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Various Incidents and Discourses in the Temple
1-12. The wicked husbandmen (Matthew 21:33; Luke 20:9). See on Mt.
13-17. The tribute money (Matthew 22:15; Luke 20:20). See on Mt.
18-27. The Sadducees and the Resurrection (Matthew 22:23; Luke 20:27). See on Mt.
26. In the bush] RV ’in the place’ (i.e. passage) ’concerning the bush.’
28-34. The great commandment (Matthew 22:34). See on Mt.
35-37. Is Christ the son of David (Matthew 22:41; Luke 20:41). See on Mt.
38-40. Warning against the scribes (Luke 20:45). Mt inserts at this point a long and severe discourse against the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:1).
38. Cp. Matthew 23:6; (Matthew 23:14). Long clothing] (lit. ’stoles’). The word is used in LXX for priestly and royal robes, and in NT. for dress worn on festive occasions. Not the use, but the ostentatious use, of dignified costume is condemned by Christ. Salutations] see on Matthew 23:7.
39. Uppermost rooms, etc.] RV ’chief places at feasts.’ If there were three on a couch, the chief guest lay in the middle. If there were two on a couch, he lay on the right side.
40. Devour widows’ houses] Devout women were accustomed to contribute to the support of famous rabbis (Mark 15:41; Luke 8:2), and our Lord probably here refers to the abuse of such generosity. But inasmuch as the scribes and Pharisees were the rulers and judges of the nation, He may refer to their corruption and rapacity in the administration of justice, whereby they oppressed the poor.
41-44. The widows’ mite (Luke 21:1).
41. The treasury] According to the Talmud there were in the Court of the Women thirteen chests for offerings called ’Trumpets,’ from which three times in the year, before the three chief feasts, the money was transferred to the treasury called Corbanas. Each was marked with the object to which the offerings it received were to be devoted, e.g. temple expenses, sacrifices, oil, wine, incense, sacred vessels, etc. Cp. John 8:20. Money] bit. ’brass.’ Perhaps small copper coins, such as the as and quadrans, are meant (Matthew 5:26; Matthew 10:29).
42. A (lit. ’one’) poor widow] cp. Matthew 21:18: ’one fig tree.’
42. Two mites] lit. ’two lepta, which make a quadrans.’ The lepton was a Greek coin, the smallest in circulation, equivalent to of a denarius, or ⅓ of a farthing. The widow offered two, because the rabbis forbade a single lepton to be placed in the almschest.
43. Hath cast more in] i.e. more in proportion to her means, and so has pleased God more. ’A certain woman offered a handful of wheat meal, and the high priest despised her, saying, How worthless this is to eat, how worthless to offer. But in a dream it was revealed to him. Despise her not, for it is the same as if she had offered her soul (or, life)’ (The Talmud). ’Liberality is estimated according to a man’s substance’ (Aristotle).
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Mark 12". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany