Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.THIRD SECTION
THE PASSION OF CHRIST, AND HIS REST IN THE GRAVE. THE RETIREMENT INTO THE STATE OF THE DEAD. THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH AS THE PASCHAL LAMB
1. The preparation for the great Passover. The Supper.—The helpless impotency of wickedness in the old Chukrch of God. The determined genius of wickedness in the new Christian Church. The Anointing of the Lord at the Feast preparatory ot His Death; and the sale of the Anointed, or the Treachery, matured at the Feast-table. MARK 14:1–11
(Parallels: Matt. 26:1–16; Luke 22:1–6; John 12:1–8)
A. The weak Indecision of the Enemies. MARK 14:1, 2
1 After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to 2 death. But 1 they said, Not on the feast-day, lest there be an uproar of the people.
B. The holy Presentiment of the Female Disciple. MARK 14:3–5
3 And being in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman, having an alabaster-box of ointment of spikenard, very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it 2 on his head. 4And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, 3 Why was this waste [loss] of the ointment made? 5For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
C. The Lord’s holy Decision MARK 14:6–9
6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. 7For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. 8She hath done what she 4 could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. 9Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this 5 gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
D. The Disciple’s wicked Decision. MARK 14:10, 11
11 And Judas Iscariot, 6 one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. 11And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
Comp. the notes on Matthew.—The peculiarities of Mark in the history of the Passion generally are: life-like pictures, sharply-defined features, original statements of particulars. Peculiarities in this section. The two indications of Jesus’ approaching death, namely, the indecisive deliberations of the Sanhedrim, and the anointing in Bethany, are found united in Mark, as in Matthew; yet he expresses himself regarding the decision of the leaders of the council much more briefly than Matthew,—more decidedly, however, than Luke. In the history of the anointing, he mentions, with John, a fact in addition to the statement as, given by Matthew that Jesus sat at the table. Moreover, he describes the ointment more exactly. And, besides, to him we owe the fresh trait, that the woman broke the alabaster-box; according to several codices, the additional remark is made, that the ointment ran down from His head. In respect to diversity of statement, he assumes an intermediate position between John and Matthew. John names Judas as the murmurer; Matthew, the disciples; Mark says, “some.” With John, he declares the value to be three hundred denarii, and adds the strong word ἐνεβριμῶντο. To the words, Ye have the poor with you always, he appends,—And whensoever ye will, etc. To him again is the clause peculiar, She hath done what she could. The idea that this female disciple anticipates the anointing of Jesus for burial is here more clearly expressed. Peculiarly lively is the expression in regard to the preaching of the Gospel εἰς ὅλον τὸν κόσμον (Matthew, ἐν ὅλῳ, κ.τ.λ.). The treacherous visit of Judas to the high-priest is more briefly given than in Matthew. He does not name the traitor’s question, neither the thirty pieces of silver; yet he emphasizes the joy of the chief priests.
Mark 14:1. The feast of the Passover, and of unleavened bread.—A double feast-season. See Matthew. Comp. Luke’s expression.—After two days.—Probably on Wednesday in the Passion Week, not on Tuesday (See Matthew). The anointing in Bethany was on the previous Saturday. The question is now, In what relation do the sitting of the council and the anointing stand to one another? We could imagine that the first history brings before us the chief priests, how undecided they still are; the second shows how Judas comes and gives advice. We must then assume that the thought of treachery had been brooded over by Judas from Saturday in the preceding week till at least Wednesday in the Passion Week, and came then first to maturity. The remark of Matthew, Mark 14:14, seems to speak against this, “Then Judas went unto.” Judas had undoubtedly gone much earlier to the high priests. To this the statement points, “how they might take Him by craft.” If they had just now decided, “Not on the feast-day,” this is explained by the great triumphs which Jesus, on Palm Sunday, on Monday, and Tuesday, had celebrated over them; and with this, besides, the fact agrees well, that Judas had begun to hesitate during these days. The connection of the two recitals lies, accordingly, in the antithesis of the previous anticipation of the crucifixion on the part of the Lord and the strong presentiment of the female disciple, on the one side, and the much subsequent indecision and short-sightedness of His foes, on the other. But the second point of relation is this, that we see from the first narrative how far the foes had of themselves come; from the second, how Judas drove them to take their boldly wicked step, and succeeded in giving them the last impulse. They said, “Not on the feast-day;” Judas, on the contrary, bethought himself of the first, best opportunity.
