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Bible Commentaries

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Mark 14

Verse 1

Mark 14:1. After two days. Probably on Tuesday evening after the denunciation of the scribes, etc. Possibly, however, on Wednesday.

The feast of the Passover and the unleavened bread. The Passover meal was the beginning of the feast of unleavened bread, which lasted for seven days. On the further details of the conspiracy, see on Matthew 26:3-5.

Verses 1-11

Chronology. See the Chapter Comments on Matthew 26:0. To the prediction of Matthew 26:1-2, Mark gives no parallel. His account of the anointing at Bethany resembles that of John (John 12:1-8), but he gives independent details, in his graphic manner.

Verse 2

Mark 14:2. Lest haply there shall be a tumult. The form indicates expectation that this would certainly result.

Verse 3

Mark 14:3. While he was in Bethany. Indefinite as in Matthew’s account.

Ointment. John: ‘a pound,’ etc.

Spikenard, or ‘nard pistic.’ ‘Nard’ means an oriental gum, but the Greek word ‘pistic’ is akin to the word meaning ‘faithful,’ and probably refers to the purity of the precious gum. But others understand it as meaning ‘drinkable,’ i.e., liquid; some think that the adjective refers to the place from which it came.

Very costly. See Mark 14:5; comp. John 12:5.

She brake the box. Crushing the neck of the cruse with the hand. See notes on Matthew. Mark alone gives this detail.

Verse 4

Mark 14:4. There were some. Matthew: ‘His disciples;’ John: ‘one of His disciples, Judas,’ etc. The best authorities omit the words, ‘and said.’ Judas alone spoke out; the feeling was general, though no doubt instigated by him. See on John 12:6.

Verse 5

Mark 14:5. And they murmured against her. Peculiar to Mark. The original seems to indicate a harsh address to Mary, though there was probably also a general murmur against her.

Verse 6

Mark 14:6. Let her alone (so John, but addressed in the singular to Judas). The rest of the verse corresponds with Matthew.

Verse 7

Mark 14:7. Whensoever ye will ye can do them good. Peculiar to Mark, but implied in the other accounts.

Verse 8

Mark 14:8. She hath done what she could. Lit., ‘what she had she did.’ Peculiar to Mark. High praise! What she did was a costly work in itself, and yet is judged by the same standard as the act of the poor widow (chap. Mark 12:44), on whom a similar commendation is bestowed.

She hath anointed my body beforehand. These words most plainly indicate that Mary, even if she did not understand the full significance of her act of love, in some sense anticipated His speedy death. Burying. The Greek word refers to the whole preparation for the tomb.

Verse 9

Mark 14:9. Throughout (literally ‘into’) the whole world. This graphic touch pictures the future work of evangelization; the gospel going out into the whole world. On the important inferences from this verse, see note on Matthew 26:13.

Verses 10-11

Mark 14:10-11. See on Matthew 26:14-16; Luke 22:3-6. Both accounts are fuller.

He that was one of the twelve, lit., ‘ the one of the Twelve,’ pointing to a well-known one.

That (in order that) he might deliver him up unto them. The definite purpose of Judas is brought out more fully here than by Matthew. The delivery to them involved all the rest of our Lord’s sufferings.

When they heard it. Hearing the proposal. This is peculiar to Mark.

Promised. The money was probably not paid until the night of the betrayal.

Verses 12-16

Mark 14:12-16. THE PREPARATION for the Passover.

Verses 12-26

The preparation (Mark 14:12-16); the passover (Mark 14:17-21); the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Mark 14:22-26). On the mode of celebrating the Passover, see on Matthew 26:17-30; on the chronology, see . See the Chapter Comments on Matthew 26:0. The account before us presents little that is peculiar.

Verse 13

Mark 14:13. Two of his disciples. Luke gives their names: ‘Peter and John.’

A man bearing a pitcher of water. This was the sign by which they should know him. The vessel was earthen, but the fact has no necessary significance.

Verse 14

Mark 14:14. To the goodman of the house, or, ‘master of the house.’ Evidently not the man they followed.

My guest-chamber. ‘The word used properly denotes a place where a traveller unloads his beast, or halts for the night; then an inn or place of public entertainment; then a hired room, as here’ (Alexander). The correct reading ‘my,’ is suggestive. Our Lord lays claim to it, even though it were to be hired.

Verse 15

Mark 14:15. Upper room. On the second floor. Some think it was the ‘Alijah,’ or the room on the housetop, as represented in the accompanying cut.

Furnished, i.e., with tables and couches.

Beady, i.e., by the householder, who provided the lamb, etc. See on Matthew 26:17.

Make ready. The further preparations necessary for the passover.

Verses 17-21

Mark 14:17-21. THE PASSOVER CELEBRATION. See on Matthew 26:20-25; comp, the parallel accounts of Luke and John.

Verse 18

Mark 14:18. One of you shall betray me, even he that eateth with me. The first clause is word for word the same in the accounts of Matthew, Mark, and John; the last clause, so graphic, and so full of grief, is peculiar to Mark. This, as well as Mark 14:20, indicate, that Judas reclined near Him. On the probable order of the various incidents narrated by the four Evangelists, see Matthew 26:21.

Verse 19

Mark 14:19. The question of Judas (Matthew) is omitted here. Comp. at this point John 13:23-30.

Verses 22-26

Mark 14:22-26. THE INSTITUTION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER. See notes on Matthew 26:26-30; comp. Luk 22:19-20 ; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25; also John 6:51 ff. The peculiarities of Mark’s account, which resembles closely that of Matthew, are merely the omission of ‘eat’ (Mark 14:22); the insertion of the clause: And they all drank of it (Mark 14:23); the omission of the words: ‘for the remission of sins,’ after for many (Mark 14:24), and the slightly briefer form of the thought in ver. On the incidents which occurred before the departure to the Mount of Olives, and the probability that Peter’s denial was twice foretold, see notes on Matthew 26:30-46.

Verses 27-31

Mark 14:27-31. The Way to Gethsemane. In close agreement with Matthew. The words ‘because of me this night’ (Mark 14:27) should be omitted. In Mark 14:28, Mark introduces a stronger word, howbeit, ‘notwithstanding’ this scattering, you will be gathered again in Galilee. See on Matthew 26:32.

Verses 27-52

ON the harmony, see on Matthew 26:31-46. The conversation, recorded in Mark 14:27-31, took place on the way to Gethsemane. Mark introduces a new and striking incident (Mark 14:51-52 ).

Verse 30

Mark 14:30. That thou, emphatic, ‘even thou.’

The detailed form of this saying, together with Mark’s relation to Peter, suggests that this is the exact form in which it was uttered. Peter afterwards (Mark 14:72), and doubtless always called to mind this saying.

Today. During the twenty-four hours, beginning at sundown.

This night. The prediction becomes more specific.

Before the cock crow twice. Before the usual time of the second cock-crowing, about three o’clock in the morning. This was usually called ‘cock-crowing’ (Mark 13:35).

Verse 31

Mark 14:31. He spake exceeding vehemently. This might be paraphrased: ‘he went on repeating superabundantly’ The correct reading emphasizes the intensity of the denial.

And in like manner also, etc. These protestations occupied some time, probably continuing until they entered Gethsemane.

Verses 32-42

Mark 14:32-42. THE AGONY IN GETHSEMANE. See on Matthew 26:36-40; comp. especially Luke 22:39-46.

Verse 33

Mark 14:33. To be greatly amazed and sore troubled. The first expression used by Mark is stronger than that used by Matthew, the second is the same in both Gospels.

Verse 35

Mark 14:35. The hour might pass away from him. The ‘hour’ representing the specific conflict of that hour in the garden. See Matthew 26:46.

