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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Mark 14

Verses 1-11


(See notes on Matthew 26:1-16.).

Verse 3

3. Spikenard Nard, according to Dr. Royle, is the botanic Nardostachys Jatamansi, an odorous plant derived from the mountains of India near the sources of the Ganges. The nard perfume was a compound of all the most valued perfumes of antiquity, among which were the malabatharum, costus amomum, myrrha, and balsam. Very precious The three hundred pence was about forty-five dollars; thrice the price for which Judas sold his Lord.

Verses 12-16

§ 121. PREPARATION FOR THE PASSOVER, Mark 14:12-16 .

(See notes on Matthew 26:17-19.)

Verse 13

13. Meet you a man As the apostles enter the city from the east the water carrier with his filled pitcher is returning home from the west. Hence Dr. Barclay well argues that the tradition which places the coenaculum or last supper on the western part of Zion is incorrect. The two apostles having passed through the temple grounds, and crossed the great bridge, would not proceed far before they would meet him bringing his jar of fresh water from Gibon or Etham.

Verses 17-21

§ 122, 124. SUPPER AND INDICATION OF BETRAYAL, Mark 14:17-21 .

(See notes on Matthew 26:20-25.)

Verses 22-25

§ 126, 128. INSTITUTION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER Mark 14:22-25 .

(See notes on Matthew 26:26-29.)

Verses 32-43

§ 131. SUFFERINGS IN GETHSEMANE, Mark 14:32-42 .

(See notes on Matthew 26:36-46.)

Verse 33

33. Sore amazed An expression, as it were, of horror at some strange revelation of depths of evil unexpected and hitherto unconceived to his soul. Was his amazement awakened by awful views of the terribleness of sin and the depths of the hell which are its consequences?

Verse 36

36. Abba, Father The word Abba signifies father in the Syriac, which was the dialect that our Saviour spoke. In that section of country where both Hebrew and Greek were spoken by the people, it was sometimes customary to give both the Hebrew and the Greek words, one to explain the other. Similar was the custom of bestowing upon the same individual both a Hebrew and Greek name.

Verses 43-52

§ 132. APPREHENSION OF JESUS, Mark 14:43-52 .

(See notes on Matthew 26:47-57.)

Verse 51

51. Followed him a certain young man The incident of this young man occurs very briefly, and is narrated apparently for no purpose whatever. The only solution, certainly the best, is the supposition that it was no other than Mark himself. Mark was at this time a young man, living probably in Jerusalem with his mother; was more or less a follower of Jesus, and very likely to be present, from his interest in our Lord, during these awful transactions. That he should not name himself is very naturally explained, on the same principle of personal delicacy as induced the evangelist John to allude to himself in the third person. As John naturally styles himself the disciple whom Jesus loved, so Mark could as naturally style himself a certain young man. Very likely the Christians of that day knew who the certain young man was. There followed him From this clause it is plain, that the supposition of some commentators, that this was an indifferent young man, accidentally awakened by the tumult, is untenable. He is a follower; and he does not follow them, that is, the crowd, but him. Jesus is the object of his interest. It must, therefore, have been some friend of Jesus, pressing after him to ascertain what was to be his fate. A linen cloth A wrapper thrown over his undressed body. Doubtless this was the aba, an outer cloth thrown over the dress, and used even in sleep to enwrap the body. See on Matthew 5:40. The young men The young men who formed a part of the company who apprehended Jesus. This use of the word to signify soldiers is common, both in Greek and Latin.

Verse 52

52. Left the linen cloth As they grasp the cloth to apprehend him, he let go the cloth and escaped. Naked It may be that the aba was his only article of dress. Dr. Thomson (vol. i, p. 500) speaks of the very poor who sleep in their aba, or outer garment, and have no other “raiment for their skin.” But the word rendered here naked often signifies undressed, that is, clad in the under-garments alone. At any rate, it is clear, not only from his following Jesus, but also from their attempt to apprehend him, that he was not only a friend, but a known friend of the Saviour. It is, therefore, almost a demonstration that Mark here narrates how nearly he himself came to being apprehended with Jesus.

Verses 53-72


(See notes on Matthew 26:57-75.)

Verse 56

56. Agreed not together The original Greek is by many understood to mean that the witness or testimony was not adequate, that is, sufficient to make out a criminal case. As the variations between the testimonies do not seem to be essential, this is probably the true meaning.

Verse 61

61. The Christ See note on Matthew 1:1.

Verse 62

62. And Jesus said, I am Seldom in the course of his ministry did our Lord announce himself as the Messiah. But here, in the great and trying moment, when questioned by the Jewish nation, in the person of their high priest, solemnly, Are you the MESSIAH? to the Jewish nation he returns the solemn reply, I am.

Verse 64

64. Guilty of death The phrase guilty of, is here used in the old English sense, deserving of death.

Verse 65

65. Say unto him, Prophesy Mr. Blount, in his work designed to prove the truth of the Gospels by their undesigned coincidences, remarks, that Matthew mentions this challenge to prophesy, and adds, that it was a challenge to prophesy, Who smote thee? How it required the power of prophecy in Jesus to tell who smote him, Matthew does not explain, nor, had we his Gospel alone, should we be able to tell. But Mark in this verse supplies the fact that they covered his face, then smote him, and then, in ridicule of his title as prophet, bade him prophesy which was his smiter. On the other hand, we may add that Mark omits to tell what was the prophecy demanded, so it is by a double tally that the two evangelists supplement each other.

Verse 70


70. A Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereto The broad Galilean brogue was the jest of the more refined speakers of Jerusalem. As many of the Hebrew words resemble each other, with but a slight difference, a Galilean would frequently by his provincial mispronunciation produce an unintended meaning. Many anecdotes are in the Rabbins of these double meanings, as amusing as occur in English of the wrong use or disuse of the initial H.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Mark 14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.