have been 

as he sat at meat] We learn from St John that the sisters had made 
Him a feast, at which Martha served, while Lazarus reclined at the 
table as one of the guests (John xii.. 2). 

there came a woman] This was Mary the sister of Lazarus, full 
of grateful love to Him, who had poured back joy into her once deso- 
lated home. 

having an alabaster box] "hauynge a box of precious oynement spika- 
nard, " Wyclif. At Alabastron in Egypt there was a manufactory of small 
vases for holding perfumes, which were made from a stone found in the 
neighbouring mountains. The Greeks gave to these vases the name of 
the city from which they came, calling them alabastrons. This name 
was eventually extended to the stone of which they were formed ; and 
at length the term alabaster was applied without distinction to all per- 
fume vessels, of whatever materials they consisted. 

of ointment of spikenard] Or, as in margin, of pure (genuine') nard 
or liquid nard. Pure or genuine seems to yield the best meaning, as 
opposed to the flseudo-nardus, for the spikenard was often adulterated. 
Pliny, Nat. Hist. XII. 26. It was drawn from an Indian plant, brought 
down in considerable quantities into the plains of India from such 
mountains as Shalma, Kedar Kanta, and others, at the foot of which 
flow the Ganges and Jumna rivers. 

very precious] It was the costliest anointing oil of antiquity, and was 
sold throughout the Roman Empire, where it fetched a price that put it 
beyond any but the wealthy. Mary had bought a vase or flask of it 
containing 12 ounces (John xii. 3). Of the costliness of the ointment we 
may form some idea by remembering that it was among the gifts sent by 
Cambyses to the Ethiopians (Herod, in. 20), and that Horace promises 
Virgil a whole cadus (= 36 quarts nearly) of wine, for a small onyx box 
of spikenard (Carm. iv. xii. 16, 17), 

"Nardo vina merebere; 
"Nardi parvus onyx eliciet cadum." 

brake the box] i. e. she broke the narrow neck of the small flask, and 
poured the perfume first on the head, and then on the feet of Jesus, 
drying them with the hair of her head. She did not wish to keep or 
hold back anything. She offered up all, gave away all, and her "all " 
was a tribute worthy of a king. "To anoint the feet of the greatest 
monarch was long unknown ; and in all the pomps and greatnesses of the 
Roman prodigality, it was not used till Otho taught it to Nero." Jeremy 
Taylor's Life of Christ, in. 13. 

4. And there were some] The murmuring began with Judas Iscariot 
(John xii. 4), and his spirit of murmuring infected some of the others, 
simple Galileans, little accustomed to such luxury. 

w. 6 10.] ST MARK, XIV. 153 

sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been 
given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And 6 
Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath 
wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with 7 
you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good : 
but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could : 8 
she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. 
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be 9 
preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath 
done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. 

10, 11. The Compact of Judas with the Chief Priests. 
And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief 10 

5. for more than three hundred pence] i. e. for more than 300 denarii, 
=300 x *j\d.= about \o. To Judas it was intolerable there should be 
such an utter waste of good money. 

they murmured] This word has already been explained in the note on 
chap. i. 43. Wyclif renders it here "j>ei groyneden in to hir." De 
Wette, "they scolded her." The word "expresses a passionate feeling, 
which we strive to keep back in the utterance." "St Mark, without a 
doubt, presents here the most accurate historic picture ; St John defines 
most sharply the motive ; St Matthew gives the especially practical his- 
toric form." Lange. 

8. she is come aforehand] The word thus rendered only occurs three 
times in the New Testament. (1) Here; (2) 1 Cor. xi. si, "for in eating 
every one taketh before other his own supper;" (3) Gal. vi. 1, "if a man 
be overtaken in a fault, "= "be surprised or detected in the act of com- 
mitting any sin." It denotes (1) to take beforehand; (2) to take before 
another; (3) to outstrip, get the start of anticipate. 

9. this gospel shall be preached] A memorable prophecy, and to this 
day memorably fulfilled. The story of her devoted adoration has gone 
forth into all lands. 

10, 11. The Compact of Judas with the Chief Priests. 

10. And Judas Iscariot] The words " to the burying 1 ' must have fallen 
like the death knell of all his Messianic hopes on the ears of Judas Iscariot, 
"the only southern Jew among the Twelve," and this, added to the con- 
sciousness that his Master had read the secret of his life (John xii. 6), 
filled his soul with feelings of bitterest mortification and hostility. 
Three causes, if we may conjecture anything on a subject so full of 
mystery, would seem to have brought about his present state of mind, and 
precipitated the course which he now took: (1) avarice; (2) disappoint- 
ment of his carnal hopes ; (3) a withering of internal religion. 

(i) Avarice. We may believe that his practical and administrative 
talents caused him to be made the almoner of the Apostles. This 
constituted at once his opportunity and his trial. He proved unfaithful 

154 ST MARK, XIV. [v. n. 

h priests, to betray him unto them. And when they heard //, 
they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he 
sought how he might conveniently betray him. 

to his trust, and used the common purse of the brotherhood for his 
own ends (John xii. 6). The germs of avarice probably unfolded 
themselves very gradually, and in spite of many warnings from his 
Lord (Matt. vi. 19 34, xiii. 22, 23; Mark x. 25; Luke xvi. uj 
John vi. 70), but they gathered strength, and as he became entrusted 
with larger sums, he fell more deeply, 
(ii) Disappointment of his carnal hopes'] Like all his brother 
Apostles, he had cherished gross and carnal views of the Messianic 
glory, his heart was set on the realization of a visible kingdom, 
with high places, pomp, and power. If some of the brother- 
hood were to sit on thrones (Matt. xix. 28), might he not obtain 
some post, profitable if not splendid? But the issue of the Triumphal 
Entry, and the repeated allusions of his Master to His death 
and His burying, sounded the knell of all these temporal and 
earthly aspirations, 
(iii) A withering of internal religion] He had been for three years 
close to Goodness Incarnate, but the good seed within him had be- 
come choked with the thorns of greed and carnal longings. "The 
mildew of his soul had spread apace," and the discovery of his 
secret sin, and its rebuke by our Lord at Bethany, turned his attach- 
ment to his Master more and more into aversion. The presence of 
Goodness so close to him ceasing to attract had begun to repel, and 
now in his hour of temptation, while he was angry at being sus- 
pected and rebuked, and possibly jealous of the favour shewn 
to others of the brotherhood, arose the question, prompted by 
none other than the Evil One (Luke xxii. 3), Why should he lose 
everything? Might he not see what was to be gained by taking the 
other side ? (Matt. xxvi. 15). 
xvent unto the chief priests] Full of such thoughts, in the darkness of 
the night he repaired from Bethany to Jerusalem, and being admitted 
into the council of the chief priests asked what they would give him 
for betraying his Master into their hands. 

11. they were glad] They shuddered not at the suggested deed of 
darkness. His proposal filled them with joy. 

and prromised] How much he expected when he went over to them 
we cannot tell. But by going at all he had placed himself in their 
hands. He had made his venture, and was obliged to take what they 
offered. Thirty pieces of silver (Matt. xxvi. 15), the price of a slave (Exod. 
xxi. 32), were equivalent to 120 denarii=i20X i\d. =about 5. 13J. 
of our money. At this time the ordinary wages for a day's labour was 
one denarius ; so that the whole sum amounted to about four months' 
wages of a day labourer. It is possible, however, the sum, which seems 
to us so small, may have been earnest-money. 

conveniently] That is without raising the hostility of the populace, and 
possibly after the conclusion of the Passover and the dispersion of the 
Galilean pilgrims to their own homes. 

w. 1214.] ST MARK, XIV. 155 

12 16. Preparations for the Last Supper. 
And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed " 
the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou 
that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover ? 
And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto 13 
them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man 
bearing a pitcher of water : follow him. And wheresoever m 
he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The 

1216. Preparations for the Last Supper. 

12. the first day of unleavened dread] Wednesday in Passion 
week would seem to have been spent by our Lord in deep seclusion at 
Bethany preparing Himself for the awfulness of the coming struggle, 
and is hidden by a veil of holy silence. That night He slept at Bethany 
for the last time on earth. "On the Thursday morning He awoke 
never to sleep again." Farrar, Life, II. p. 275. 

when they killed the passover] i. e. the Paschal victim. Comp. Luke 
xxii. 7, "when the Passover must be killed;" 1 Cor. v. 7, "Christ our 
Passover ( = Paschal Lamb) is sacrificed for us." The name of the 
Passover, in Hebrew Pesach, and in Aramaean and Greek Pascha, is 
derived from a root which means to "step over," or to "overleaf," and 
thus points back to the historical origin of the Festival. "And when I see 
the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you 
to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt" (Exod. xii. 13). 

Where wilt thou] On this Thursday morning the disciples came to 
our Lord for instructions as to the Passover. They may have expected, 
considering the complete seclusion of Wednesday, that He would eat it 
at Bethany, for " the village was reckoned as regards religious purposes 
part of Jerusalem by the Rabbis, and the Lamb might be eaten there, 
though it must be killed at the Temple." Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. 

that we go and prepare] The lamb had, we may believe, already been 
bought on the tenth of Nisan, according to the rule of the Law (Exod. 
xii. 3), the very day on which He, the true Paschal Lamb, entered 
Jerusalem in meek triumph. 

13. he sendeth forth two of his disciples] The Apostles Peter and 
John (Luke xxii. 8). 

and there shall meet you] Observe the minuteness of the directions 
and of the predictions as to the events which would happen. It is the 
same mysterious minuteness which distinguishes the preparations for the 
Triumphal Entry. 

a man] It was generally the task of women to carry water. Amongst 
the thousands at Jerusalem they would notice this man carrying an 
earthen jar of water drawn from one of the fountains. We need not 
conclude, because it was a slave's employment to do this (Deut. xxix. 
n; Josh. ix. 21), that he was a slave. The Apostles were to follow 
him to whatever house he entered. 

14. say ye to the goodman of the house] The words addressed to him, 
and the confidential nature of the communication, make it probable that 

156 ST MARK, XIV. [vv. 15, 16. 

Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat 
is the passover with my disciples ? And he will shew you 

a large upper room furnished a?id prepared : there make 
16 ready for us. And his disciples went forth, and came into 

the city, and found as he had said unto them : and they 

made ready the passover. 

the owner of the house was a believing follower. "Discipulus, sed 
non ex duodecim," Bengel. Some have conjectured it was Joseph of 
Arimathoea, others John Mark; but the Gospels and tradition alike are 
silent. "Universal hospitality prevailed in this matter, and the only 
recompence that could be given was the skin of the paschal lamb, and 
the earthen dishes used at the meal." Geikie, 11. 462. 

the guestcha?tiber'\ Curiously translated by Wyclif, "my fulfilling, or 
etyng place." The original word only occurs here, in the parallel Luke 
xxii. 11, and Luke ii. 7, "and she brought forth her firstborn son, 
and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the 

15. a large upper room furnished] "a greet souping place strewid," 
Wyclif. The guest-chamber was on the upper floor, ready, and provided 
with couches, as the custom of reclining at meals required. We may 
conclude also from the word prepared that the searching for and putting 
away of every particle of leaven (1 Cor. v. 7), so important a preliminary to 
the Passover, and performed in perfect silence and with a lighted candle, 
had been already carried out. 

16. they made ready the passover] This preparation would include 
the provision of the unleavened cakes, of the bitter herbs, the four or 
five cups of red wine mixed with water, of everything, in short, necessary 
for the meal. At this point it may be well to try to realise the 
manner in which the Passover was celebrated amongst the Jews in the 
time of our Lord, (i) With the Passover, by Divine ordinance, there 
had always been eaten two or three flat cakes of unleavened bread 
(Exod. xii. 18), and the rites of the feast by immemorial usage had been 
regulated according to the succession of four cups of red wine always 
mixed with water (Ps. xvi. 5, xxiii. 5, cxvi. 13). These were placed 
before the master of the house where the Paschal Feast was cele- 
brated, or the most eminent guest, who was called the Celebrant, the 
President, or Proclaimer of the Feast. (ii) After those assembled 
had reclined, he took one of the Four Cups, known as the "Cup of 
Consecration," in his right hand, and pronounced the benediction 
over the wine and the feast, saying, "Blessed be Thou, Jehovah, our 
God, Thou King of the universe, Who hast created the fruit of the vine. " 
He then tasted the Cup and passed it round, (iii) Water was then 
brought in, and he washed, followed by the rest, the hands being 
dipped in water, (iv) The table was then set out with the bitter herbs, 
such as lettuce, endive, succory, and horehound, the sauce called 
Charoseth, and the Passover lamb, (v) The Celebrant then once more 
blessed God for the fruits of the earth, and taking a portion of the 

w. 17, 18.] ST MARK, XIV. 157 

17 21. Commencement of the Supper. Revelation of the 

And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as )l 

bitter herbs, dipped it in the charoseth, and ate a piece of it of "the size 
of an olive," and his example was followed by the rest, (vi) The 
Haggadah or "shewing forth (1 Cor. xi. 26) now commenced, and the 
Celebrant declared the circumstances of the delivery from Egypt, as com- 
manded by the Law (Exod. xii. 27, xiii. 8). (vii) Then the second Cup 
of wine was filled, and a child or proselyte inquired, " What mean ye 
by this service?" (Exod. xii. 26), to which reply was made according to a 
prescribed formula or liturgy. The first part of the "Hallel," Psalms 
cxiii., cxiv. , was then sung, and the second Cup was solemnly drunk, 
(viii) The Celebrant now washed his hands again, and taking two of 
the unleavened cakes, broke one of them, and pronounced the thanks- 
giving in these words, "Blessed be Thou, Lord our God, Thou King 
of the universe, Who bringest forth fruit out of the earth. " Then he 
distributed a portion to each, and all wrapping some bitter herbs round 
their portion dipped it in the charoseth and ate it. (ix) The flesh of 
the lamb was now eaten, and the Master of the house, lifting up his 
hands, gave thanks over the third Cup of wine, known as the "Cup of 
Blessing," and handed it round to each person, (x) After thanking for 
the food of which they had partaken and for their redemption from 
Egypt, a fourth Cup, known as the "Cup of Joy," was filled and 
drunk, and the remainder of the Hallel (Pss. cxv. cxviii.) was sung. 
See Buxtorf, de Coena Domini; Lightfoot, Temple Service; Edersheim, 
pp. 206 209. 

17 21. Commencement of the Supper. Revelation of 
the Traitor. 

17. in the evening] "It was probably while the sun was beginning 
to decline in the horizon that Jesus and the disciples descended once 
more over the Mount of Olives into the Holy City. Before them lay 
Jerusalem in her festive attire. White tents dotted the sward, gay with 
the bright flowers of early spring, or peered out from the gardens and 
the darker foliage of the olive-plantations. From the gorgeous Temple 
buildings, dazzling in their snow-white marble and gold, on which the 
slanting rays of the sun were reflected, rose the smoke of the altar of 
burnt offering.... The streets must have been thronged with strangers, 
and the flat roofs covered with eager gazers, who either feasted their 
eyes with a first sight of the Sacred City for which they had so often 
longed, or else once more rejoiced in view of the well-remembered 
localities. It was the last day-view which the Lord had of the 
Holy City till Hjs resurrection ! " Edersheim's The Temple and Us 
Services, pp. 194, 195. 

he cometh with the twelve] Judas must have stolen back to Bethany 
before daylight, and another day of hypocrisy had been spent under the 
penetrating glance of Him Who could read the hearts of men. 

158 ST MARK, XIV. [vv. 1921. 

they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One 

t 9 of you which eateth with me shall betray me. And they 

began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is 

20 it I ? And others said, Zf it I ? And he answered and said 
unto them, // is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in 

21 the dish. The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of 

18. And as they sat] Grouping together the four narratives, which, as 
they approach the Passion, expand into the fulness of a diary, we infer 
that (i) when the little company had taken their places on the triclinia, 
the Saviour as Celebrant or Proclaimer of the Feast, remarking that 
with desire He had desired to eat this Passover before He suffered, took 
the first cup and divided it amongst them (Luke xxii. 15 18). (ii) Then 
followed the unseemly dispute touching priority (Luke xxii. 24 30), to 
correct which and to teach them in the most striking manner possible a 
lesson of humility, He washed His disciples' feet, covered with dust from 
their walk along the road from Bethany (John xiii. 1 11). Then the 
meal was resumed and He reclined once more at the table (John xiii. 
12), the beloved disciple lying on His right, with his head close to 
the Redeemer's breast. 

One of you zuhich eateth with me shall betray me] He had already 
said, after washing their feet, "now ye are clean, but not air' (John 
xiii. ro), but at this moment the consciousness of the traitor's presence 
so wrought upon Him (John xiii. 21) that He broke forth into words of 
yet plainer prediction. 

19. they began to be sorrowful] The very thought of treason was to 
their honest and faithful hearts insupportable, and excited great surprise 
and deepest sorrow. 

one by one] Observe the pictorial and minute details of St Mark. 
Is it I?] None of them said "Is it he?" So utterly unconscious were 
they of the treachery that lurked in their midst. 

20. he answered and said unto them] "Ansiuered" is omitted in the 
best MSS. The intimation was made privately to St John, to whom St 
Peter had made a sign that he should ask who could be so base (John 
xiii. 23 26). 

one of the twelve] One of His own "familiar friends" (Ps. xli. 9). 

that dippeth with me] "He who is just about to dip with Me a piece of 
the unleavened cakes into the charoseth" a sauce consisting of a mixture 
of vinegar, figs, dates, almonds, and spice, provided at the Passover 
"and to whom I shall give some of it presently" (John xiii. 26). To 
this day at the summit of Gerizim the Samaritans on the occasion of the 
Passover hand to the stranger a little olive-shaped morsel of unleavened 
bread enclosing a green fragment of wild endive or some other bitter 
herb, which may resemble, except that it is not dipped in the dish, the 
very ' sop ' which Judas received at the hands of Christ. " Farrar, Life, 
II. p. 290. 

21. woe to that man] The intimation just given was uttered pri- 
vately for the ear of St John alone, and through him was possibly made 
known to St Peter ; but the incident was of so ordinary a character, that 

vv. 2224.] ST MARK, XIV. 159 

him : but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is be- 
trayed ! good were it for that man if he had never been born. 

22 25. Institution of the Holy Eucharist. 
And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and 2 * 
brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat : this is my 
body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, 23 
he gave it to them : and they all drank of it. And he said *4 
unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is 

it would fail to attract any notice whatever, and could only be a sign to 
the Apostle of Love. Then aloud, as we may believe, the Holy One 
uttered His final warning to the Traitor, and pronounced words of 
immeasurable woe on him by whom He was about to be betrayed, " It 
were good for that man if he had never been born." But the last appeal 
had no effect upon him. "Rabbi, is it I?" he inquired, steeling himself 
to utter the shameless question. " Thou hast said" replied the Saviour, 
in words probably heard only by those close by, and gave him "the 
sop," and Satan entered into him, as St John tells us (xiii. 27) with 
awful impressiveness. "That thou doest, do quickly," the Saviour con- 
tinued ; and the traitor arose and went forth, and it was night (John xiii. 
27 30), but the night was not darker than the darkness of his soul. 

22 25. Institution of the Holy Eucharist. 

22. And as they did eat] On the departure of the Traitor the 
Saviour, as though relieved of a heavy load, broke forth into words of 
mysterious triumph (John xiii. 31 35), and then, as the meal went on, 
proceeded to institute the Holy Eucharist. 

Jesus took bread] that is one of the unleavened cakes that had been 
placed before Him as the Celebrant or Proclaimer of the Feast. 

and blessed] giving thanks and pronouncing the consecration, probably 
in the usual words, see above, verse 16. 

Take, eat] "Eat" is omitted here in the best editions. 

this is my body] St Luke adds, "which is being (or on the point of 
being) given for you;" St Paul (1 Cor. xi. 24), "which is being (or 
on the point of being) broken for you," while both add, "do this in re- 
membrance of Me" 

23. he took the cup] probably the third Cup, and known as the "Cup 
of Blessing." See above, verse 16. 

24. This is my blood of the new testament] or rather, Covenant. 
Some of the best MSS. here omit "new." He reminds them of the 
old Covenant also made in blood with their fathers in the wilderness 
(Exod. xxiv. 8). 

which is shed for many] i. e. which is being (or on the point of being) 
shed for many. St Matthew (xxvi. 28) adds, "unto the remission of 
sins;" St Paul adds (1 Cor. xi. 25), "Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, 
in remembrance of Me. " Thus did our Lord ordain Bread and Wine to be 
the "outward part" or "sign" of the Sacrament of our Redemption by His 

160 ST MARK, XIV. [vv. 2530. 

25 shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more 
of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in 
the kingdom of God. 

26 31. The Flight of the Apostles foretold and the Denials 
of St Peter. 

26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the 

2 7 mount of Olives. And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall 
be offended because of me this night : for it is written, I 
will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. 

28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. 

29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet 

30 will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto 
thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow 

death. In the ordinary Paschal Feast these elements had been subordi- 
nate. He now gives to them the first importance. In the ordinary 
Paschal Feast the Lamb occupied the chief place. Now the type was 
succeeded by the Antitype ; now the "very Paschal Lamb" was come, and 
was about to offer Himself from the altar of His Cross for the sins of the 
whole world. Of the Jewish Paschal Lamb, therefore, no word is said, 
but in its place our Lord puts the Bread and Wine, the Sacramental 
Symbols of His Body and Blood. Gradually and progressively He had 
prepared the minds of His disciples to realise the idea of His death as 
a sacrifice. He now gathers up all previous announcements in the insti- 
tution of this Sacrament. 

26 31. The Flight of the Apostles foretold and the 
Denials of St Peter. 

26. when they had sung an hymn] In all probability the concluding 
portion of the Hallel. See above, note on verse 16. 

27. And Jesus saith unto them] These words really were uttered as 
they sat at the table just after the institution of the Holy Eucharist. 

for it is written] The words are taken from Zech. xiii. 7. The Good 
Shepherd quotes the allusion to Himself in His truest character (John 
x. 4). 

28. after that I am risen] The Angel afterwards referred to these 
very words at the open Sepulchre on the world's first Easter-Day (Mark 
xvi. 6, 7). 

29. But Peter said unto him] Ardent and impulsive as ever, the 
Apostle could not endure the thought of such desertion. His pro- 
testations of fidelity are more fully given in Matt. xxvi. 33 and John 
xiii. 37. 

30. in this night] Before the dawn of the morrow should streak the 
eastern sky, and in the darkness the cock should twice have crowed, 
he who had declared he would never be offended, would thrice deny that 

w. 3134] ST MARK, XIV. 161 

twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more 3J 
vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee 
in any wise. Likewise also said they all. 

32 42. The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane : 32 
and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. 
And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and 33 
began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy ; and saith 34 

he had ever known his Lord. St Mark, as usual, records two points 
which enhance the force of the warning and the guilt of Peter, viz. {a) that 
the cock should crow twice, and {b) that after such warning he repeated 
his protestation with greater vehemence. 

61. If I should] Literally, If it be necessary for me to die with 
Thee; as Wyclif renders it, "if it bihotce me to dye to gidere wib j?ee." 
After this the Lord engaged in earnest conversation with His Apostles, 
not as at the ordinary Passover on the great events of the Exodus, but on 
His own approaching departure to the Father and the coming of the 
Comforter (John xiv. 1 31); of Himself as the true Vine and His dis- 
ciples as the branches (John xv. 1 6) ; of the trials which the Apostles 
must expect and the assured aid of the Comforter (John xvi. ) ; and at 
the close lifting up His eyes to heaven solemnly committed them to the 
care of the Eternal Father, and dedicated to Him His completed work 
(John xvii.). Then the concluding part of the Hallel (Pss. cxv. cxviii.) 
was sung, i. e. chanted, and the little company went forth into the dark- 
ness towards the Mount of Olives. A perusal of these Psalms will reveal 
their appropriateness to this solemn occasion. 

32 42. The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

32. And they came] They would pass through one of the city gates, 
"open that night as it was Passover," down the steep side of the Kidron 
(John xviii. 1), and coming by the bridge, they went onwards towards 

a place which was named Gethsemane] The word Gethsemane 
means "the Oil-Press." It was a garden (John xviii. x) or an olive 
orchard on the slope of Olivet, and doubtless contained a press to 
crush the olives, which grew in profusion all around. Thither St John 
tells us our Lord was often wont to resort (xviii. 2), and Judas "knew 
the place." Though at a sufficient distance from public thoroughfares 
to secure privacy, it was yet apparently easy of access. For a descrip- 
tion of the traditional site see Stanley's Sinai and Palestine, p. 455. 

33. he taketh with him] the three most trusted and long-tried of the 
Apostolic body, who had been before the privileged witnesses of the 
raising of the daughter of Jairus and of the Transfiguration. 

began to be sore amazed] "To drede," Wyclif. We have already 
met this word in ch. ix. 15, where it was applied to the amazef/ient of 


162 ST MARK, XIV. jvv. 35, 36. 

unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death : 

35 tarry ye here, and watch. And he went forward a little, 
and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, 

36 the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, 

the people when they saw the Lord after the Transfiguration, and we 
shall meet with it again in ch. xvi. 5, 6, where it is applied to the holy 
women at the Sepulchre. St Mark alone applies the word to our 
Lord's sensations at this crisis of His life. 

to be very heavy] "to heuye," Wyclif. The original word thus 
translated only occurs (1) here, (2) in the parallel, Matt. xxvi. 37, and 
(3) in Phil. ii. 26, "for he (Epaphroditus) longed after you all, and was 
full of heaviness ." Buttmann suggests that the root idea is that of being 
" azvay from home," and so "confused," "beside oneself." Others 
consider the primary idea to be that of "loathing" and "discontent." 
Truly in respect to His human nature our Lord was far frovi home, far 
from His native skies, and the word may be taken to describe the 
awfulness of His isolation, unsupported by a particle of human sympa- 
thy, a troubled, restless state, accompanied by the keenest mental 

34. My soul is exceeding sorrowful] Here again we have a remark- 
able word. We met with it before (ch. vi. 26), where Herod is said to 
have been " exceeding sorry" at the request for the Baptist's head; 
St Luke also uses the word (xviii. 23, 24) to describe how the rich 
young ruler was "very sorrowfid," when he was bidden to sacrifice his 
wealth. It points here to a depth of anguish and sorrow, and we may 
believe that he, who at the first temptation had left the Saviour "for a 
season" (Luke iv. 13), had now returned, and whereas before he had 
brought "to bear against the Lord all things pleasant and flattering, if 
so he might by aid of these entice or seduce Him from His obedience, 
so now he thought with other engines to overcome His constancy, and 
tried Him with all painful things, as before with all pleasurable, hoping 
to terrify, if it might be, from His allegiance to the truth, Him whom 
manifestly He could not allure." Trench's Studies, pp. 55, 56, and 
above, i. 12. 

and watch] "with Me" adds St Matthew (xxvi. 38). Perfect man, 
"of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting," He yearned, in this 
awful hour, for human sympathy. It is almost the only personal request 
He is ever recorded to have made. It was but "a cup of cold water" 
that He craved. But it was denied Him ! Very Man, He leaned upon 
the men He loved, and they failed Him ! He trod the winepress alone; 
and of the people there was none with him (Isaiah lxiii. 3). 

35. forward a little] "about a stonis throw" (Luke xxii. 41), perhaps 
out of the moonlight into the shadow of the garden. 

36. Abba] St Mark alone has preserved for us this word. St 
Peter could not fail to have treasured up the words of murmured 
anguish, which, "about a stones throw" apart, he may have caught 
before he was overpowered with slumber. It is used only twice more 
in the New Testament, and both times by St Paul, Rom. viii. 15, 

vv . 37 42.J ST MARK, XIV. 163 

all things are possible unto thee ; take away this cup from 
me : nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. And 37 
he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, 
Simon, sleepest thou ? couldest not thou watch one hour ? 
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. _ The 38 
spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. And again he 39 
went away, and prayed, and spake the same words. And 4 o 
when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their 
eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him. 
And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep 41 
on now, and take your rest : it is enough, the hour is come ; 
behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sin- 
ners. Rise up, let us go j lo, he that betrayeth me is at 4 * 

"we have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, 
Father," and Gal. iv. 6, "God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son 
into your hearts, crying Abba, Father." In Syriac it is said to have 
been pronounced with a double b when applied to a spiritual father, 
with a single b when used in its natural sense. With the double letter 
at all events it has passed into the European languages, as an eccle- 
siastical term, 'abbas,' 'abbot.' See Canon Lightfoot on Gal. iv. 6. 

Father] St Mark adds this probably to explain the Aramaic word, 
after his wont. 

37. and saith unto Peter] who had made so many impetuous pro- 

38. the flesh is weak] It is not of course implied that His own 
"will" was at variance with that of His Father ; but, very Man, He had 
a human will, and knew the mystery of the opposition of the strongest, 
and at the same time the most innocent, instincts of humanity. The 
fuller account of the " Agony " is found in St Luke xxii. 43, 44. 

40. their eyes were heavy] "sobli her y?en were greuyd," Wyclif. 
Even as had been the case on the Mount of Transfiguration. The 
original word supported by the best MSS. only occurs here, and denotes 
that the Apostles were utterly tired, and their eyes "weighed down." 

neither wist they what to answer him] A graphic touch peculiar to 
the second Evangelist, just as the imperfect tense equally graphically 
implies that the eyes of the Apostles were constantly becoming weighed 
down, in spite of any efforts they might make to keep awake. Comp. 
the scene at the Transfiguration, Mark ix. 6. 

41. the third time] The Temptation of the Garden divides itself, 
like that of the Wilderness, into three acts, following close on one another. 

Sleep on nowj for ever if ye will. The words are spoken in a kind 
of gentle irony and sorrowful expostulation. The Golden Hour for 
watching and prayer was over. 

it is enough] Their wakefulness was no longer needed. 

164 ST MARK, XIV. [vv. 43-47. 

43 52. TJie Betrayal. 

43 And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one 
of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and 
staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 

44 And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, 
Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead 

45 him away safely. And as soon as he was come, he goeth 
straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. 

JJ And they laid their hands on him, and took him. And one 

43 52. The Betrayal. 

43. And immediately] while He yet spake, the garden was filled 
with armed men, and flashed with the light of numerous lanterns and 
torches, though the Paschal moon was at the full, for "in the rocky 
ravine of the Kidron there would fall great deep shadows from the 
declivity of the mountains and projecting rocks, and there were 
caverns and grottoes in which a fugitive might retreat." Lange, Life 
of Christ, IV. 292. 

cometh 'Judas] During the two hours that had elapsed since he had 
gone forth from the Upper Room he had not been idle. He had 
reported to the ruling powers that the favourable moment had come, 
and had doubtless mentioned "the Garden" whither his Master was 
wont to resort. He now returned, but not alone, for 

with him a great multitude with swords and staves] These consisted 
partly (a) of the regular Levitical guards of the Temple, the appa- 
ritors of the Sanhedrim, and partly (b) of the detachment from the 
Roman cohort quartered in the Tower of Antonia under the "chiliarch" 
or tribune in command of the garrison (John xviii. 3, 12). The high- 
priest, we may believe, had communicated with Pilate, and represented 
that the force was needed for the arrest of a false Messiah, dangerous to 
the Roman power. 

44. a token] Judas had never imagined that our Lord would Him- 
self come forth to meet His enemies (John xviii. 2 5). He had antici- 
pated the necessity of giving a signal whereby they might know Him. 
He had pressed forward and was in front of the rest (Luke xxii. 47). 
The word translated "a tokene," Wyclif, only occurs here. 

take him] Or rather, seize Him at once. 

45. and kissed him] Rather, kissed Him tenderly or fervently. The 
customary kiss of a disciple to his teacher. The same word in the 
original with its intensifying preposition is used to express (i) the kissing 
of our Lord by the woman who was a sinner (Luke vii. 38, 45) ; (ii) the 
kissing of the prodigal son by his father (Luke xv. 20) ; and (iii) the 
kissing of St Paul by the Christians on the sea-shore of Miletus (Acts 
xx. 37). The Latin compound, having the same force, is " okosculari, " 
or "<?jrosculari." 

47. And one of them that stood by] This we know from St John was 
Simon Peter (John xviii. 10), displaying his characteristic impetuosity to 

vv. 4851.] ST MARK, XIV. 165 

of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant 
of the high priest, and cut off his ear. And Jesus an- 48 
swered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a 
thief, with swords and with staves to take me ? I was daily 49 
with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not : but 
the scriptures must be fulfilled. And they all forsook him, so 
and fled. And there followed him a certain young man, 51 
having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the 

the end. Some think the Apostle's name was omitted by the Synoptists 
lest the publication of it in his lifetime should expose him to the revenge 
of the unbelieving Jews. 

a servant of the high priest] In none of the Synoptic Gospels do we 
find mention of his name either. This we are told by St John was 
Malchus. St John was an acquaintance of the high-priest's, and pro- 
bably a frequenter of his house ; hence he knew the name of his 

his ear] Both St Mark and St John use a diminutive =. little ear. 
St Luke alone (xxii. 50) tells us it was his light ear. Perhaps it was not 
completely severed, for St Luke, who alone also records the healing, 
says that our Lord simply touched it and healed him. 

48. answered and said unto them] Those to whom He now spoke 
were, as we learn from St Luke xxii. 52, some chief priests and elders 
and officers of the Temple guard, who had been apparently watching 
His capture. 

a thief] Rather, a robber or bandit. See above, note on ch. xi. 17. 

49. the scriptures must be fulfilled] Rather, but that the Scriptures 
may toe fulfilled all this has come to pass. 

50. they all forsook him, and fled] Even the impetuous Peter who 
had made so many promises ; even the disciple whom He loved. 

51. a certain young man] This forms an episode as characteristic 
of St Mark as that of the two disciples journeying to Emmaus is of 
St Luke. Some have conjectured he was the owner of the garden of 
Gethsemane; others Lazarus (see Professor Plumptre's Article on 
"Lazarus" in Smith's Bible Diet.); others Joses, the brother of the 
Lord ; others, a youth of the family where Jesus had eaten the Passover. 
It is far more probable that it was St Mark himself, the son of Mary, 
the friend of St Peter. The minuteness of the details given points 
to him. Only one well acquainted with the scene from personal 
knowledge, probably as an eyewitness, would have introduced into his 
account of it so slight and seemingly so trivial an incident as this. 

having a linen cloth] He had probably been roused from sleep, or 
just preparing to retire to rest in a house somewhere in the valley 
of Kidron, and he had nothing to cover him except the sindon or upper 
garment, but in spite of this he ventured in his excitement to press on 
amongst the crowd. The word sinddn in Matt, xxvii. 59, Mark xv. 46 and 
Luke xxiii. 53 is applied to the fine linen, which Joseph of Arimathsea 

166 ST MARK, XIV. [vv. 5255. 

52 young men laid hold on him : and he left the linen cloth, 
and fled from them naked. 

5365. The Jewish Trial. 

53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest : and with 
him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and 

54 the scribes. And Peter followed him afar off, even into the 
palace of the high priest : and he sat with the servants, and 

55 warmed himself at the fire. And the chief priests and all 
the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to 

bought for the Body of Jesus. The LXX. use the word in Judg. xiv. 
12 and in Prov. xxxi. 24 for ''fine under garments." 

the young men] This is omitted by Lachmann, Tischendorf, and 
Tregelles. The crowd was probably astonished at the strange ap- 

52. naked] This need not imply that he was absolutely naked. It 
may mean, like the Latin nudus, "with only the under robe on." 
Comp. 1 Sam. xix. 24; John xxi. 7; Virg. Georg. I. 299. 

53 65. The Jewish Trial. 

53. And they led Jesus away] They bound Him first (John xviii. 12), 
and then conducted Him across the Kidron and up the road leading into 
the city. 

to the high priest] This we know from St John was Caiaphas. But 
our Lord was first brought to the palace of Annas his father-in-law 
(John xviii. 13). This was either at the suggestion of some of the 
ruling powers, or in accordance with previous arrangement, that his 
"snake-like" astuteness as president of the Sanhedrim might help his 
less crafty son-in-law. The palace seems to have been jointly occupied 
by both as a common official residence, and thither, though it was deep 
midnight, the chief priests, elders, and scribes repaired. 

54. And Peter] Before the palace or within its outer porch appears 
to have been a large open square court, in which public business was 
transacted. Into it Peter and John ventured to follow (John xviii. 15). 
The latter, as being acquainted with the high-priest, easily obtained 
admittance ; Peter, at first rejected by the porteress, was suffered to 
enter at the request of his brother Apostle. 

and warmed himself] The night was chilly, and in the centre 
of the court the servants of the high-priest had made a fire of charcoal, 
and there Peter, now admitted, was warming himself at the open hearth. 

55. And the chief priests] St Mark passes over the details of the 
examination before Annas and the first commencement of insult and 
violence, recorded only by St John (xviii. 19 24). He places us in the 
mansion of Caiaphas, whither our Lord was conducted across the court- 
yard, and where a more formal assembly of the council of the nation had 
met together. 

sought for witness] By the Law they were bound to secure the agree- 
ment of two witnesses on some specific charge. Before Annas an 

w. 5661.] ST MARK, XIV. 167 

death ; and found none. For many bare false witness 56 
against him, but their witness agreed not together. And 57 
there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, say- 
ing, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that 58 
is made with hands, and within three days I will build 
another made without hands. But neither so did their wit- 59 
ness agree together. And the high priest stood up in the 60 
midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? 
what is it which these witness against thee ? But he held 61 
his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest 

attempt had been made to entangle the Accused with insidious ques- 
tions. A more formal character must now be given to the proceedings. 

56. but their witness agreed not together] "be witnessingis weren 
not couenable" Wyclif. The Law required that at least two witnesses 
must agree. See Deut. xvii. 6, xix. 15. But now some who came 
forward had nothing relevant to say, and others contradicted them- 

57. And there arose certain] Two at last came forward, whose 
evidence appeared likely to be more satisfactory. 

58. We heard him say] The statements now made are given with 
more detail by St Mark than any other of the Evangelists. He alone tells 
us they said that they had heard our Lord declare, " He would destroy 
the Temple made with hands and in three days build another made 
without hands. " In the opposition made with hands and made without 
hands we have proof of the falseness of the accusation. 

59. neither so] The utterance of words tending to bring the Temple 
into contempt was regarded as so grave an offence that it afterwards 
formed a capital charge against the first martyr, Stephen (Acts vi. 13). 
But dangerous as was the charge, it broke down. The statements 
of the witnesses did not tally, and their testimony was therefore 
worthless. Their memories had travelled over three years to the 
occasion of the first Passover at Jerusalem and the first cleansing of 
the Temple. But they perverted the real facts of the case (John ii. 
18 22). St Mark alone notices the disagreement of their testimony. 
"The differences between the recorded words of our Lord and the 
reports of the witnesses are striking: '/ can destroy* (Matt. xxvi. 61); 
1 1 will destroy'' (Mark xiv. 58); as compared with 'Destroy... and I will 
raise* (John ii. 19)." Westcott's Introduction, p. 326 n. 

60. And the high priest stood up] The impressive silence, which our 
Lord preserved, while false witnesses were being sought against Him 
(Matt. xxvi. 62), was galling to the pride of Caiaphas, who saw that 
nothing remained but to force Him, if possible, to criminate Himself. 
Standing up, therefore, in the midst (a graphic touch which we owe 
to St Mark alone), he adjured Him in the most solemn manner possible 
(Matt. xxvi. 63) to declare whether He was "the Malcha Meschicha" 
the King Messiah, the Son of the Blessed. 

1 68 ST MARK, XIV. [w. 62-65. 

asked him,~arid said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son 

62 of the Blessed ? And Jesus said, I am : and ye shall see 
the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and 

63 coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent 
his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses ? 

64 Ye have heard the blasphemy : what think ye ? And they 

65 all condemned him to be guilty of death. And some began 
to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and 

62. And Jesus said. I am] Thus adjured, the Lord broke the silence 
He had hitherto maintained. His answer to such a question must be 
liable to no misinterpretation. Peter in an ecstatic moment had de- 
clared He was the King Messiah, ll the Son of the living God" (Matt, 
xvi. 16), and He had hot refused the awful Name. Thousands also of 
Galilean pilgrims had saluted Him with Hosannas in this character 
through the streets of Jerusalem. But as yet He had not openly declared 
Himself. The supreme moment, however, had at length arrived, and He 
now replied, "I AM the Messiah, the Son of God, the Son of Man and 
hereafter ye shall see Me sitting on the right hand of power, and coming 
in the clouds of heaven " Comp. Dan. vii. 13; Ps. viii. 4, ex. 1. 

63. Then the high priest] Caiaphas had now gained his end. The 
Accused had spoken. He had criminated Himself. All was uproar 
and confusion. The high-priest rent his linen robes. This was not law- 
ful for him to do in cases of mourning (Lev. x. 6, xxi. 10), but was 
allowable in cases of blasphemy (see 2 Kings xviii. 37). It was to be 
performed standing, and so that the rent was to be from the neck 
straight downwards. The use of the plural "his clothes," by St Mark, 
seems to intimate that he tore all his clothes, except that which was next 
his body. 

64. they all condemned him] Worse than false prophet, worse than 
false Messiah, He had declared Himself to be the "Son of God," and 
that in the presence of the high-priest and the great Council. He had 
incurred the capital penalty. But though they thus passed sentence, they 
could not execute it. The right had been taken from them ever since 
Judaea became a Roman province. The sentence, therefore, needed 
confirmation, and the matter must be referred to the Roman governor. 

65. And some began] It was now about three o'clock in the morning, 
and till further steps could be taken our Lord was left in charge of 
soldiers of the guard and the servants and apparitors of the high- 

to spit on him] In those rough ages a prisoner under sentence of 
death was ever delivered over to the mockery of his guards. It was so 
now with the Holy One of God. Spitting was regarded by the Jews as 
an expression of the greatest contempt (Num. xii. 14; Deut. xxv. 9). 
Seneca records that it was inflicted at Athens on Aristides the Just, but 
it was only with the utmost difficulty any one could be found willing to 
do it. But those who were excommunicated were specially liable to 
this expression of contempt (Isaiah 1. 6). 

w. 66 70.] ST MARK, XIV. 169 

to say unto him, Prophesy : and the servants did strike him 
with the palms of their hands. 

66 72. The Denial of our Lord by St Peter. 
And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh 66 
one of the maids of the 'high priest: and when she saw Peter 6 7 
warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou 
also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied, saying, I 68 
know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he 
went out into the porch ; and the cock crew. And a maid 69 
saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, 
This is one of them. And he denied it again. And a little 70 

did strike him with the palms of their hands] "The hands they bound 
had healed the sick, and raised the dead ; the lips they smote had 
calmed the winds and waves. One word and His smiters might have 
been laid low in death. But as He had begun and continued, He would 
end as self-restrained in the use of His awful powers on His own 
behalf as if He had been the most helpless of men Divine patience and 
infinite love knew no wearying." 

66 72. The Denial of our Lord by St Peter. 

66. And as Peter] During the sad scene enacted in the hall of 
trial above, an almost sadder moral tragedy had been enacted in the 
court below. 

67. warming himself] This seems to have been shortly after his 
entrance, as related above. The maid who approached probably was the 
porteress who had admitted him. 

she looked upon him] with fixed and earnest gaze, as the original word 
used by St Luke (xxii. 56) implies. 

68. but he denied] Thrown off his guard and perhaps disconcerted 
by the searching glances of the bystanders, Peter replied at first evasively, 
that he neither knew nor understood what she meant. See Lange, 
Life, iv. p. 316. Others think it means, '*/ know Him not, neither 
understand I what thou sayest." 

into the porch] Anxious probably for a favourable opportunity of re- 
tiring altogether, the Apostle now moved towards the darkness of the 
porch. Here the second denial took place (Matt. xxvi. 71, 7-2), and for 
the first time a cock crew. 

69. a maid saw him again] Recognised at the porch, Peter seems 
to have returned once more towards the fire, and was conversing in his 
rough Galilean dialect with the soldiers and servants when, after the 
lapse of an hour, another maid approached. 

to them that stood by] On this occasion she addressed herself to the 
bystanders, amongst whom was a kinsman of Malchus (John xviii. 26). 

70. And he denied it again] This denial was probably addressed to 
those round the fire. But escape was hopeless. "Surely," said one, 

I7Q ST MARK, XIV. XV. [w. 71,72; 

after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art 
one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth 

71 thereto. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know 

72 not this man of whom ye speak. And the second time the 
cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus 
said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny 
me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept 

1 15. The Examination before Pilate. 
15 And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a 

" this fellow is one of them ;" " Thou art a Galilcean" said another, "and 
thy speech agreeth thereto. " These last words are omitted by Lachmann, 
Tischendorf, and Tregelles. u Thy speech bewrayeth thee" are the words 
used by St Matthew (xxvi. 73). The Galilean burr was rough and 
indistinct. Hence the Galileans were not allowed to read aloud in the 
Jewish synagogues. 

71. he began to curse and to swear] Assailed by the bystanders just 
mentioned and by the kinsman of Malchus (John xviii. 26), the Apostle 
now fell deeper still. With oaths and curses he denied that he had 
ever known the Man of whom they spoke, and at that moment, for 
the second time, the cock crew, and at the same moment the Lord, 
either (a) on His way from the apartments of Annas across the court- 
yard to the palace of Caiaphas, or (b) thrust back into the court after 
His condemnation, turtied and looked upon Peter (Luke xxii. 61). 

72. And Peter called to mind] That glance of sorrow went straight 
to the Apostle's heart ; all that his Lord had said, all His repeated warn- 
ings rushed back to his remembrance, and lit up the darkness of his soul. 
He could contain himself no longer, and 

when he thought thereon] for so we have rendered the original word. 
Others render it (i) abundantly = "he wept abundantly," as in the 
margin; others (ii) " he began to weep ;" others (hi) "he threw his mantle 
over his head;" others (iv) "he flung himself forth and wept " 

he wept] Not with the remorse of Judas, but the godly sorrow of true 
repentance. Observe that the Apostle has not lessened his fault, for it 
is from him, doubtless, through St Mark, we are informed "that the 
first crowing of the cock did not suffice to recal him to his duty, but a 
second was needed." Lange. 

Ch. XV. 1 15. The Examination before Pilate. 
1. And straightway] As the day dawned, a second and more formal 
meeting of the Sanhedrim was convened in one of the halls or courts 
near at hand. A legal Sanhedrim it could hardly be called, for there are 
scarcely any traces of such legal assemblies during the Roman period. 
In theory the action of this august court was humane, and the proceed- 
ings were conducted with the greatest care. A greater anxiety was mani- 
fested to clear the arraigned than to secure his condemnation, especially 
in matters of life and death. It was enacted (i) that a majority of at 

v. 2.] ST MARK, XV. ryi 

consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole coun- 
cil, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered 
him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of 2 

least two must be secured before condemnation ; (ii) that while a 
verdict of acquittal could be given on the same day, one of guilty must 
be reserved for the following day ; (iii) that no criminal trial could be 
carried through in the night ; (iv) that the judges who condemned a criminal 
to death must fast all day ; (v) that the sentence itself could be revised ; 
and that (vi) if even on the way to execution the criminal reflected that 
he had something fresh to adduce in his favour, he might be led 
back and have the validity of his statement examined. See Ginsburg's 
Article on The Sanhedrim in Kitto's Biblical Cyclopedia, ill. 767. But 
the influence of the Sadducees, who were now in the ascendancy, and 
were Draconian in their severity, had changed all this, and it was resolved 
to endorse the sentence already pronounced, and deliver over the Great 
Accused to the secular arm. 

carried him away] Either (i) to one of the two gorgeous palaces which 
the first Herod had erected, or (ii) to a palace near the Tower of Antonia, 
for hither the governor had come up from Csesarea "on the sea" to keep 
order during the feast. 

to Pilate] The Roman governor roused thus early that eventful 
morning to preside in a case, which has handed down his name through 
the centuries in connection with the greatest crime committed since the 
world began, was Pontius Pilate, (i) His name Pontius is thought to 
indicate that he was connected, either by descent or adoption, with the 
gens of the Pontii, first conspicuous in Roman history in the person 
of C. Pontius Telesinus, the great Samnite general. His cognomen 
Pilatus has been interpreted as = (a) "armed with the pilum or javelin," 
as = (b) an abbreviation of pileatus, from pileus, the cap or badge of manu- 
mitted slaves, indicating that he was either a liberties ("freedman"), or 
descended from one. He succeeded Valerius Gratus a.d. 26, and 
brought with him his wife Procla or Claudia Procula. (ii) His office 
was that of procurator under the governor {proprcetor) of Syria, but 
within his own province he had the power of a legatus. His head- 
quarters were at Csesarea (Acts xxiii. 23) ; he had assessors to assist him 
in council (xxv. 1 2) ; wore the military dress ; was attended by a cohort 
as a body-guard (Matt, xxvii. 27); and at the great festivals came up to 
Jerusalem to keep order. When presiding as judge he would sit on a 
Bema or portable tribunal erected on a tesselated pavement, called in 
Hebrew Gabbatha (John xix. 13), and was invested with the power of 
life and death (Matt, xxvii. 26). (iii) In character he was not insensible 
to the claims of mercy and justice, but he was weak and vacillating, and 
incapable of compromising his own safety in obedience to the dictates of 
his conscience. As a governor he had shewn himself cruel and un- 
scrupulous (Luke xiii. 1, 2), and cared little for the religious suscepti- 
bilities of a people, whom he despised and could not understand. 

2. And Pilate asked him] This was a private investigation within 
the prutorium, after the Jews, carefully suppressing the religious grounds 

172 ST MARK, XV. [w. 37. 

the Jews ? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest 

3 it. And the chief priests accused him of many things : but 

4 he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, 
Answerest thou nothing ? behold how many things they wit- 

s ness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing ; so that 

6 Pilate marvelled. Now at that feast he released unto them 

7 one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one 
named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made 

on which they had condemned our Lord, had advanced against Him a 
triple accusation of (i) seditious agitation, (ii) prohibition of the payment 
of the tribute money, and (iii) the assumption of the suspicious title of 
"King of the Jews." This was a political charge, and one which Pilate 
could not overlook. Having no qucestor to conduct the examination, 
he was obliged to hear the case in person. 

Thou sayest it] St Mark does not mention here what we know from 
St John, (a) the inquiry of our Lord of Pilate why he asked the question, 
and {b) His explanation of the real nature of His kingdom (John xviii. 
37, 38). He brings out our Lord's acknowledgment of His regal dignity, 
though Pilate could not understand His meaning. 

3. And the chief priests accused him] After the first examination 
Pilate came forth to the Jewish deputation, standing before the entrance 
of the palace, and declared his conviction of the ipnocence of the 
Accused (John xviii. 38; Luke xxiii. 4). This was the signal for a 
furious clamour on the part of the chief priests and members of the 
Sanhedrim, and they accused our Lord of many things, of(i) "stirring 
up the people," and (2) "teaching falsely throughout all Judaea, begin- 
ning/raw Galilee even to Jerusalem" (Luke xxiii. 5). 

4. And Pilate asked] These renewed accusations led to further 
questions from Pilate, but our Lord preserved a complete silence. This 
increased the procurator's astonishment, but he thought he had found an 
escape from his dilemma, when he heard the word "Galilee" Galilee 
was within the province of Herod Antipas, and he sent the case to his 
tribunal (Luke xxiii. 6 12). But Herod also affirmed that the Ac- 
cused had done nothing worthy of punishment, and Pilate finding the 
case thrown back upon his hands, now resolved to try another experi- 
ment for escaping from the responsibility of a direct decision. 

6. Nmv at that feast] Rather, at festival time. There is no article 
in the Greek (or in Luke xxiii. 17; Matt, xxvii. 15), and the apparent 
limitation of the custom to the Feast of the Passover is not required 
by the original words, or by the parallel in John xviii. 39. It seems 
to have been a custom, the origin of which is unknown, to release to the 
people on the occasion of the Passover and other great Feasts any prisoner 
whom they might select. The custom may have been of Jewish origin, 
and had been continued by the Roman governors from motives of policy. 
Even the Romans were accustomed at the Lectistemia and Bacchanalia 
to allow an amnesty for criminals. 

7 one named Barabbas] There lay in prison at this time, awaiting 

vv. 8 12.] ST MARK, XV. 173 

insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the 
insurrection. And the multitude crying aloud began to de- 8 
sire him to do as he had ever done unto them. But Pilate 9 
answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the 
King of the Jews ? For he knew that the chief priests had 10 
delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the n 
people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. 
And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will 12 
ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of 

execution, a celebrated bandit or robber named Barabbas. This word 
is a patronymic, and means (i) according to some, Bar-Abbas=j0 of 
s1bba=" son of the father," or (ii) according to others, Bar-Rabbas= 
"son of a Rabbi." In three MSS. of Matt, xxvii. 16, his name is 
given as "Jesus Bar-abbas,*'' and this reading is supported by the 
Armenian and Syriac Versions and is cited by Origen. 

them that had made insurrection] Barabbas had headed one of the 
numerous insurrections against the Roman power, which were con- 
stantly harassing the procurators, and giving untold trouble to the 
legionary troops quartered at Csesarea and other places. In this parti- 
cular insurrection blood had been shed, and apparently some Roman 
soldiers had been killed. 

9. But Pilate ansivered them] The proposition of the people that 
he should act according to his usual custom concurred with Pilate's own 
wishes and hopes, and he resolved deliberately to give the populace 
their choice. 

10. for envy] He could not doubt who were the ringleaders in the 
tumultuous scene now being enacted, or what was the motive that had 
prompted them to bring the Accused before his tribunal nothing more 
or less than envy of the influence He had gained and the favour He had 
won throughout the land. He hoped, therefore, by appealing directly 
to the people to procure our Lord's release. 

11. But the chief priests] It was probably at this juncture that he 
received the message from his wife imploring him to have nothing to do 
with " that just person" (Matt, xxvii. 19) standing before him. His 
feelings, therefore, of awe were intensified, and his resolve to effect the 
release increased. But the chief priests stirred up the people, and urged 
them to choose Barabbas, the patriot leader, the zealot for their country, 
the champion against oppression. The word translated " moved " only 
occurs here and in the parallel, Luke xxiii. 5. It denotes (i) to shake to 
and fro, to brandish ; (ii) to make threatening gestures ; (hi) to stir up, or 
instigate. Their efforts were successful, and when Pilate formally put 
the question, the cry went up, "Not this Man," the Holy and Undefiled, 
Whom they had lately welcomed with Hosannas into their city, but the 
hero of the insurrection, Barabbas (John xviii. 39, 40). 

12. What will ye] This question seems to have been put in disdain 
and anger ; disdain at their fickleness, anger at the failure of his efforts 
to stem the torrent. 

174 ST MARK, XV. [w. 1315. 

)l the Jews ? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then 
Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done ? And 

i 5 they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. And 
so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas 
unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, 
to be crucified. 

whom ye call the King of the Jews] He may have hoped that the 
sound of the title might have not been in vain on the ears of those who 
had lately cried, "Blessed is the king that cometh in the name of the 
Lord," "Blessed is the kingdom of our father David " (Luke xix. 38 ; 
Mark xi. 10). But he was bitterly deceived. 

13. Crucify him] was the cry that now fell upon his ears, prompted 
by the chief priests, re-echoed by the crowd. Still the procurator did 
not yield, though already at Csesarea he had had proof of the invincible 
tenacity of a Jewish mob, whom not even the prospect of instant death 
could deter (Jos. Antiq. xvm. 3. r). He resolved to make another 
direct appeal to the excited crowd. " Why should he crucify Him ?" 
"What evil had He done?" 

14. But they cried out the more] " Why and wherefore ?" There were 
no questions with them. They were resolved to have His life. Nothing 
else would satisfy. The cry was kept up unbroken, Away with this 
man, Crucify Him! Crucify Him! In vain Pilate expostulated. In 
vain he washed his hands openly before them all (Matt, xxvii. 24) in 
token of his conviction of the perfect innocence of the Accused. His 
wavering in the early stage of the trial was bringing on its terrible 

15. And so Pilate] One hope, however, the procurator still seems 
to have retained. Irresolution indeed had gone too far, and he could 
not retrace his steps. He thought he must content the people, and 
therefore released Barabbas unto them. But he imagined there was 
room for a compromise. Clamorous as was the crowd, perhaps they 
would be satisfied with a punishment only less terrible than the Cross, 
and so he gave the order that He, Whom he had pronounced perfectly 
innocent, should be scourged. 

willing to content the people] "willinge for to do ynow to J>e peple," 
Wyclif. Here we have one of St Mark's Latinisms. The Greek 
expression answers exactly to the Latin satisfacere=to satisfy, appease, 

when he had scourged him] Generally the scourging before crucifixion 
was inflicted by lictors (Livy, xxxiii. 36; Jos. Bell. Jud. 11. 14. 9; 
V. 11. 1). But Pilate, as sub-governor, had no lictors at his disposal, 
and therefore the punishment was inflicted by soldiers. Lange, rv. 
356 n. The Roman scourging was horribly severe. Drops of lead and 
small sharp- pointed bones were often plaited into the scourges, and the 
sufferers not unfrequently died under the infliction. Compare the 
horribile fagellum of Hor. Sat. I. iii. 119; and " flagrum pecuinis ossibus 
catenatum,' Apul. Met. viii. That the soldiers could not have per- 

w. 16, 17.] ST MARK, XV. 175 

16 24. The Mockery of the Soldiers. The Way to the 

And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Prse- 16 
torium ; and they call together the whole band. And they 17 
clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and 

formed their duty with forbearance on this occasion, is plain from the 
wanton malice, with which they added mockery to the scourging. 

to be crucified} But the compromise did not content the excited 
multitude. The spectacle of so much suffering so meekly borne did not 
suffice. " If thou let this man go," they cried, "thou art not Caesar's 
friend : whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar " 
(John xix. 12). This crafty well-chosen cry roused all Pilate's fears. 
He could only too well divine the consequences if they accused him 
of sparing a prisoner who had been accused of treason before the gloomy 
suspicious Tiberius (" atrocissime exercebat leges majestatis," Suet. 
Vit. Tib. c. 58; Tac. Ann. ill. 38). His fears for his own personal 
safety turned the scale. After one more effort therefore (John xix. 
13 15), he gave the word, the irrevocable word, " Let Him be crucified" 
(John xix. 16), and the long struggle was over. St John, it is to be 
observed, mentions the scourging as one of Pilate's final attempts to 
release Jesus. St Mark, like St Matthew, looks upon it as the first 
act in the awful tragedy of the Crucifixion. Both views are equally true. 
The scourging should have moved the people ; it only led them to 
greater obduracy ; it proved, as St Mark brings out, the opening scene 
in the Crucifixion. 

16 24. The Mockery of the Soldiers. The Way to the 

16. the hall, called Prcetorium] "in to \>e floor of \>e moot hall" 
Wyclif. The building here alluded to is called by three of the Evange- 
lists the Pr'cetorium. In St Matthew (xxvii. 27) it is translated "common 
hall" with a marginal alternative " governor 's house." In St John (xviii. 
28, 33, xix. 9) it is translated "hall of judgment" and "judgment 
hall" with a marginal alternative "Pilate's house" in the first passage ; 
while here it is reproduced in the English as " prgetorium. " In Acts 
xxiii. 35 it is rendered " judgment hall," and in Phil. i. 13, where it 
signifies " the prcetorian army" it is rendered "palace." This last 
rendering might very properly have been adopted in all the passages in 
the Gospels and Acts, as adequately expressing the meaning. See Pro- 
fessor Lightfoot on the Revision of the New Testament, p. 49. 

the whole band] In the palace-court, which formed a kind of barracks 
or guard-room, they gathered the whole cohort. The word translated 
"band" is applied to the detachment brought by Judas (John xviii. 3), 
and occurs again Acts x. 1, xxi. 31, xxvii. 1. 

17. clothed him with purple] Instead of the white robe, with which 
Herod had mocked Him, they threw around Him a scarlet sagum, or 
soldier's cloak. St Matthew, xxvii. 28, calls it "a scarlet robe;" St 
John, xix. 2, "a purple robe." It was a war-cloak, such as princes, 

176 ST MARK, XV. [w. 1822. 

18 put it about his head, and began to salute him, Hail, King 

i 9 of the Jews ! And they smote him on the head with a reed, 

and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped 

20 him. And when they had mocked him, they took oft the 
purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led 

21 him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon a 
Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the 

22 father of Alexander and Rums, to bear his cross. And they 
bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being inter- 
generals, and soldiers wore, dyed with purple; "probably a cast-off 
robe of state out of the praetorian wardrobe, a burlesque of the long 
and fine purple robe worn only by the Emperor. Lange, IV. 357. 

a crown of thorns] Formed probably of" the thorny ndbh, which yet 
"grows on dwarf bushes outside the walls of Jerusalem." Tristram's 
Land of Israel, p. 429. 

and put it about his head] In mimicry of the laurel wreath worn at 
times by the Caesars. 

19. smote him] Rather, began to smite or kept smiting Him. 
with a reed] The same which they had already put into His hands as 

a sceptre. 
did spit upon him] See note above, ch. xiv. 65. 

20. and led him out] The place of execution was without the 
gates of the city. 

21. they compel] The condemned were usually obliged to carry 
either the entire cross, or the cross-beams fastened together like the 
letter V, with their arms bound to the projecting ends. Hence the term 
furcifer = " cross-bearer. " " Patibulum ferat per urbem, deinde afhgatur 
cruci." This had a reference to our Lord being typified by Isaac bearing 
the wood of the burnt offering, Gen. xxii. 6. But exhausted by all He 
had undergone, our Lord sank under the weight laid upon Him, and the 
soldiers had not proceeded far from the city gate, when they met a man 
whom they could " compel" or "impress" into their service. The 
original word translated "compel" is a Persian word. At regular stages 
throughout Persia (Hdt. vin. 98 ; Xen. Cyrop. vni. 6, 1 7) mounted 
couriers were kept ready to carry the royal despatches. Hence the verb 
(angariare Vulg.) denotes (1) to despatch as a mounted courier ; (2) to 
impress, force to do some service. It occurs also in Matt. v. 41, 
,v Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." 

Simon a Cyrenian] The man thus impressed was passing by, and 
coming from the country (Luke xxiii. 16). His name was Simon, a 
Hellenistic Jew, of Cyrene, in northern Africa, the inhabitants of which 
district had a synagogue at Jerusalem (Acts ii. 10, vi. 9). 

the father of Alexander and Rtifus] St Mark alone adds this. Like 
"Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus," these words testify to his originality. 
From the way they are mentioned it is clear that these two persons must 
have been well known to the early Christians. Rufus has been identified 
with one of the same name saluted by St Paul, Rom. xvi. 1 3. 

vv. 23, 24.] ST MARK, XV. 177 

preted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink 33 
wine mingled with myrrh : but he received it not. And 24 
when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, cast- 
ing lots upon them, what every man should take. 

to bear his cross] The cause of execution was generally inscribed 
on a white tablet, called in Latin titulus (" qui causatn poena indicaret? 
Sueton. Calig. 32). It was borne either suspended from the neck, or 
carried before the sufferer. The latter was probably the mode adopted 
in our Lord's case. And Simon may have borne both title and Cross. 
St Mark does not mention our Lord's words on the way to the 
women (Luke xxiii. 28 31). 

22. the place Golgotha] St Mark gives the explanation of the 
Hebrew word "Golgotha." St Luke omits it altogether. It was a 
bare hill or rising ground on the north or north-west of the city, having 
the form on its rounded summit of a skull, whence its name. It was (a) 
apparently a well-known spot ; (b) outside the gate (comp. Heb. xiii. 
12) ; but (c) near the city (John xix. 20) ; {d) on a thoroughfare leading 
into the country (Luke xxiii. 26) ; and (e) contained a "garden" or 
"orchard" (John xix. 41). From the Vulgate rendering of Luke xxiii. 
33, "Et postquam venerunt in locum, qui vocatur Calvaruz" (=a bare 
skull, "j?e place of Caluarie," Wyclif), the word Calvary has been 
introduced into the English Version, obscuring the meaning of the - 
Evangelist. There is nothing in the name to suggest the idea that the 
remains of malefactors who had been executed were strewn about, for 
the Jews always buried them. 

23. they gave him] More literally, they offered Him. 

wine mingled with myrrh] It was a merciful custom of the Jews to 
give those condemned to crucifixion, with a view to producing stupe- 
faction, a strong aromatic wine. Lightfoot tells us (Hor. Heb. 11. 366) 
it was the special task of wealthy ladies at Jerusalem to provide this 
potion. The custom was founded on Rabbinic gloss on Proverbs xxxi. 6, 
"Give strong drink to him that is perishing, and wine to those whose 
soul is in bitterness." 

but he received it not] The two malefactors, who were led forth with Him, 
probably partook of it, but He would take nothing to cloud Hisiaculties. 

24. when they had crucified him] The present tense appears to be here 
the preferable reading, they crucify Him and part His garments among 
them. There were four kinds of crosses, (i) the crux simplex, a single 
stake driven through the chest or longitudinally through the body ; (ii) 
the crux decussata ( x ) ; (iii) the crux immissa (f); and (iv) the crux 
commissa (T). From the mention of the title placed over the Saviour's 
Head, it is probable that His cross was of the third kind, and that He 
was laid upon it either while it was on the ground, or lifted and 
fastened to it as it stood upright, His arms stretched out along the two 
cross-beams, and His body resting on a little projection, sedile, a foot or 
two above the earth. That His feet were nailed as well as His hands 
is apparent from Luke xxiv. 39, 40. 

they parted] i.e. the soldiers, a party of four with a centurion (Acts 


178 ST MARK, XV. [w. 25-28. 

2538. The Death. 

js And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And 

the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE 

27 KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucify two 
thieves ; the one on his right hand, and the other on his 

28 left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he 

xii. 4), for each sufferer, detailed, according to the Roman custom, ad 
excubias, to mount guard, and see that the bodies were not taken 

casting lots] The dice doubtless were ready at hand, and one of their 
helmets would serve to throw them. 

what every man should take] The clothes of the crucified fell to the 
soldiers who guarded them, as part of their perquisites. The outer 
garment, or tallith, they divided into fourth parts, probably loosening 
the seams. The inner garment, like the robes of the priests, was 
without seam, woven from the top throughout (John xix. 23), of linen or 
perhaps of wool. It would have been destroyed by rending, so for it 
they cast lots, unconsciously fulfilling the words spoken long ago by the 
Psalmist, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they 
did cast lots (Ps. xxii. 18). 

2538. The Death. 

25. it was the third hour] or nine o'clock. St John's words (xix. 1 
clearly point to a different mode of reckoning. 

26. And the superscription] "and be title of his cause was written, 
Wyclif. The cause of execution was generally, as we have seen, in 
scribed on a white tablet, titulus, smeared with gypsum. It had been 
borne before Him on His way to the Cross, or suspended round His 
neck. It was now nailed on the projecting top of the cross over His 

The King of the Jews] Pilate had caused it to be written in three 
languages, that all classes might be able to read it. The ordinary 
Hebrew or Aramaic of the people, the official Latin of the Romans, and 
the Greek of the foreign population (John xix. 20). For the endeavour 
of the Jewish high-priest to get the title altered see St John xix. 21, 22. 

27. two thieves] Rather, two robbers, or malefactors as St Luke calls 
them (xxiii. 33). See note above, xi. 17. It is more than probable that 
they belonged to the band of Barabbas and "had been engaged in one 
of those fierce and fanatical outbreaks against the Roman domination 
which on a large scale or a small so fast succeeded one another in the 
latter days of the Jewish commonwealth." This explains the fact that 
we read of no mockery of them, of no gibes levelled against them. They 
were the popular heroes. They realized the popular idea of the Messiah. 
See Trench's Studies, p. 294. 

^ 28. And the scripture was fulfilled] The reference here Is to Isaiah 
liii. 12, but the verse is omitted in some MSS. 


vv. 2933.] ST MARK, XV. 179 

was numbered with the transgressors. And they that passed 29 
by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou 
that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 
save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also * 
the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the 
scribes, He saved others ; himself he cannot save. Let 32 
Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that 
we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with 
him reviled him. And when the sixth hour was come, there 33 

29. railed on him] The instincts of ordinary pity were quenched in 
the fierceness of malignant hatred and religious bigotry. 

Ah] " Fyj," Wyclif. It is an exclamation of exultant derision = the 
Latin Vah. 

that destroyest the temple] This saying of our Lord at His first 
cleansing of the Temple was never forgotten. Perhaps some of the false 
witnesses of the previous night were now present. 

31. the chuf priests] whose high dignity and sacred office should 
have taught them better than to descend to the low passions of 
the mob. 

mocking said] "scornynge him, ech to ober, wib scribis, seiden," 
Wyclif. The ordinary bystanders blaspheme (v. 29), the members ot 
the Sanhedrim mock, for they think they have achieved a complete vic- 

32. they that were crucified with him] At first both the robbers joined 
in reproaching Him. The word rendered here "they reviled him" is 
rendered "cast the same in his teeth" in Matt, xxvii. 44. One of 
them, however, went further than this, and was guilty of blaspheming 
Him (Luke xxiii. 39), but, as the weary hours passed away, the other, 
separating himself from the sympathies of all who stood around the 
Cross, turned in unexampled penitence and faith to Him that hung so 
close to him, and whose only "token of royalty was the crown of 
thorns that still clung to His bleeding brows," and in reply to his 
humble request to be remembered when He should come in His king- 
dom, heard the gracious words, "To day shall thou be with me in 
paradise" (Luke xxiii. 43). Thus even from "the Tree" the Lord 
began to reign, and when "lifted up," to "draw" men, even as He 
had said, unto Himself (John xii. 32). 

33. And when the sixth hour was come] i.e. 12 o'clock. The most 
mysterious period of the Passion was rapidly drawing near, when the 
Lord of life was about to yield up His spirit and taste of death. At this 
hour nature herself began to evince her sympathy with Him Whom 
man rejected. The clearness of the Syrian noontide was obscured, and 
darkness deepened over the guilty city. It is impossible to explain the 
origin of this darkness. The Passover moon was then at the full, so 
that it could not have been an eclipse. Probably it was some super- 
natural derangement of the terrestrial atmosphere. The Pharisees 

12 2 

180 ST MARK, XV. [w. 3437. 

34 was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And 
at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, 
Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My 

35 God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? And some of 
them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he 

36 calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a spunge full of 
vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, say- 
ing, Let alone ; let us see whether Elias will come to take 

37 him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up 

had often asked for a "sign from heaven." Now one was granted 

until the ninth hour] i.e. till 3 o'clock. A veil hides from us the in- 
cidents of these three hours, and all the details of what our Lord, 
shrouded in the supernatural gloom, underwent "for us men and for our 

34. And at the ninth hour] the hour of the offering of the evening 

Jesus cried with a loud voice] He now gives utterance to the words 
of the first verse of the xxii nd Psalm, in which, in the bitterness 
of his soul, David had complained of the desertion of his God, and 

"Eloi! Eloi! lama sabachthani?" 

This is the only one of the "Seven Sayings from the Cross," which has 
been recorded by St Mark, and he gives the original Aramaic and its 
explanation. Observe that of these sayings (i) the first three all referred to 
others, to {a) His murderers, (b) the penitent malefactor, {c) His earthly 
mother; (ii) the next three referred to His own mysterious and awful 
conflict, (a) His loneliness, (b) His sense of thirst, {c) His work now all 
but ended; (iii) with the seventh He commends His soul into His 
Father's hands. 

35. Behold, he calleth Elias] They either only caught the first 
syllable, or misapprehended words, or, as some think, spoke in wilful 
mockery, and declared He called not on Eli, God, but on Elias, 
whose appearance was universally expected. See note above, ix. n. 

36. full of vinegar] Burning thirst is the most painful aggravation 
of death by crucifixion, and it was as He uttered the words, "/thirst" 
that the soldier ran and filled a sponge with vinegar, or the sour 
wine-and- water called posca, the ordinary drink of the Roman soldiers. 

and put it on a reed] i.e. on the short stem of a hyssop-plant (John 
xix. 29). 

Let alone] According to St Mark, the man himself cries " Let be ; " 
according to St Matthew, the others cry out thus to him as he offers the 
drink ; according to St John, several filled the sponge with the sour 
v/ine. Combining the statements, together we have a natural and 
curate picture of the excitement caused by the loud cry. 

d ac- 

w. 38, 39.] ST MARK, XV. 181 

the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain 38 
from the top to the bottom. 

39 41. The Confession of the Centurion. 

And when the centurion, which stood over against him, 39 
saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, 

37. And Jesus cried with a loud voice] saying, "It is finished." The 
three Evangelists all dwell upon the loudness of the cry, as it had been 
the triumphant note of a conqueror. 

and gave up the ghost] saying, "Father, into thy hands I commend 
my spirit," and then all was over. The Lord of life hung lifeless 
upon the Cross. "There may be something intentional in the fact that 
in describing the death of Christ the Evangelists do not use the neuter 
verb, 'He died,' but the phrases, 'He gave up the ghost' (Mark xv. 
37; Luke xxiii. 46; John xix. 30); i He yielded up the ghost' (Matt, 
xxvii. 50) ; as though they would imply with St Augustine that He gave 
up His life, 'aula voluit, quando voluit, quomodo voluit.' Comp. John 
x. 18." Farrar, Life, II p. 418 n. 

the ghost] Ghost, from A. S. gdst, G. geist,= spirit, breath, opposed 
to body. " The word has now acquired a kind of hallowed use, and is 
applied to one Spirit only, but was once common." Bible Word- 
Book, p. 224. Compare (a) Wyclif's translation here, "deiede or sente 
out the bre\>;" (b) "ghostly dangers" ( = spiritual dangers), "our ghostly 
enemy" ( = our spiritual enemy), in the Catechism; (c) Bishop Andrewes' 
Sermons, II. 340, "Ye see then that it is worth the while to confess this 
[that Jesus is the Lord], as it should be confessed. In this sense 
none can do it but by the Holy Ghost. Otherwise, for an ore tenus 
only, our own ghost will serve well enough." Bible English, p. 265. 

38. And the veil of the temple] the beautiful thick, costly veil 
of purple and gold, inwrought with figures of Cherubim, 20 feet 
long and 30 broad, which separated the Holy Place from the Most 

was rent in twain] For the full symbolism of this see Heb. ix. 3, 
x. 19. For the earthquake which now shook the city, see Matt, xxvii. 
51. Such an event must have made a profound impression, and 
perhaps was the first step towards the change of feeling which after- 
wards led a great number of " the priests to become obedient to the faith" 
(Acts vi. 7). 

39 41. The Confession of the Centurion. 

39. when the centurion] in charge of the quaternion of soldiers. See 
above, v. 24. 

that he so cried out] The whole demeanour of the Divine Sufferer, 
the loudness of the cry, and the words He uttered, thrilled the officer 
through and through. Death he must have often witnessed, on the 
battle-field, in the amphitheatre at Csesarea, in tumultuous insurrec- 

1 82 ST MARK, XV. [vv. 40, 41 

40 Truly this man was the Son of God. There were also 
women looking on afar off : among whom was Mary Mag- 
dalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, 

41 and Salome j (who also, when he was in Galilee, followed 
him, and ministered unto him;) arid many other women 
which came up with him unto Jerusalem. 

tions in Palestine, but never before had he been confronted with the 
majesty of a Voluntary Death undergone for the salvation of the world. 
The expression of a wondrous power of life and spirit in the last sign of 
life, the triumphant shout in death, was to him a new revelation. 

the Son of God] In an ecstacy of awe and wonder "he glorified 
God" he exclaimed, "In truth this man was righteous" (Luke xxiii. 
47) ; nay, he went further, and declared, " This Man was a (or the) 
Son of God.'''' It is possible that on bringing the Lord back after the 
scourging, which he superintended, the centurion may have heard the 
mysterious declaration of the Jews, that by their Law the Holy One 
ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God (John xix. 7). 
The words made a great impression on Pilate then (John xix. 8). But 
now the centurion had seen the end. And what an end ! All that 
he had dimly believed of heroes and demigods is transfigured. This man 
was more. He was the Son of God. Together with the centurion at 
Capernaum (Matt, viii.) and Cornelius at Csesarea (Actsx.) he forms 
in the Gospel and Apostolic histories a triumvirate of believing Gentile 
soldiers. The words, I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me, 
had been already fulfilled in the instance of the penitent malefactor. 
They are now true of this Roman officer. The "Lion of the tribe of 
Judah" was "reigning from the Tree." 

40. There were also women] forerunners of the noble army of Holy 
Women, who were, in the ages to come, throughout the length and 
breadth of Christendom, to minister at many a death-bed out of love 
for Him Who died "the Death." 

Mary Magdalene] Mary of Magdala, out of whom had gone forth 
seven demons (Luke viii. 2). This is the first time she is mentioned 
by St Mark. 

Mary the mother of James the less] The "Mary of Clopas " (John 
xix. 25) who stood by the cross, and "Mary of James the Less " (comp. 
Matt, xxvii. 56), are the same person ; she was the sister of the Blessed 
Virgin, and had married Clopas or Alphaeus. 

James the less] James the Little, so called to distinguish him from 
the Apostle St James, the son of Zebedee. Some think he was so called 
(a) because he was younger than the other James ; or (3) on account 
of his low stature ; or (c) because, when elevated to the bishopric of 
Jerusalem (Gal. ii. 12), he took the name in humility, to distinguish 
him from his namesake, now famous in consequence of his martyrdom 
(Acts xii. 2). 

Joses] See note above, iii. 31. 

Salome] See note above, x. 35. 

w. 42 44-] ST MARK, XV. 183 

42 47. The Burial. 

And now when the even was come, because it was the 4 ? 
preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of 43 
Arimathaea, an honourable counseller, which also waited for 
the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, 
and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if he 44 

4247. The Burial. 

42. the preparation] i. e. for the Sabbath, which St Mark, writing 
for other readers than Jews, explains as "the day before the Sabbath." 

43. Joseph of Arimatha>a] i.e. either of Rama in Benjamin (Matt, 
ii. 18) or Ramathaim in Ephraim (1 Sam. i. 1). Probably the latter. 
The place is called in the LXX. " Armathaim, " and by Josephus 
" Armathia." Joseph was a man of wealth (Matt xxvii. 57), a member 
of the Sanhedrim (Luke xxiii. 50), and a secret disciple of Jesus (John 
xix. 38), who had not consented to the resolution of the rest to put Him 
to death (Luke xxiii. 51). 

waited for the kingdom] like Simeon (Luke ii. 25) and Anna (Luke 

ii. 38)- 

went in boldly] He is no longer a secret disciple. He casts away 
all fear. The Cross transfigures cowards into heroes. " It was no 
light matter Joseph had undertaken : for to take part in a burial, at any 
time, would defile him for seven days, and make everything unclean 
which he touched (Num. xix. n ; Hagg. ii. 13); and to do so now in- 
volved his seclusion through the whole Passover week with all its holy 
observances and rejoicings." Geikie, XL 576. 

craved the body of Jesus] It was not the Roman custom to remove the 
bodies of the crucified from the cross. Instead of shortening their 
agonies the Roman law left them to die a lingering death, and suffered 
their bodies to moulder under the action of sun and rain (comp. Cic. 
Tusc. Qwest. I. 43, "Theodori nihil interest humine an sublime 
putrescat"), or be devoured by wild beasts (comp. Hor. Epist. xvi. 
48, "Non hominem occidi : non pasces in cruce corvos"). The more 
merciful Jewish Law, however, did not allow such barbarities, and the 
Roman rulers had made an express exception in their favour. In accord- 
ance, therefore, with the request of the Jewish authorities, the legs of 
the malefactors had been broken to put them out of their misery (John 
xix. 31), but our Lord was found to be dead already (John xix. 33), and 
the soldier had pierced His side with a spear, the point of which was a 
handbreadth in width, thus causing a wound which would of itself have 
been sufficient to cause death, whereupon there had issued forth blood 
and water (John xix. 34). Thus the Holy Body was now ready for its 

44. And Pilate marvelled] Death by crucifixion did not generally 
supervene even for three days, and thirty-six hours is said to be the earliest 
period when it would be thus brought about. Pilate, therefore, marvelled 

1 84 ST MARK, XV [vv. 45- 

were already dead : and calling unto him the centurion, he 
45 asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when 

he knew // of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 
4* And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped 

him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was 

hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the 
47 sepulchre. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of 

Joses beheld where he was laid. 

at the request of Joseph, and required the evidence of the centurion to 
assure himself of the fact. 

45. he gave the body to Joseph] The word translated "gave " only 
occurs in the New Testament here and in 2 Peter i. 3, 4 ; "according 
as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life 
and godliness;" "whereby are given unto us exceeding great and 
precious promises." It means more than simply to give, and= "to give 
freely,'''' " largiri." The word appears to be used designedly by St Mark, 

implying that Pilate, who from his character might have been expected 
to extort money from the wealthy " counsellor, freely gave up the Body 
at his request, placing it at his disposal by a written order, or a verbal 
command to the centurion. 

46. And he bought fine linen] Thus successful, Joseph purchased 
fine (probably white) linen, the original word for which has been already 
explained in the note on ch. xiv. 51, and then he repaired to Golgotha, 
where he was joined by Nicodemus, formerly a secret disciple like 
himself, but whom the Cross had emboldened to come forward and bring 
a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight (John xix. 
39), to do honour to the Lord of life. 

wrapped him in the linen] Thus assisted, Joseph took down the Holy 
Body, laid it in the fine linen, sprinkled the myrrh and aloes amongst 
the folds, and wound them round the wounded Limbs. 

a sepulchre] He then conveyed the Body to a new Tomb, wherein as 
yet no man had ever been laid, and which he had hewn out of the lime- 
stone rock in a garden he possessed hard by Golgotha (John xix. 41). 
He was anxious probably himself to be buried there in the near precincts 
of the Holy City. Here now they laid the Holy Body in a niche in the 
rock, and 

rolled a stone] of large size (Matt, xxvii. 60) to the horizontal entrance, 

47. Mary Magdalene] and Mary the mother of Joses (see note above, 
v. 40) and the other women (Luke xxiii. 55), "beheld," i.e. observed 
carefully, the place where He was laid, and where, surrounded by all the 
mystery of death, 

"Still He slept, from Head to Feet 
Shrouded in the winding-sheet, 
Lying in the rock alone, 
Hidden by the sealed stone." 


w. 15.] ST MARK, XVI. 185 

1 8. The Resurrection. 
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and 16 
Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet 
spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very a 
early in the morning the first day of the week, they came 
unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said 3 
among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from 
the door of the sepulchre ? And when they looked, they 4 
saw that the stone was rolled away : for it was very great. 
And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sit- s 

Ch. XVI. 1 8. The Resurrection. 

1. And when the sabbath was past] Friday night, Saturday, and 
Saturday night passed away, three days according to the Jewish reckon- 
ing (comp. (a) 1 Sam. xxx. 12, 13; 2 Chron. x. 5, 12 ; (b) Matt. xii. 40; 
John ii. 19 ; Matt, xxvii. 63), and He, Who had truly died, lay also 
truly buried. 

bought sweet spices] Meanwhile the holy women, whom a love 
stronger than death had drawn to observe the spot on the evening of 
His burial, had returned in order that they might complete the embalming 
of the Body, which had necessarily been done in haste, as the Sabbath 
drew on (Luke xxiii. 54). 

2. And very early in the morning] while " it was yet dark " (John xx. 
1), before the dawn streaked the eastern sky on 

the first day of the week] the world's first Easter-Day, our Lord's Day 
(Rev. i. 10), 

they came] or rather, come (observe again the graphic present of the 
Evangelist), draw near, to the sepulchre. 

3. And they said among themselves] Unaware of the deputation of 
the Jewish rulers, which had gone to Pilate, and secured the sealing of 
the Stone and the setting of the watch over the Tomb (Matt, xxvii. 
62 66), their only anxiety was, Who shall roll away the stone from the 
door of the sepulchre? 

4. And when they looked] But as they drew nearer amidst the 
glimmering light, the earth quaked beneath their feet (Matt, xxviii. 2), 
and looking up they saw that all cause of anxiety was removed, for the 
stone was already rolled away. Observe the force of the expression 
'''when they looked" It means when they " looked up ;" an accurate and 
graphic detail. 

for it was very great] About this fact there could be no doubt. The 
stone which had closed the entrance was " very great '," and even at a 
distance on looking up to the height, on which the rock-tomb lay, they 
could see it was not in its place, but had changed its position. 

5. And entering into the sepulchre] This emboldened them all to 
enter into the tomb, except Mary of Magdala, who, seeing in the rolling 
away of the stone the confirmation of her worst" fears, fled away to the 
Apostles Peter and John ; and there they saw 

1 86 ST MARK, XVI. [vv. 

ting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and 

6 they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not af- 
frighted : Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified : 
he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they 

7 laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that 
he goeth before you into Galilee : there shall ye see him, as 

8 he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from 

a young man] or as some of them may have specified, two (Luke 
xxiv. 4), sitting on the right hand. (Comp. Luke i. II.) 

clothed in a long white garment] white or " glistering" (Luke xxiv. 
4) ; "hilid with a whit stoole," Wyclif. Note the word "hilid" here, 
from "helan" to "cover," whence our word " hell" =" the covered 

and they were affrighted] On the force of the Greek word thus 
rendered, see above, ch. ix. 15. The sight of the heavenly visitants 
(Luke xxiv. 4) filled them with the utmost terror and amazement, "J?ei 
weren abaist" Wyclif. 

6. he is risen] When exactly He had risen no man knoweth, for no man 
saw. But that it was true did not admit of doubt. When the Apostles 
Peter and John visited the tomb an hour or so afterwards (John xx. 
310), they went in undismayed, but it was empty. The Holy Body 
was gone ! There were no traces of violence. All was order and calm. 
The linen bandages lay carefully unrolled by themselves. The face- 
cloth that had covered the Face lay not with them. It was folded up in 
a place in the empty niche by itself. But He was not there. He had 
risen even as He had said. 

behold the place] where, indeed, He had been laid by kindly hands, but 
which did not contain Him now. 

7. go your way] Practical action must take the place of vague 
astonishment. There was a message to be borne. 

and Peter] No wonder it is in the Gospel of St Mark we find this 
wondrous touch. Who afterwards would have been so likely, as the 
Apostle himself, to treasure up this word, the pledge of possible forgive- 
ness, after the dreadful hours he must have spent during Friday night, 
Saturday, and Saturday night ? What story would he have so often told 
to his son in the faith either in Eastern Babylon or the capital of the 

he goeth before you] as a true Shepherd before His sheep. It is the 
same word which {a) He Himself used on the evening of the Betrayal, 
"After I am risen again, I -will go before you into Galilee" (Matt. xxvi. 
32 ; Mark xiv. 28) ; which (b) is applied to the star "going before" the 
Magi at His nativity, and (c) to His own "going before" His Apostles 
on the road towards Jerusalem, where He was to suffer. See note 
above, ch. x. 32. 

8. they went out quickly"] At present the holy women were over- 
whelmed with alarm at the sight they had witnessed and the words they 
had heard. 

w. 9 10.] ST MARK, XVI. 187 

the sepulchre ; for they trembled and were amazed : neither 
said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. 

9 11. The Appearance to Mary Magdalene. 

Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, 9 
he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had 
cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had 10 

they trembled] Literally, for trembling and amazement possessed 
them, or as Wyclif renders it, " forsoJ?e drede and quakynge hadde 
assay lid hem." The original word = " amazetnent," has been already the 
subject of comment above, ch. v. 42. The word rendered "trembling" 
occurs nowhere else in the Four Gospels. 

neither said they any thing to any man] That is, on their way to the 
Holy City they did not open their lips to any passers by they chanced to 
meet. Joy opened them freely enough afterwards to the Apostles (Matt, 
xxviii. 8). 

for they were afraid] In a tumult of rapture and alarm they fled 
back from the tomb towards the Holy City. The occurrence of the 
morning was so new to them, great, and unheard of, that they ventured 
not as yet to publish it. 

911. The Appearance to Mary Magdalene. 

9. Now when] On this section from 9 20, see Introduction, pp. 
15. 16. 

he appeared first] As yet, it will be observed, no human eye had 
seen the risen Conqueror of Death. The holy women had seen the 
stone rolled away, and the empty tomb, and had heard the words of the 
Angels, and announced all that had occurred to the Eleven, but their 
words appeared to them as "idle tales'''' (Luke xxiv. n). The Apostles 
Peter and John also, when they visited the Sepulchre, beheld proofs 
that it was indeed empty, but "Him they saw not." The first person 
to whom the Saviour shewed Himself after His resurrection was Mary 
of Magdala. After recounting to the Apostles Peter and John the 
rolling away of the stone, she seems to have returned to the sepulchre ; 
there she beheld the two angels in white apparel, whom the other 
women had seen (John xx. 12), and while she was in vain solacing her 
anguish at the removal of her Lord, He stood before her, and one word 
sufficed to assure her that it was He, her Healer, and her Lord. 

out of whom he had cast seven devils] That He should have been 
pleased to manifest Himself first after His resurrection not to the whole 
Apostolic company, but to a woman, and that woman not His earthly 
Mother, but Mary of Magdala, clearly made a strong impression on the 
early Church. 

10. she went and told] In the fulness of believing faith she hurried 
back to Jerusalem and recounted her tale of joy to the Eleven and the 

188 ST MARK, XVI. [w. n 13. 

n been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when 
they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, 
believed not. 

12, 13. The Appearance to Two of them. 
' 2 After that he appeared in another form unto two of 
13 them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they 

as they mourned and wept] Desolate at the loss of their beloved 
Master, and unable to realize the wonderful accounts of His resurrection. 
" Weylinge and wepynge " is Wyclifs rendering. 

11. had been seen of her] The original word here translated "had 
been seen" occurs nowhere else in St Mark except here in this section 
and in verse 14. 

believed not] So incredible to them did the whole story appear. 

12, 13. The Appearance to Two of them. 

12. After that] On the world's first Easter-Day the risen Saviour 
manifested Himself first to Mary Magdalene, then to the other minis- 
tering women. The Evangelist now proceeds to relate the appearance 
to the two disciples journeying towards Emmaus, which is more fully 
described by St Luke (xxiv. 13 35). 

he appeared] " he is sc/iewid" Wyclif. This word in the original is 
applied to our Lord's "manifestations "of Himself after His resurrection 
(a) by St Mark twice, here and xvi. 14; (b) by St John three times, xxi. 
1, 14; (c) by St Paul to our "manifestation" in our real character at the 
Last Judgment, 2 Cor. v. 10 (comp. 1 Cor. iv. 5) ; {d) by the same 
Apostle to the "manifestation" of Christ at His second coming, Col. 
iii. 4. The word points here to a change in the Person of our Lord after 
His resurrection. He is the same and yet not the same, (a) The same. 
There are the well-known intonations of His voice, and the marks in 
His hands and feet (John xx. 20, 25); and He eats before His Apostles, 
converses with them, blesses them. And yet He is {b) not the same. His 
risen Body is no longer subject to the laws of time and space. He 
comes we know not whence. He goes we know not whither. Now He 
stands in the midst of the Apostles (John xx. 19) ; now He vanishes out 
of their sight (Luke xxiv. 31). He knows now of no continued sojourn 
on earth. He "appears from time to time" (Acts i. 3); He "mani- 
fests " Himself to chosen witnesses, as seemeth Him good. 

in another form] It is plain from St Luke xxiv. 16 that He was 
not at the time recognised. This appearance would seem to have been 
vouchsafed early in the afternoon of the day of the Resurrection. 

unto two of them] The name of one was Cleopas = Cleopatros, not the 
Clopas of John xix. 25, and another whose name is not known. Some 
have conjectured it was Nathanael, others the Evangelist St Luke. 

as they walked] from Jerusalem in the direction of the village of 
Emmaus. St Luke says it was sixiy stadia (A. V. " threescore furlongs"), 
or about *i\ miles from Jerusalem. From the earliest period it was 
identified by Christian writers with the Emmaus on the border of the 



v. 14.] ST MARK, XVI. 189 

went and told it unto the residue : neither believed they 

14 18. The Appearance to the Eleven. 
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at 14 
meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness 

plain of Philistia, afterwards called Nicopolis (1 Mace. Hi. 40), situated 
some 20 miles from Jerusalem. Afterwards it was identified with the 
little village of el-Kubeibeh, about 3 miles west of the ancient Mizpeh, and 
9 miles from Jerusalem. The true site has yet to be settled. 

13. they went and told it unto the residue] No sooner did they recognise 
our Lord in the breaking of the bread (Luke xxiv. 35), and He had 
vanished out of their sight (Luke xxiv. 31), than they returned in haste 
to Jerusalem, ascended to the Upper Room, found ten of the Apostles 
met together (Luke xxiv. 33), and whereas they thought they alone were 
the bearers of joyful tidings, they were themselves greeted with joyful 
tidings, " The Lord has risen indeed, and appeared unto Simon " (Luke 
xxiv. 34 ; 1 Cor. xv. 5). When this appearance was vouchsafed to St 
Peter we are not told. It certainly occurred after the return from the 
sepulchre, but whether before or after the journey to Emmaus cannot be 

neither believed they them] The Ten, as we have just now seen, an- 
nounced that the Lord had appeared to Simon, and this they at the time 
believed. When the two disciples arrive, they announce that He had 
appeared to them also. Unable to comprehend this new mode of exist- 
ence on the part of their risen Lord, that He could be now here and now 
there, they were filled with doubts. They had refused to believe the 
evidence of Mary Magdalene (Mark xvi. n), and even now hesitation 
possessed them, and they could not give credence to the word of the 
two disciples. The Evangelists multiply proofs of the slowness of the 
Apostles to accept a truth so strange and unprecedented as their Lord's 
resurrection, and that not to a continuous sojourn, as in the case of 
Lazarus, but to a form of life which was manifested only from time to 
time, and was invested with new powers, new properties, new attributes. 
The Resurrection, it is to be remembered, was unlike (a) any of the 
recorded miracles of raising from the dead, (b) any of the legends of 
Greece or Rome. It was "not a restoration to the old life, to its 
wants, to its inevitable close, but the revelation of a new life, fore- 
shadowing new powers of action and a new mode of being." See 
Westcott's Gospel of the Resurrection, pp. 154 160. 

1418. The Appearance to the Eleven. 

14. Afterward] That is on the evening of the day of the Resurrec- 
tion, when the two disciples returning from Emmaus had recounted 
their tale of joy, and the others had told them of the appearance to 
St Peter. 

as they sat at meat] On this occasion, when they were terrified at His 
sudden appearing (Luke xxiv. 37), and thought they were looking at a 

190 ST MARK, XVI. [vv. 15- 17. 

of heart, because they believed not them which had seen 

15 him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into 

16 all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He 
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved ; but he that 

7 believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall fol- 

spectre or phantom, He calmed their fears by {a) bidding them take 
note of His Hands and His Feet, by (b) eating in their presence of 
broiled fish (Luke xxiv. 41 43), and by (c) reiterating His salutation, 
"Peace be unto you" (John xx. 21). 

and upbraided them] Their new-born joy still struggled with bewil- 
derment and unbelief (Luke xxiv. 21), and one of their number, St 
Thomas, was absent altogether, having apparently thrown away all 

hardness of heart] Compare His words [a) after the feeding of the 
Five and Four Thousand, and (b) to the disciples journeying towards 
Emmaus, Luke xxiv. 25. 

them which had seen him] Of the five appearances after the Resur- 
rection vouchsafed on the world's first Easter-Day four had already 
taken place before this interview, (i) To Mary Magdalene, (ii) to the 
other ministering women, (iii) to the two journeying to Emmaus, 
(iv) to St Peter. 

15. And he said unto them] St John informs us that on this occa- 
sion the Risen Saviour breathed on the Apostles, and gave them a fore- 
taste of the bestowal of the Holy Ghost, with power to remit sin and 
retain sin. St Mark tells us of very important words, which He went 
on to utter, anticipating the final charge recorded by St Matthew (Matt 
xxviii. 16 20). 

Go ye into all the world] Or, as it is expressed in St Matthew's 
Gospel, ii ?nake disciples of all nations" (xxviii. 19), and comp. Luke 
xxiv. 47 ; Acts i. 8. Contrast these injunctions with those to the 
Twelve during His earthly ministry, Matt. x. 5, 6, " Go not into the 
way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 
but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. " 

every creature] i.e. to the whole creation, the whole world of men, 
not Jews only or Samaritans, but Gentiles of all nations. Comp. Rom. 
viii. 21, 22. 

16. He that believeth and is baptized] Not faith only, but baptism 
also is required by the Lord. Compare the words of Philip the deacon 
to the Ethiopian eunuch, Acts viii. 37. 

he that believeth not] He addeth not and is baptized here. This 
would have been superfluous. He who refuses to believe will refuse to 
be baptized. 

shall be damned] See note above, ch. xii. 40. He who wilfully 
rejects the Gospel message, when duly offered him, shall have no share 
in its saving mercies, but shall be left to the condemnation due to him 
for his sins. 

17. And these signs] For this word applied to Miracles see 
note, ch. vi. 2. 

w. 18, 19.] ST MARK, XVI. 191 

low them that believe; In my name shall they cast out 
devils ; they shall speak with new tongues ; they shall take *8 
up serpents ; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not 
hurt them ; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall 

19,20. The Ascension. 
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was x 9 

shall follow'] Literally, shall proceed along with. The same word 
in the original is used by St Luke, i. 3, "It seemed good to me also, 
having had perfect understanding of all things" (literally, having care- 
fully followed up). 

them that believe] i. e. those that shall have believed, shall have adopted 
the Faith and been baptized. 

In my name shall they cast out devils] As is afterwards recorded to 
have been done by Philip the deacon in Samaria (Acts viii. 7), by St 
Paul at Philippi (Acts xvi. 18) and Ephesus (Acts xix. 15, 16). 

they shall speak with new tongues] as all the Apostles did on the day 
of Pentecost, and the Gentile friends of Cornelius (Acts x. 46), and the 
twelve disciples at Ephesus (Acts xix. 6), and many afterwards in the 
Church of Corinth (1 Cor. xii. 10). 

18. they shall take up serpents] And so we read of St Paul shaking 
off the viper at Malta (Acts xxviii. 5). Comp. Luke x. 19. 

and if they drink] As is related of St John that he drank the cup of 
hemlock which was intended to cause his death, and suffered no harm 
from it, and of Barsabas surnamed Justus (Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. in. 39). 

they shall lay hands on the sick] As St Peter did on the lame man at 
the Beautiful Gate of the Temple (Acts iii. 7), and St Paul on Publius 
in the island of Malta (Acts xxviii. 8). "Gifts of healing" are men- 
tioned both by this last Apostle (1 Cor. xii. 9) and by St James (v. 14, 15) 
as remaining in the Church. 

19, 20. The Ascension. 

19. So then after the Lord] Some MSS. here insert the word Jesus. 
Combined with Lord, it would be a term of reverence. 

spoken unto them] This does not mean immediately after our Lord 
had uttered the last words, but after He had on different occasions 
during the " Great Forty Days" spoken unto them of "the things per- 
taining to the kingdom of God" (Acts i. 3). The original word here 
rendered "had spoken unto them " has a much wider signification. It 
signifies to teach, to instruct by preaching and other oral communication. 
Compare its use in Mark xiii. 1 1 j John ix. 29, " We know that God 
spake unto Moses," i.e. held communications -with. Moses; John xv. 22, 
"If I had not come," says our Lord, "and spoken unto them," i.e. 
preached to them. So that here it denotes after our Lord had during 
the forty days fully instructed His Apostles by His oral teaching in all 
things appertaining to His kingdom and the planting of His Church. 

192 ST MARK, XVI. [v. 20. 

received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord 

he was received] The original word only occurs here in the Gospels. 
It is applied three times in the Acts (i. 2, 11, 22) to the Ascension, and 
is so applied by St Paul, 1 Tim. iii. 16, " received up into glory." 

into heaven] What St Mark records thus concisely in his short prac- 
tical Gospel for the busy, active, Christians of Rome, St Luke has 
related at much greater length. From him we learn how one day the 
Lord bade His Apostles accompany Him along the road from Jerusalem 
towards Bethany and the Mount of Olives ; how, full of hopes of a tem- 
poral kingdom, they questioned Him as to the time of its establish- 
ment ; how their inquiries were solemnly silenced (Acts i. 7); and how 
then after He had bestowed upon them His last abiding blessing, while 
His Hands were yet uplifted in benediction (Luke xxiv. 50, 51), "He 
began to be parted from them, and a cloud received Him out of their 

and sat on the right hand of God] The Session at the right 
Hand of God, recorded only by St Mark, forms a striking and appro- 
priate conclusion to his Gospel, and "conveys to the mind a comprehen- 
sive idea of Christ's Majesty and Rule." Our Lord was "taken up," 
and bore our redeemed humanity into the very presence of God, into " the 
place of all places in the universe of things, in situation most eminent, 
in quality most holy, in dignity most excellent, in glory most illustrious, 
the inmost sanctuary of God's temple above " (Barrow's Sermon on the 
Ascension). There, having led "captivity captive, and received gifts 
for men " (Ps. lxviii. 18 ; Eph. iv. 8), He sat down on the right Hand 
of God, by which expression we are to understand that in the heaven of 
heavens He now occupies the place of greatest honour, of most exalted 
majesty, and of most perfect bliss, and that God hath conferred upon 
Him all preeminence of dignity, power, favour, and felicity. See 
Pearson on the Creed, Art. vi. 

20. And they] i. e. the Apostles. 

went forth] Not immediately. They were commanded not to 
"depart from Jerusalem," but to "tarry " there until at Pentecost they 
should be endued with power from on high (Luke xxiv. 49 ; Acts i. 4). 
But when the day of Pentecost had come, and the Comforter had been 
bestowed, they went forth on their career of conquest, 

and preached every where] St Mark himself when he wrote his Gos- 
pel had witnessed the spread of the Church from Babylon in the distant 
East to the City of the Seven Hills in the West. 

the Lord working with them] according to His promise, " Behold 1 
am with you always, even unto the end of the world." The word 
translated " working with them " only occurs here in the Gospels, but is 
used by St Paul, Rom. viii. 28, "all things work together for good to 
them that love God;" 1 Cor. xvi. 16, "to every one that helpeth with 
us;" 1 Cor. vi. i,"we then as workers together with Him % beseech you 
also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain ; " and by St James 
(ii. 22), "seest thou how faith wrought with his works?" 


v. 20.] ST MARK, XVI. 193 

working with them, and confirming the word with signs fol- 
lowing. Amen. 

confirming] The original word here employed denotes (1) to make 
firm to the tread, (2) to make steadfast, (3) to establish, confirm. It 
occurs nowhere else in the Gospels, but it is found five times in St Paul's 
Epistles, and twice in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Thus St Paul writes 
to the Romans (xv. 8), "Jesus Christ was a minister of the circum- 
cision to confirm the promises made unto the fathers;" and to the 

Corinthians (i. 8) that God will '''confirm them unto the end, that they 
may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ ; " and to the same 

Church again (2 Cor. i. 21), "now he which stablisheth us with you 

is God;" and he exhorts the Colossians (ii. 6, 7), "to walk, rooted and 
built up in [Jesus Christ], and stablished in the faith." And for illustra- 
tions of the confirmation of the Apostolic commission compare (i) Acts 
iv. 29,. 30; (ii) Acts v. 12; (iii) Acts xiv. 3. 

with signs'] Rather, by the signs which followed. 

following] The original word thus rendered denotes more than merely 
to follow, and = to follow close upon, to follow in the track of another. 
St Paul uses it in 1 Tim. v. 10, speaking of the condition of a "widow 
indeed," "if she had diligently followed every good work;" and in 

1 Tim. v. 24, "Some men's sins are open beforehand and some 

men they follow after." St Peter uses the word in one place (1 Pet. ii. 
21), "Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye 
should follow His steps." The word is very expressive here, and 
denotes that the "signs" followed close upon, and were the immediate 
result of, the continued operation of Him, Who, clad in majesty 
ineffable, sitteth at the right hand of God, and hath promised to 
be with His Church " even unto the end of the world" (Matt, xxviii. 
10). The Evangelist does not conceive of Christ's Session as a state of 
inactive rest, (i) As the High Priest of His Church He pleads with the 
Father the merits of His wondrous sacrifice (Rom. viii. 34; Heb. iv. 14, 
vii. 25; 1 John ii. i, 2). ' (ii) As the Prophet, He teaches, inspires, and 
guides His Church into all truth (Deut. xviii. 15 ; Luke xxiv. 19). 
(iii) As King of kings and Lord of lords, He sways the destinies of the 
universe, and employs the agency of heaven and earth for the govern- 
ment and defence of His people, till He shall have subdued all things 
unto Himself (Phil. iii. 21), and the last enemy, even death, shall be 
destroyed (1 Cor. xv. 26), and the victory, for which all Creation waits, 
shall be finally and completely won (Rom. viii. 19 23). 

Amen] This is wanting in the best MSS. For some remarks re- 
specting the apotheosis of the Caesars at the era of the Ascension, see 
Abp Trench's Hulsean Lectures, and compare the striking fact that 
"on public buildings at Ephesus, Augustus is found, from inscriptions 
on recently discovered buildings there, to have been described by the 
singular title TBs Qeov, "Son of God." With this revelation of the 
great Conqueror, the true divus Ccesar, seated at the right hand of 
God of which glorious reality the divine honours paid to the emperors 
at the very time he was writing from Rome were the dark shadow 



[v. 20. 

the second Evangelist brings his Gospel to a close. He has portrayed 
the Son of Man and the Son of God as He wrought on earth, in all 
the fulness of His living Energy, "going about doing good" (Acts x. 38); 
He leaves us to realize, and realizing to believe in, His continued 
operation in the very heaven of heavens, in behalf of His Church and 
the Humanity He came to save. 

"The golden censer in His hand, 
He offers hearts from every land, 
Tied to His own by gentlest band 

Of silent love : 
Above Him winged blessings stand 
In act to move." 

Keble's Christian Year. Ascension 


Abiathar and the shewbread, 44 

Adultery, woman taken in, 137 

Agony in the Garden, 161 ; comparison 
of, with first temptation, 162 

Ahimelech, 44 

Alphaeus, 41 

Angels, at the temptation, 31; at the 
sepulchre, 186 

Annas, some account of, 166; our Lord's 
examination before, 166 

Apostles, meaning of word, 48 ; lists of, 
48, 49; mission of, 69; return of, after 
their first mission, 75 ; slowness of, to 
believe the Resurrection, 190 

Appearance of our Lord to Mary Mag- 
dalene, 187; to the other ministering 
women, 188 ; to the two disciples, 188; 
to St Peter, 189; to the Ten Apostles, 

Arimathsea, site of, 183 

Ascension, as recorded by St Mark, 191 

Atonement, figures used to describe ef- 
fects of, 117 

Babylon, St Mark at, 10 

Baptism, our Lord's, 29 ; probable locali- 
ty of, 29 ; import of, 30 

Barabbas, 172; various reading, 173; 
his crime, 173 

Barnabas, his connection with St Mark, 
9; sharp contention with SB Paul on 
account of, 10 

Bartholomew. See Nathanael. 

Baskets, kinds of, 78 ; use amongst the 
Jews, 78 

Beelzebub, meaning of, 51 

Bethany, supper at, 151 

Bethphage, meaning of, 120, 123: pro- 
bable site of, 120 

Bethsaida, western, 78; eastern = Beth - 
saida-Julias, 93; history of, 76 

Betrayal of our Lord, 164 ; circumstances 
of, 165 ; planned by Judas, 154 

Brethren of our Lord, 68 ; opinions con- 
cerning, 68 

Caesarea on the sea, 95 ; seat of the pro- 
curator, 171 ; Pilate resides there, 171 

Caesarea Philippi, 94; history of, 94; 
events connected with, 64 

Caiaphas, 166 ; his character, 166, 167 

Calvary, meaning of word, 177 

Car.a, miracle at, 87 

Cananite, Simon the, 50; meaning of 

word, 50 
Capernaum, 33 ; events connected with, 

Chief priests, meaning of the name, 124 ; 

conduct of, at the Crucifixion, 179 
Clement of Alexandria, testimony of, 

concerning St Mark, 13 
Cleopas, 188 
Clothes, rending of, by the high priest, 

Cock-crowing, 150 
Corn, plucking ears of, 43 
Cross, form of, 177; title on, 178; our 

Lord's borne by Simon the Cyrenian, 

176; Roman customs regarding, 178 
Crown of Thorns, materials of, 176 

Dalmanutha, position of, 91 

Darkness, the, at the Crucifixion, 179, 

David and the shewbread, 44 
Decapolis, cities in the region of, 63 
Demoniacs, healing of, 51; boy, healing 

of, 103 ; at Gadara, 60 
Denarius, the, value of, 76 ; description 

of, 77 ; shewn to our Lord, 132 
Devil, the temptation of Christ, 31 
Disciples, early, call of, 32 ; disciples of 

Hillel, no, 136 
Discourse of our Lord, character of, after 

the Transfiguration, 101 

Emmaus, doubts concerning site of, 187, 

t88 ; two disciples journeying to, 188 
Ephraim, Christ retires to, 109 
Eucharist, the Holy, institution of, 159 
Eusebius, testimony of, concerning St 
Mark's Gospel, n 

Fasting, Jewish rules concerning, 42 

Figs, time of, 123 

Fig-tree, withering of, 125 

Five thousand, feeding of, 75; site of 

miracle, 76 
Four thousand, feeding of, 89; site of 

miracle, 90 

Gabbatha, 171 

Galilee, populousness of, 31 ; dialect of 
inhabitants of, 170; Apostles bidden to 
repair to, after the Resurrection, 186 



Garment, Christ's seamless, 178 

Genealogy, none in St Mark, 16 

Gennesaret, names of, 32 ; storm on, 59 ; 
land of, 80 

Gergesa, site of, 60 

Gethsemane, meaning of word, 161 ; our 
Lord's agony in, 161 

Golgotha, site of, 177 ; meaning of, 177 

Gospels, the one Gospel, 7 ; commemora- 
tion of, in the* Gospels, 8 ; meaning of 
the word, 8, n. ; the Gospel of Jesus 
Christ, 27 

Grave-clothes, position of, at the Resur- 
rection, 1 06 

Greek language spoken at Rome, 12, n. 
3 ; title on the Cross in, 178 

Greeks, the enquiring, 140; brought to 
our Lord, 140 

Guards, setting of, 185 

Hell, meaning of, 107 

Herod Antipas, his adultery, 72; his 
murder of the Baptist, 75 ; our Lord 
before, 172 

Herodians, the, some account of, 46 ; 
formation of the name, 46; their hos- 
tility to our Lord, 132; their questioning 
of Him, 132 

Herodias, wife of Herod Antipas, 72; 
some account of, 72 : her hatred of the 
Baptist, 72; causes his murder, 74 

High priest, the appointment of, under 
the Romans, 124 

Hillel, school of, no, 136; opinions of, 
respecting divorce, no 

Holy Ghost, the descent of, at our Lord's 
. Baptism, 29 ; promised to the Apostles, 
143 ; sin against the, explained, 52 

Idumaea, meaning of word, 46; extent of, 

46; multitudes from, come to our Lord, 


Inscription, the, placed on the Cross, 178 

Irenaeus, testimony of, concerning St 

Mark, 13 

Jairus, daughter of, restored to life, 66 

James, St, the Great, call of, 33 ; named 
with his brother Boanerges, 49 ; present 
at the raising of Jairus' daughter, 66; 
at the Transfiguration, 98; his am- 
bitious request, 115; at Gethsemane, 
161 ; early martyrdom of, 49 

James, St, the Less, call of, 30 ; meaning 
of appellation, 182 

Jericho, early history of, 117; blind men 
restored at, 118 

Jerome, testimony of, concerning St 
Mark, 14 

Jerusalem, our Lord's triumphal entry 
into, 121 ; view of, from Mount Olivet, 
122; His prophecies respecting, 141; 
destruction of, 146, 147 


(i) His Baptism, 29; His Temptation, 

(ii) Ministrations in Eastern Galilee 
Calls His first disciples, 32 ; cures 
the demoniac at Capernaum, 33; 
heals Peter's wife's mother, 35 ; 
cleanses a leper, 37 ; aires the para- 
lytic, 38; calls St Matthew, 40; de- 
fends the disciples for plucking the 
ears of corn, 43 ; heals the man with 
the withered hand, 45; calls the 
Apostles, 47; delivers the parables, 
of the Sower, 53; the Seed growing 
secretly, 57; the Mustard Seed, 5K; 
stills the Storm, 59 ; heals the Gada- 
rene demoniac, 60 ; and the woman 
with the issue, 64 ; raises the daugh- 
ter of Jairus, 65 ; is rejected at Na- 
zareth, 67 ; sends forth the Apostles, 
69 ; feeds the Five Thousand, 76 ; 
walks on the Sea, 78 

(iii) Ministrations in Northern Galilee 
Heals the daughter of the Syro- 
phcenieian woman, 85; gradually 
heals the deaf and dumb, 87 ; feeds 
the Four Thousand, 89; warns His 
Apostles against the leaven of the 
Pharisees and of Herod, 91 ; gradual- 
ly cures the blind man, 93 ; receives 
the confession of St Peter, 94 ; pre- 
dicts for the first time His Passion, 96; 
is transfigured, 98 ; heals the lunatic 
boy, 103 ; predicts His Passion for the 
second time, 105 ; teaches His Apos- 
tles humility and self-denial, 106 

(iv) Ministrations in Pertea 

Replies to question about divorce, 
no; blesses little children, m; puts 
the rich young ruler to the test, 112; 
reveals the danger of riches, 113; 
promises the reward of self-sacrifice, 

(v) Last journey to Jerusalem and 
the Passion 

Predicts His sufferings for the 
third time, 115; rebukes the am- 
bitious Apostles, 116; heals blind 
Bartimaeus, 118; is anointed by 
Mary at Bethany, 152; enters Jeru- 
salem in triumph, 121 ; declares the 
judgment of the barren fig-tree, 123; 
cleanses the Temple, 123; is ques- 
tioned by the Sanhedrim, 126; re- 
plies to the Pharisees respecting the 
tribute-money, 132 ; to the Sadducees 
respecting the resurrection, 134; to 
the lawyer, respecting the Command- 
ments, 136; puts His counter-ques- 
tion, 137 ; predicts the destruction of 
Jerusalem, and the end of the world, 
140; prepares for the Passover, 155; 
institutes the Holy Eucharist, 159; 
endures the agony at Gethsemane, 



161 ; is betrayed, 164 ; is tried 
before the Jews, 166; denied by St 
Peter, 169; is tried before Pilate, 
170; is condemned, 168; crucified, 
176; dies, 180; is buried, 184 
(vi) Victory over the grave and As- 

Lies in the Tomb, 184 ; rises again, 
185 ; is seen by Mary Magdalene, 
187; by the two disciples, 188; by 
the Eleven, 189 ; gives His last 
charge, 190 ; ascends up into heaven, 
191 ; sitteth at the right Hand of 
God, 192 
John, St, call of, 33 ; account of, 49 ; he 
and his brother surnamed Boanerges, 
49; at the raising of Jairus' daughter, 
66 ; at the Transfiguration, 98 ; in the 
garden of Gethsemane, 161 
John, surnamed Mark. See Mark 
John the Baptist, his mission, 27; his 
appearance, 28 ; his diet, 28 ; his mes- 
sage, 28; its effect, 28; baptizes our 
Lord, 29; imprisoned by Herod, 72; 
his murder, 75 
Jordan, the, St John Baptist at, 28 
Joseph of Arimathsea, some account of, 
183 ; assists at our Lord's burial, 184; 
his new tomb, 184 
Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Vir- 
gin, his early death, 68 
Judas Iscariot, the call of, 51 ; his com- 
plaints at the anointing of our Lord by 
Mary, 152 ; causes of his betrayal of 
our Lord, 153, 154 ; his compact with 
the rulers, 153 ; his movements after 
the Supper, 164; his betrayal of our 
Lord, 164 
Judas of Galilee, rising of, 132 
Jude, St, the call of, 50 ; his surname, 
50; once mentioned in the Gospels, 50 
Justin Martyr, testimony of, concerning 
St Mark, 13 

Kanean or Kaneniah, 51 
Kingdom of God, the, meaning of the 
expression, 32 

Language of the Galileans, 170 
Lazarus, position of family of, 151 ; resur- 
rection of, 109 ; at the house of Simon 
the Leper. 151 
Leper, purification of, 37, 38 
Levi, identity of, with St Matthew, 41 
Locusts, as an article of food, 28 
Lots, casting of, at the Crucifixion, 178 
Luke, St, his testimony regarding the 
written Gospels, 8 

Magdala, meaning of word, 91 ; position 

of, 91 
Magdalene, Mary. See Mary 
Malchus, his ear cut off by St Peter, 165; 

healed by our Lord, 165 

Mark, St 
(a) his name, 8 ; changes in his name, 

(3) his early life, his mother, 9 ; con- 
nection with Barnabas, 9; probably 
converted by St Peter, 9 

(c) his early activity, with Paul and 
Barnabas. 9; leaves them at Perga, 
9; second missionary journey, the 
sharp contention, 10 ; repairs to Cy- 
prus, 10 

(d) his later activity, with St Paul at 
Rome, 10; with St Peter at Babylon, 
10; with both Apostles at Rome, 10 

(e) his death, probably by martyrdom, 

Mark's, St, Gospel 
(1) time of its composition, 11; place, it; 
for whom written, 11, 12; language 
in which written, 12 
(ii) relation of the Evangelist to St 
Peter; testimony of John the Pres- 
byter, 13; of Justin Martyr, 13; of 
Irenseus, 13; of Origen, 13; of Cle- 
ment of Alexandria, 13; of Tertullian, 
14; of Jerome, 14 
(iii) genuineness, 15; concluding sec- 
tion, xvi. 9 20, 15 
(iv) characteristics, 16; absence of 
genealogy of our Lord, 16; design of 
St Mark, 16; his testimony to our 
Lord's divine power, 16, 17 ; to His 
human personality, 17 ; graphicpower 
of the Evangelist, 18; minute details 
in respect to person, 18; nu?nber, 18; 
time, 19; place, 19 
(v) language and style, 19, 20 
(vi) analysis of 20 25 
Marriage, question of the Jews concern- 
ing, 134 
Mary Magdalene, healed by our Lord, 
182 ; at His Cross, 182 ; at the Burial, 
185; Christ's appearance to, 187 
Mary, St, the Virgin, seeks our Lord, 
53; at the Cross, 180; Christ's words 
to, 180 
Mary, sister of Barnabas, 8 ; her house 
at Jerusalem, 9; receives St Peter, 
Mary, sister of Lazarus, anoints our 
Lord, 152 ; His words respecting her, 
Mary, wife of Clopas, at the Cross, 182 ; 

at the sepulchre, 185 
Matthew, St, call of, 40 ; feast at the house 

of, 41; identity with Levi, 41 
Messiah, popular expectation of, 178 
Miletus, seashore of, kissing of St Paul 

at, 164 
Miracle, words used to express, in the 
Gospels, 67 ; miracles recorded by St 
Mark, 26 
Miraculous draught of fishes, the, 33 
Mount of Transfiguration, 98 



Mustard Seed, the, Parable of, 58 
Mustard tree, the, 58 

Nathanael, or Bartholomew, call of, 50 ; 
character of, 50 ; incidents respecting, 
recorded in the Gospels, 50 

Nazareth, position of, 29; Christ in the 
synagogue of, 67 

Nicodemus, a secret disciple, 184; bold- 
ness after the Crucifixion, 184; helps 
at the burial of our Lord, 184 

Origen, testimony of, concerning St 
Mark, 13 

Paneas, site of, 94 ; meaning of, 94 

Parable, meaning of, 54 ; use of word in 
Old Testament, 54 ; St Mark's record 
of, 26 

Parables, scenery round the Lake sug- 
gesting, 53 

Paralytic, the, healing of, 38 

Passover, the first, attended by our Lord, 
43 ; the second kept at Capernaum, 75, 
80: the third, 155; as celebrated in 
the time of our Lord, 156 

Passover, the = Paschal Victim, 155 

Peraea, our Lord's tour in, 109 

Perga, vacillation of St Mark at, 9 

Peter, St, call of, 32 ; meaning of his 
name, 49 ; his wife's mother healed, 
35 ; present at the resurrection of 
Jairus' daughter, 66 ; his confession, 
95 ; present at the Transfiguration, 98; 
impetuosity of, 164 ; with our Lord on 
Olivet, 141 ; sent to prepare the Pass- 
over, 155 ; his denials foretold, 160 ; 
protestation of, 161; his fall, 169; his 
visit to the sepulchre, 187 ; appearance 
of our Lord to, 189 ; his relation to St 
Mark, 9, 10 ; John the Presbyter's testi- 
mony concerning, 13 ; his influence in 
the composition of St Mark's Gospel, 

Pharisees, their hostility to our Lord, 
45, 46; attempt to ensnare Him, 132; 
His counter-question to, 137 

Philip, St, the Apostle, call of, 50 ; occa- 
sions when mentioned, 50 

Pilate, early history, 171 ; meaning of 
name, 171 ; office of, 171 ; character, 
171 ; our Lord's first appearance be- 
fore, 171; His second appearance, 172 ; 
his vacillation, 171 ; his awe in the 
presence of our Lord, 173 ; gives the 
irrevocable sentence, 174 ; places the 
title over His Head, 178 ; consents to 
our Lord's burial, 184 

Pilate's wife, her message to her hus- 
band, 173 

Potion, the, offered to Christ, 177 

Praetorium, meaning of word, 175 

Prayer, posture of the Jews at, 126 

Procurator, head quarters of. at Caesa- 
rea, 171 ; insignia of his authority, 171 

Publicans, the, office of, 41 ; general 
character, 41 ; present at St John's 
Baptism, 28; general opinion respect- 
ing. 4* 

Purple robe, the, of Christ, 175 

Resurrection of Jairus' daughter, 65 ; 

circumstances of our Lord's, 185, 186 ; 

appearances of our Lord after, 187, 

Resurrection -body, nature of our Lord's, 

Rome, St Paul and St Peter at, 10 ; 

St Mark at, 10; Greek language of, 

12, n. 3 
Roofs, nature of, 38 ; breaking up of, 
Ruler of synagogue, office of, 63 

Sabbath, the, doctrine of the Pharisees 
concerning, 43 ; teaching of our Lord 
concerning, 44; miracles wrought on, 

Sabbath-day's journey, a, 146 

Sadducees, their doctrines, 134 ; their 
opposition to our Lord, 134 ; their at- 
tempt to ensnare Him, 134; their in- 
fluence in the Sanhedrim, 171 

Salome, mother of James and John, 115 ; 
her ambitious request, 115 ; at the 
crucifixion, 182 

Salome, daughter of Herodias, 73 ; asl 
for St John Baptist's head, 74 

Samaria, our Lord's first journey through, 
31; second journey through, 109 

Samaritan woman, our Lord's discourse 
with, 31 

Sanhedrim, the, hostility of, to our Lord, 
109, 172 ; resolves on Christ's death, 
109 ; a deputation from, questions 
Christ, 170; assembles to try our Lord, 
170 ; lost the power of life and death, 
168; sends our Lord to Pilate, 171 

Scourging by the Romans, its terrible 
cruelty, 174 

Scribes, from Jerusalem, 51 ; some ac- 
count of, 33 ; opposition to our Lord, 
45, 46,. 51 

Shammai, school of, no, 136; rivalry 
with school of Hillel, no 

Shekel, the coin, current only in the 
temple, 124; half, annual payment of, 
106, 124 

Sidon, description of, in the time of our 
Lord, 85 

Simon of Cyrene, 176 

Simon Peter. See Peter 

Simon, St, call of, 32 ; explanation of his 
name, 49; his connection with the 
Sect of the Zealots, 51 

Simon, the leper, entertains our Lord at 
Bethany, 151 




Son of Man, meaning of the title, 40 ; 

applied only to our Lord by Himself, 

40; exception to this rule, 40 
Sower, the Parable of, 53 ; explained by 

our Lord, 55 
Spikenard, costliness of, 15a 
Stone, great, rolled against the door of 

the Sepulchre. 184 
Sufferings, our Lord's predictions of His 

own, 114 
Supper, the Last, celebration of, 159 ; 

our Lord's preparations for, 155 ; order 

of incidents of, 158 
Swine, the destruction of, 62 
Synagogue, our Lord present in, 33; 

miracle wrought in, 34 ; rulers of, 63 ; 

scourging in, 142 
Syrophoenician woman, the, her petition, 

86 ; her mighty faith, 87 ; her victory, 


Temple, the, first cleansing of, 31 ; 
second cleansing, 123; Christ's pro- 
phecies respecting destruction of, 141 ; 
veil of, rent in twain, 181 

Temptation, the, of Christ, 30 ; features 
of, as recorded by St Mark, 30 

Tertullian, testimony of, concerning St 
Mark, 14 

Thaddasus, 50; identity with Jude, 50 

Thief, the j^nitent, 179 

Thirty pieces of silver, value of, 154 

Thomas, St, character of, 50 ; occasions 
when mentioned, 50 

Thorns, the crown of, 176 

Tiberias, Sea of. See GennesareL 
Title, the, placed by Pilate, on the 

Cross, 178 
Tombs, demoniacs dwelling in, 60, 61 
Transfiguration, the, 98; probable scene 
of, 98; circumstances attending, 99, 
100; significance of, 99 
Treasure-chests in the Temple, 139 
Treasury, the rich men casting their gifts 

into the, 139; situation of, 139 
Tribute to Caesar, Christ questioned re- 
specting, 132 
Triumphal entry, description of, 12 1 ; 

attendant circumstances, 121 
Tyre, description of, 85 ; our Lord's jour- 
ney towards, 85 

Voice, the heavenly, at the Jordan, 30; 
at the Transfiguration, 30, 100 ; in the 
Temple Courts, 30 

Watch, setting of the, 185 

Watches, the Jewish, periods of, 79 

Widow's offering, the, 139 

Wilderness of Judaea, 27 

Woman, the, of Syrophoenicia, 86 ; her 

disadvantages, 86: her wrestling with 

Christ, 86; her victory, 87 
Woman, the, taken in adultery, 137 

Zealot, Simon the, 50, 51 

Zealots, the, factions of, at siege of 

Jerusalem, 145 
Zebedee, his social position, 33 



Abba, 162 

Abomination of desolation, 144 

Affliction, 56 

Again-buying, 117 

Ah, 179 

Alabaster box, 152 

Apostle, 48 

Atonement, 117 

Beelzebub, 51 

Beginnings of sorrows, 142 

Beside himself, 51 

Branches. 121 

Bridechamber, children of the, 42 

Bush, in the, 135 

By and by, 74 


Calvary, 177 
Camel, 113 
Cares, 57 
Charger, 74 
Chief seats, 
Choke, 55 
Clearly, 131 
Coasts, 87 
Companies, by, 77 
Compel, 176 
Confirm, 192 
Corban, 82 
Corner-stone, 131 
Covenant, 159 
Covetousness, 84 
Crumbs, 87 



Damnation, 139 

Den of thieves, 124 

Denarius, 76, 77 

Desolation, abomination of, 144 

Discreetly, 137 

Dogs, 86 

Doubt, 125 

Draught, 83 

Elders, 127 
Endure, 143 
Ephphatha, 89 
Exceeding sorrowful, 16s 
Executioner, 75 
Exercise lordship, 117 

Fat (winefat), 128 
Follow, 191 

Garment, 64, 119, 121 
Gehenna, 107 
Generation, 148 
Ghost, 181 
Golgotha, 177 
Gospel, 8, n. 
Greek, 86 
Guestchamber, 156 

Had a quarrel, 72 

Haply, if, 123 

Hardness, 45 

Head of the corner, 131 

Heavy, to be very, 16a 

Hedge, 128 

Hell, 107 

His ( = its), 108 

Hold thy peace, 34 

If haply, 123 

Lasciviousness, 84 

Latchet, 28. 

Leaven, 92 . 

Lepton, 139 

Lordship, to exercise, 11} 

Lowring, 113 

Man, Son of, 40 
Mighty works, 67 
Millstone, 107 
Miracles, 67 
Mite, 139 
Murmur, 37 
Mystery, 55 

Naked, 166 
Net. 32 
New cloth, 43 

Of ( = by), e 9 
Parable, 54 
Passover, 155 
Penny, 76 
Plagues, 47 

Powers, 68 
Praetorjum, 175 
Presently, 123 
Pride, 84 
Purple, 175 

Quadrantes, 10 
Quarrel, had a, 72 

Rabbi, 119 
Kabboni, 119 
Ranks, in, 77 
Redemption, 117 
Render, 133 
Rooms, uppermost, 138 

Sabbath, second- first, 43 

Satan, 31 

Satisfacere, 12, 174 

Savour, to, 96 

Scrip, 70 

Seats, chief, 138 

Shortened, 146 

Signs, 67 

Sindon, 165 

Son of Man, 40 

Sorrows, beginnings of, 143 

Speculator, 12, 75 

Stony ground, 54 

Stoolis, 138 

Straitly, 37 

Syrophcenician, 86 

Talitha cumi, 66 
Tares, 53 
Testament, 159 
Thieves, 178 
Thieves, den of, 124 
Thought, 143 
Thought, 170 
Toiling, 79 
Tower, 129 
Tradition, 83 
Trespass, 126 
Tribulation, 56 
Trouble, to, 65 

Upper room, 156 
Uppermost rooms, 138 

Ways, 121 

Whelp, 86 

Which ( = who), 116 

Wickedness, 84 

Winefat, 128 

Wist, 100 

Works, 68 

Worship, 112 

Wound in the head, to, 130 

Xestes, 12 

Zelotes, 50 

Cambridge: printed by c. j. clay, m.a. and sons, at the university press. 


General Editor, The Very Rev. J. J. S. Perowne, 
Dean of Peterborough. 

pfafoitf of tfie $tts&* 

' ' // is difficult to commend too highly this excellent series" Guardian. 

' The modesty of the general title of this series has, we believe, led 
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" One of the most popular and useful literary enterprises of the 
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The Book of Judges. J. J. Lias, M. A. " His introduction is clear 
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1 Samuel, by A. F. Kirkpatrick. "Remembering the interest 
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in mere dimensions, it is every way the best on its subject and for its 
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a few special difficulties with a full knowledge of the data, and a judicial 
reserve, which contrast most favourably with the superficial dogmatism 
which has too often made the exegesis of the Old Testament a field for 
the play of unlimited paradox and the ostentation of personal infalli- 
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value between the work of a commentator who is also a Hebraist, and 
that of one who has to depend for his Hebrew upon secondhand 
sources. " Academy. 

"The Rev. A. F. Kirkpatrick has now completed his commentary 
on the two books of Samuel. This second volume, like the first, is 
furnished with a scholarly and carefully prepared critical and historical 
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merely English scholar so far as is possible for one ignorant of the 
original language to gather up the precise meaning of the text. Even 
Hebrew scholars may consult this small volume with profit." Scotsman. 

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I. Kings. " This is really admirably well done, and from first to 
last there is nothing but commendation to give to such honest work." 

II. Kings. "The Introduction is scholarly and wholly admirable, 
while the notes must be of incalculable value to students." Glasgow 

"It is equipped with a valuable introduction and commentary, and 
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"It would be difficult to find a commentary better suited for general 
use. " Academy. 

The Book of Job. "Able and scholarly as the Introduction is, it is 
far surpassed by the detailed exegesis of the book. In this Ur Davidson's 
strength is at its greatest. His linguistic knowledge, his artistic habit, 
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but to Bible students and teachers generally. As we wrote of a previous 
volume in the same series, this one leaves nothing to be desired. The 


notes are full and suggestive, without being too long, and, in itself, the 
introduction forms a valuable addition to modern Bible literature." The 
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"Already we have frequently called attention to this exceedingly 
valuable work as its volumes have successively appeared. But we have 
never done so with greater pleasure, very seldom with so great pleasure, 
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and mature scholars will learn from it." Methodist Recorder. 

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practical. . . . An appendix, in which it is clearly proved that the 
author of Ecclesiastes anticipated Shakspeare and Tennyson in some 
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" In short, this little book is of far greater value than most of the 
larger and more elaborate commentaries on this Scripture. Indispens- 
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"The ' ideal biography' of the author is one of the most exquisite 
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Jeremiah, by A. W. Streane. "The arrangement of the book is 
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"Mr Streane's Jeremiah consists of a series of admirable and well- 
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meant as a type of Christ (a most remarkable chapter), and other 
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Obadiah and Jonah. " This number of the admirable series of 
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excellent. No difficulty is shirked, and much light is thrown on the 
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" It is a very useful and sensible exposition of these two Minor 
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" Haggai and Zechariah. This interesting little volume is of great 
value. It is one of the best books in that well-known series of 
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and Colleges ' of which Dean Perowne is the General Editor. In the 
expositions of Archdeacon Perowne we are always sure to notice 
learning, ability, judgment and reverence .... The notes are terse 
and pointed, but full and reliable." Churchman. 

" The Gospel according to St Matthew, by the Rev. A. Carr. The 
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"St Matthew, edited by A. Carr, M.A. The Book of Joshua, 
edited by G. F. Maclear, D.D. The General Epistle of St James, 
edited by E. H. Plumptre, D.D. The introductions and notes are 
scholarly, and generally such as young readers need and can appre- 
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"St Mark, with Notes by the Rev. G. F. Maclear, D.D. Into 
this small volume Dr Maclear, besides a clear and able Introduc- 
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hundreds of valuable and helpful notes. In short, he has given us 
a capital manual of the kind required containing all that is needed to 
illustrate the text, i. e. all that can be drawn from the history, geography, 
customs, and manners of the time. But as a handbook, giving in a 
clear and succinct form the information which a lad requires in order 

to stand an examination in the Gospel, it is admirable I can very 

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Schools, but also to Sunday-school teachers, who may get from it the 
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" With the help of a book like this, an intelligent teacher may make 
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of the lower forms of our public schools ; but they may be read with 
greater profit by the fifth and sixth, in conjunction with the original 
text." The Academy. 

"St Luke. Canon Farrar has supplied students of the Gospel 
with an admirable manual in this volume. It has all that copious 
variety of illustration, ingenuity of suggestion, and general soundness of 
interpretation which readers are accustomed to expect from the learned 
and eloquent editor. Any one who has been accustomed to associate 
the idea of 'dryness' with a commentary, should go to Canon Farrar's 
St Luke for a more correct impression. He will find that a commen- 
tary may be made interesting in the highest degree, and that without 
losing anything of its solid value. . . . But, so to speak, it is too good 
for some of the readers for whom it is intended." The Spectator. 

"Canon Farrar's contribution to The Cambridge School Bible 
is one of the most valuable yet made. His annotations on The Gospel 
according to St Luke, while they display a scholarship at least as sound, 
and an erudition at least as wide and varied as those of the editors of 
St Matthew and St Mark, are rendered telling and attractive by a 
more lively imagination, a keener intellectual and spiritual insight, a 
more incisive and picturesque style. His St Luke is worthy to be ranked 
with Professor Plumptre's St James, than which no higher commend- 
ation can well be given." The Expositor. 

"St Luke. Edited by Canon Farrar, D.D. We have received with 
pleasure this edition of the Gospel by St Luke, by Canon Farrar. It is 
another instalment of the best school commentary of the Bible we pos- 
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It is admirable in every way, and contains just the sort of informa- 
tion needed for Students of the English text unable to make use of the 
original Greek for themselves." The Nonconformist and Independent. 

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The author has compressed into little space a vast mass of scholarly in- 
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"We were quite prepared to find in Canon Farrar's St Luke a 
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both in the terseness and condensation of its style. What Canon Farrar 
has evidently aimed at is to place before students as much information 
as possible within the limits of the smallest possible space, and 
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