Verse 36

Mark 14:36. Abba, Father. Mark gives, not only the substance of the prayer (Mark 14:35), but some of the words of our Lora. ‘Abba’ is the word for ‘Father’ in the dialect of that time and country. In explanation Mark adds the Greek word. But before this Gospel was written, ‘Abba Father’ came into general use as an address to God (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6), probably from our Lord’s use of the former word.

All things are possible unto thee. Peculiar to Mark, and doubtless a part of the very form used.

Howbeit, not what I will. The form differs from that of Matthew, and might be paraphrased: ‘But, the great question is, not what I will, but what thou wilt.’

Verse 38

Mark 14:38. The spirit, etc. Precisely as in Matthew, though differently translated in the E. V.

Verse 40

Mark 14:40. And they knew not, etc. Comp. Peter’s remark on the Mount of Transfiguration (chap. Mark 9:6). They could make no reply, either from a sense of their failure, or more probably from physical stupor.

Verse 41

Mark 14:41. The third time. The third prayer, mentioned in Matthew 26:44, is of course implied here.

It is enough. That is, enough of your watching with me, or seeming to watch with me. Even could you watch, it would no longer avail, the hour is come. A number of other interpretations have been given, but they are open to serious objections. It can scarcely mean, it is enough of sleep; and it is very improbable that between that permission and this expression sufficient time intervened to allow them to sleep. Some explain it: the conflict is over; others: he ( i.e. , the betrayer) is still far off. But the former is contrary to usage, and the latter to the context. The single word in the original is therefore well rendered; ‘it is enough.’ See further on Matthew 26:45.

Verse 43

Mark 14:43. Straightway. Mark’s favorite expression; the appearance of Judas and his band was sudden.

The scribes. Peculiar to Mark, as in other cases.

Verses 43-52

Mark 14:43-52. THE BETRAYAL. See on Matthew 26:47-56; comp. Luke 22:47-53; John 18:3-12.

Verse 44

Mark 14:44. Master, ‘Rabbi.’ This was hypocritical reverence. At the Passover, Judas used the same word, while the disciples said, ‘Lord’ (Matthew 26:25; Matthew 26:22).

Kissed him. The stronger word is here used, as in Matthew 26:49.

Verse 46

Mark 14:46. Mark omits our Lord’s words to Judas.

Verse 47

Mark 14:47. The stroke of Peter is mentioned most briefly here.

Verse 51

Mark 14:51. A certain young man. Not one of the Apostles, all of whom had fled (Mark 14:50), but a disciple. He may have been seized because of some expression o f sympathy, or simply because of his strange attire.

Having a linen cloth. Either a sheet or a night-garment, the material alone being definitely mentioned.

On his naked body. He had just risen from bed, having probably been asleep in a house near by, possibly on the ‘place’ itself. Further all is conjecture. It may have been Mark himself; others think it was the owner of the garden; others again that it was a member of the family where the Passover had been eaten; others, James the brother of our Lord; others, the apostle John. The first theory would account for the insertion of this incident here, with the name suppressed. A few years later Mark was living with his mother in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12), and probably at this time also. If it was any one well-known to the first readers of the Gospel, it was no doubt the Evangelist himself. The words ‘the young men’ are to be omitted.

Verse 52

Mark 14:52. Naked. Bengel says: ‘Modesty was overcome by fear in this great danger.’ The words ‘from them’ are to be omitted.

Verse 53

Mark 14:53. With him, i.e., the high-priest. Mark mentions the three orders of the Sanhedrin.

Verses 53-72

ON THE ORDER of events, see on Matthew 26:57-68. This was the second examination, that before Annas (John 18:13; John 18:19, etc.) having occurred first. During this second examination the denials of Peter took place.

Verse 54

Mark 14:54. Warmed himself in the light of the Are. Lit, ‘in the light’ (comp. Luke 22:55-56). The open fire in the court gave light, and Peter was recognized by the light of the fire (Mark 14:67), comp, also John 18:15-16; John 18:18.