Mark 14:3. Of spikenard, very precious.—Upon πιστικῆς, comp. DE WETTE, MEYER, LUCKE on John, vol. ii. p. 493. Not drinkable (πιστός), but veritable, real. Upon the nard, comp. Matthew.—Brake the box (bottle, or flask).—The narrow neck of the small flask. She did not wish to keep or hold back anything: offered up all, gave all away.
Mark 14:4. There were some.—See Matthew. Mark presents, without a doubt, the most accurate historic picture, John defines most sharply the motive, Matthew gives the specially practical historic form.
Mark 14:5. And they murmured against her.—De Wette: They scolded her. Meyer: They addressed her harshly. In ἐμβριμάομαι lies especially the expression of a passionate feeling which we strive to keep back in the utterance.
Mark 14:8. She is come aforehand.—Προλαμβάνειν is the chief conception, not μυρίσαι; hence we see the error of Meyer’s note, “A classic write would have said, προλαβοῦσα ἐμύρισε.”
Mark 14:10. One of the Twelve.—Made prominent, as in Matthew. The tragic point lies not only in this, that one of the Twelve was false, but that he committed that most wicked act of treachery which was the particular sting in the sufferings of Christ. In a wider sense, he extended himself through the whole sufferings of Christ; for the treachery of the disciple who betrayed the Lord to the chief priests, led to the betrayal, on the part of the Sanhedrim, of Christ to the heathen power.
Mark 14:11. Were glad.—They shuddered not, as the traitor laid before them his black design. They understood him. But Judas knew how to lead them still further into wickedness. He filled them with a satanic joy. And while they were still hesitating to take the last step, assuredly not from dread of the sin, but for fear of the people, Judas was watching for the first opportunity to accomplish his purpose.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. See Matthew, and the parallel passages in Luke.
2. Judas the betrayer, because he had been most offended at the thought of the death and cross of Christ; Mary the commended disciple, because she was the first that was found possessing a self-sacrificing courage like His own in His way to death.
3. The treachery which springs up in the midst of the disciples of the Evangelical Church surpasses the wicked counsel of the hierarchies in the Middle Ages. The secret and open apostasies from the Evangelical Church to Romanism.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
Comp. Matthew.—The council in Jerusalem, and the supper in Bethany, in their relation to the central point of Christ’s death; or, a picture of the uniting of all threads of ancient history in this death.—Not out of the camp of the foes, but out of the circle of the disciples, came the last decision regarding the death of Jesus.—Judas, the enslaved, and yet free, instrument of the deepest revelation of wickedness.—The faithless disciple of Jesus an instructor of the chief council in the way of destruction.—The unexpected turning-points in life, how they rise out of the depths of the spirit-world: 1. Out of the realm of light (Mary); 2. out of the realm of darkness (Judas); 3. out of the struggle between the two.—The ointment in the house at Bethany a savour of death unto death.—Greed in its demoniac greatness: 1. A child of perfected unbelief as to Christ, God, and mankind; 2. a father of treachery, which has often injured the saints; 3. a companion of avarice, envy, anguish, audacity, despair.—Judas determines to take the best opportunity he can to betray the Lord, i.e., in the sanctuary of His secret prayers.—Judas the calculator, and his miscalculation.—The estimation of Mary, and the estimation of Judas. The presentiment-filled spirit in its clear foresight as opposed to the selfish mind in its blindness.—The most multiplied purposes and projects, and over them the deep design of God.—Woman is here again before man, as is so often the case in the Gospel history.
STARKE:—HEDINGER:—Satan rests not till he has injured Christ and His cause in life, honor, and possessions.—At feast-seasons the devil generally excites the greatest uproar against Christians.—HEDINGER:—Nothing is wasted upon Christ. Miserable parsimony, when we refuse Him anything.—The prating of a fault-seeker can soon move others to join.—QUESNEL:—The pious must remain silent regarding the world’s judgment. God will speak and conduct their affairs.—Behold, how the godless rejoice if they get an opportunity of fulfilling their wicked wish!—GERLACH:—The greatest praise ever spoken by Jesus regarding an act.—BRAUNE:—The Sanhedrim required him to point out Jesus’ tarrying-place. And Judas is ready to do it.—BRIEGER:—Exactly what the enemies wished least of all to do, that must they.—To an uproar it came, only to the advantage of hell.—The greatest, most direct, most difficult, but the most blessed thing that ever a sinful being was able to do, namely, to receive the Lord’s word in all simplicity and proceed to act, this did Mary; and this shall maintain her memory on earth till the end of time.—GOSSNER:—She hath done what she could. From this may every one take comfort, that nothing more than faithfulness is asked from them.—BAUER:—The deeds of love are often in the world turned into shame, because others turn them into an occasion to do evil.
[Mark 14:2.—Lachmann, Tischendorf, after B., C.*, D., read γάρ instead of δέ.]
[Mark 14:3.—Lachmann, Tischendorf, B., C., L., Δ. omit κατά.]
[Mark 14:4.—Codd. B., C.*, L. want καὶ λέγοντες; Cod. A. has it.]
[Mark 14:8.—Codd. B., L. want αὅτη.]
[Mark 14:9.—Codd. B., D., L. want τοῦτο; Lachmann brackets and Tischendorf omits.]
[Mark 14:10.—Codd. B., C., D. Lachmann omit the article before ’Ιούδας and ’Ισκαρίωτης.]
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?2. The Feast of the Passion, and of Victory.—The Paschal Lamb and the discovered Traitor. The Last Supper and the Lord’s Triumph over the Traitor. The Prediction of the Disciples being offended, and of their denying Him. MARK 14:12–31
(Parallels: Matt. 26:17–35; Luke 22:7–38; John13–17)
A. The Disciples’ Passover-thought.—Unguardedness and Foresight; or, the Jewish Custom and Christ’s Spirit. MARK 14:12–16
12 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 pass over? 13And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. 14And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guest-chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 15And he will show you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. 16And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
B. The Lord’s Passover-thought.—The Passover, and the hardened and discovered Traitor in the circle of Disciples. The Lord’s clear perception of the secret designs of the Traitor. MARK 14:17–21
17And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. 18And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. 19And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, is it I? and another said, Is it I? 7 20And he answered 8 and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dip peth with me 9 in the dish. 21The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.
C. The new Passover.—The Lord’s fulness of Love on the night of the Betrayal. MARK 14:22–25
22 And as they did eat, Jesus 10 took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: 11 this is my body. 23And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new 12 testament [covenant], which is shed for many. 25Verily 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.
D. A new Passover upon a new Night of Terror, and upon the Death of the First-born. MARK 14:26–31
26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives. 27And Jesus saith unto them. All ye shall be offended because of me this night: 13 for it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. 28But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. 29But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. 30And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. 31But he spake 14 the more vehemently, 15 If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
Comp. Matthew and Luke.—The unity of these sections is to be found in the contrast between the disciples’ unprepared state of mind, and the ever clear perception which the Lord had of what lay before Him. Next, we have the opposition between the Passover and the Supper, the great institution of love, and of treachery; finally, the contrast between the faithful care with which the Lord warned the disciples, and their presumptuous self-deception respecting the fact of their own weakness. Peculiarities of Mark:—Exact statement of the day, Mark 14:12, with Luke. He brings forward (what is passed over by Matthew) the sending of the two disciples, but does not name them, as Luke does; and this again is to be traced back to Peter’s modesty, for Peter was one of those sent. The direction of Jesus also,—in Matthew, Go ye πρὸς τὸν δεῖνα,—is given here in a more expanded form, as also in Luke: the description of the man with the water-pitcher, who should meet them at the gate of the city, and the directions which they were to follow. He passes over, in his description of the Passover, the special narrations of Luke and John, and hastens forward with Matthew to the detection of the traitor. The indication of the betrayer has been already given: He who eateth with Me, Mark 14:18. The peculiar ἤρξαντο again, Mark 14:19. The audacious question of Judas, Is it I? which Matthew introduces, Mark omits, as he has previously omitted his words to the chief priests. In the celebration of the Supper, he agrees, excepting in a few trifling deviations, with Matthew. Peter has, through Mark, directed attention to the fact concerning the cup, “And they all drank of it.” In recording, “Shed for many,” Mark allows, “For the remission of sins,” to fall out. The words concerning the new cup in the kingdom of God he causes to follow the words of the institution of the Supper, as is the case in Matthew, but more briefly expressed. The remark (recorded by John) to the disciples, “Ye cannot follow Me now,” in Mark (and Matthew), runs, “All ye shall be offended because of Me.” Peter’s vow, “I will follow Thee,” as given by John, is extended in Mark, “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I;” shorter than in Matthew. The statement in John, “I will lay down my life for Thy sake,” stands in Mark, “If I should die with Thee,” etc., as in Matthew. The prediction that they would deny Him follows this asseveration in John, but precedes it in Mark and Matthew; in this latter case, the asseveration was, of course, more presumptuous. Mark alone has the more definite signal, “Before the cock crow twice.” The particular features which are introduced by Luke before this transaction, and which bring Peter still more prominently into view, are not related by Mark. He and Matthew present the strongest statement of the occurrence (an affirmation of faithfulness after the declaration of the denial).
Mark 14:13. Two of His disciples.—Peter and John. Comp. Luke.—And there shall meet you.—The description is as mysterious as in the despatching of the disciples to bring the colt. So, again, is the prominence given to the talismanic word εἰπεῖν, to be noticed. Quite groundless is the view of Meyer (rationalizing), that we find in the wonderful manner in which the supper is ordered, as recorded by Mark and Luke, an evidence of the later origin of this account. In this passage Matthew has only hinted at what the other two have explicitly stated. See Matthew.—A man.—It is a very mistaken conclusion, if, from the fact that it was a slave’s employment to carry water (Deut. 29:11; Josh. 9:21), we conclude this man was a slave.
Mark 14:14. Guest-chamber, τὸ κατάλυμά μου.—The reception-room, which is appointed for Me. With the word lodgings, the conception of a separate house is united. Much nearer the idea is, “My quarters.”
Mark 14:15. A large upper room.—The form ἀνάγαιον is best supported. Meyer: “In meaning, it is equivalent to ὑπερῷον, עִַלִיָה, upper room, place for prayer, and assembling together.” But, we must undoubtedly conceive of the “upper room” as being on the second floor: the Alijah, on the contrary, is a tower-like erection upon the flat house-roof (see 2 Kings 4:10; comp. Acts 10:9). The learned Winer, too, has no clear idea of the Alijah. Comp. articles, “Houses, Roof.” On the contrary, Gesenius: “עֲלִיָּה, cubiculum superius, conclave, super tectum domus eminens; ὑπερῷον;” and DE WETTE, Archäol. p. 146.—Furnished (provided with pillows).—That is, with pillow-beds laid around the table, as the custom of reclining at meals required.
Mark 14:17. With the Twelve.—The two messengers have returned and announced that all is ready.
Mark 14:18. One of you which eateth with Me.—The expression of grief. See John 13:18. Reference to Ps. 41:10.
Mark 14:20. That dippeth with Me in the dish.—Meyer: “He was one of those lying closest to Jesus, eating, namely, out of the same dish.” