15 million Ukrainian are displaced by Russia's war.
Millions miss a meal or two each day.
Help us change that! Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Mark 14

Verses 1-11

See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 26:1-16.

Mark 14:1

And of unleavened bread - So called because at that feast no other bread was used but that which had been made without leaven or yeast.

By craft - By subtlety (Matthew); that is, by some secret plan that would secure possession of him without exciting the opposition of the people.

Mark 14:3

Ointment - This word does not convey quite the proper meaning. This was a perfume. It was used only to give a pleasant odor, and was liquid.

Of spikenard - The “nard,” from which this perfume was made, is a plant of the East Indies, with a small, slender stalk, and a heavy, thick root. The best perfume is obtained from the root, though the stalk and fruit are used for that purpose.

And she brake the box - This may mean no more than that she broke the “seal” of the box, so that it could be poured out. Boxes of perfumes are often sealed or made fast with wax, to prevent the perfume from escaping. It was not likely that she would break the box itself when it was unnecessary, and when the unguent, being liquid, would have been wasted; nor from a broken box or vial could she easily have “poured it” on his head.

Mark 14:5

Three hundred pence - About forty dollars (or 9 British pounds). See the notes at Matthew 26:7.

Mark 14:8

She hath done what she could - She has showed the highest attachment in her power; and it was, as it is now, a sufficient argument against there being any “real” waste, that it was done for the honor of Christ. See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 26:1-16.

Verses 12-16

See the notes at Matthew 26:17-19.

Mark 14:12

They killed the passover - The “paschal lamb,” which was slain in keeping the Passover.

Go and prepare - Go and provide a lamb, have it roasted, and properly prepared with the usual things to eat with it.

Mark 14:13

The city - The city of Jerusalem. They were now in Bethany, about 2 miles from the city.

A man bearing a pitcher of water - This could have been known only by the infinite knowledge of Christ. Such a thing could not have been conjectured, nor was there any concert between him and the man that “at that time” he should be in a particular place to meet them, for the disciples themselves proposed the inquiry. If Jesus knew a circumstance like that, then he in the same way must have known all things; then he sees “all” the actions of men - hears every word, and marks every thought; then the righteous are under his care, and the wicked, much as they may wish to be unseen, cannot escape the notice of his eye.

Mark 14:14

The goodman of the house - This signifies simply the “master” of the house. The original word expresses nothing respecting his character, whether it was good or bad.

The guest-chamber - A chamber for guests or friends - an unoccupied room.

Mark 14:15

A large upper room - The word used here denotes the upper room devoted to purposes of prayer, repose, and often of eating. See the notes at Matthew 9:1-8.

Furnished and prepared - Literally, “spread” and “ready.” Spread with a carpet, or with “couches” such as were used in eating. See the notes at Matthew 23:6.

Verses 17-31

See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 26:20-35.

Mark 14:31

More vehemently - More earnestly, more confidently.

Verses 32-42

See the notes at Matthew 26:36-46.

Mark 14:36

Ἀββα Abba This word denotes “father.” It is a Syriac word, and is used by the Saviour as a word denoting filial affection and tenderness. Compare Romans 8:15.

Mark 14:40

Neither wist they ... - Neither “knew” they. They were so conscious of the impropriety of sleeping at that time, that they could not find any answer to give to the inquiry why they had done it.

Mark 14:41

It is enough - There has been much difficulty in determining the meaning of this phrase. Campbell translates it, “all is over” - that is, the time when you could have been of service to me is gone by. They might have aided him by watching for him when they were sleeping, but now the time was past, and he was already, as it were, in the hands of his enemies. It is not improbable, however, that after his agony some time elapsed before Judas came. He had required them to watch - that is, to keep awake during that season of agony. After that they might have been suffered to sleep, while Jesus watched alone. As he saw Judas approach he probably roused them, saying, It is sufficient - as much repose has been taken as is allowable - the enemy is near, and the Son of man is about to be betrayed.

Verses 43-52

See the notes at Matthew 26:47-57.

Mark 14:45

Master, Master - As if expressing great joy that he had found him again.

Mark 14:51

A certain young man - Who this was we have no means of determining, but it seems not improbable that he may have been the owner of the garden, and that he may have had an understanding with Jesus that he should visit it for retirement when he withdrew from the city. That he was not one of the apostles is clear. It is probable that be was roused from sleep by the noise made by the rabble, and came to render any aid in his power in quelling the disturbance. It is not known why this circumstance is recorded by Mark. It is omitted by all the other evangelists. It may have been recorded to show that the conspirators had instructions to take the “apostles” as well as Jesus, and supposing him to be one of them, they laid hold of him to take him before the high priest; or it “may” have been recorded in order to place his conduct in strong and honorable contrast with the timidity and fear of the disciples, who had all fled. Compare the notes at Matthew 26:56.

A linen cloth cast about his naked body - He was roused from sleep, and probably threw around him, in his haste, what was most convenient. It was common to sleep in linen bed-clothes, and he seized a part of the clothes and hastily threw it round him.

The young men - The Roman soldiers. They were called “young men” because they were made up chiefly of youth. This was a Jewish mode of speaking. See Genesis 14:24; 2 Samuel 2:14; Isaiah 13:18.

Laid hold on him - Supposing him to be one of the apostles.

Verses 53-72

See this fully explained in the notes at Matthew 26:57-75.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Mark 14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.