Verse 56

Mark 14:56. Agreed not together; ‘were not equal.’ Not necessarily implying contradiction. No two agreed on one point, so as to give the evidence necessary for a legal conviction.

Verse 57

Mark 14:57. Certain. Matthew, more definitely, ‘two.’

Verse 58

Mark 14:58. We.... I. These words are emphatic.

Made with hands. ... made without hands. Probably our Lord had used these expressions, since, as we now understand them, they express so plainly the correct meaning of the saying mentioned in John 2:19, etc. An allusion to Daniel 2:34, is possible.

Verse 59

Mark 14:59. Not even so, etc. Even in regard to the statement just made, their evidence varied.

Verse 60

Mark 14:60. The maid. Probably the same one, but possibly the porteress. On the cause of this second denial, which so soon followed the first, see on Matthew.

Verse 61

Mark 14:61. The high-priest asked him. Putting Him on oath, according to Matthew 26:63

The Son of the Blessed, i.e., of God, since the Rabbis used a word of this meaning as the ordinary name for God. It occurs only here in the New Testament. The action of the high-priest indicates that this implied a distinct question: Do you claim, in claiming to be the Messiah (‘the Christ’), to be also ‘the Son of God.’

Verse 62

Mark 14:62. I am. Any allusion to the significant name of God: ‘I Am’ (Exodus 3:14), is very improbable. Comp. ‘Thou hast said’ (Matthew). ‘From henceforth’ is omitted here. See notes on Matthew 26:64.

Verses 63-64

Mark 14:63-64, are less full than the parallel verses, Matthew 26:65-66.

Clothes, inner garments, two being sometimes worn by persons of consequence.

Verse 65

Mark 14:65. Some. Others than the ‘officers,’ spoken of below. The context (Mark 14:64) points to members of the Sanhedrin as engaged in this cruelty.

The officers. Probably those who had been by the fire (Mark 14:54).

Received him with blows of their hands. The correct reading is thus translated, describing the conduct of the officers when they received Jesus again as their prisoner.

Verse 66

Mark 14:66. Beneath. Below the hall where the trial took place.

One of the maids. The same one mentioned by Matthew and Luke, possibly, but not necessarily the porteress referred to by John.

Verses 66-72

Mark 14:66-72. PETER’S DENIAL. See on Matthew 26:69-75 (comp. the parallel passages in Luke and John), where the difficulties are treated of.

Verse 67

Mark 14:67. Thou also wast with the Nazarene, even Jesus. ‘Nazarene,’ used in contempt.

Verse 68

Mark 14:68. On the different answers, see on Matthew.

Into the porch, or ‘forecourt,’ a different word from that used by Matthew, but referring to the same place.

And the cock crew. The first or mid-night crow. The insertion of this detail is probably due to Peter’s own recollection.

Verse 70

Mark 14:70. And after a little while. About an hour elapsed (Luke 22:59).

Again. Notice the correct position.

For thou art also. Not, as Jesus is; but, in addition to what has been said, this is another reason. ‘And thy speech,’ etc., was probably inserted from Matthew.

Verse 72

Mark 14:72. Mart repeats the saying of our Lord with the same accuracy as in Mark 14:30.

And when he thought thereon, he wept . Continued weeping is implied. The word translated ‘thought thereon ‘means literally, ‘casting on; ‘then casting it over, reflecting on it. The calling to mind was the momentary act of remembrance occasioned by the crowing of the cock, this the serious and continued reflection on the sin. Other interpretations are given: ‘rushing forth,’ i.e., he threw himself out of the place; ‘ beginning ’ ‘continuing,’ ‘covering his head,’ etc. The most fanciful view is: ‘ casting (his eyes) on ’ (Him), i.e. , looking at the Saviour as He passed.

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Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Mark 14". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". 1879-90.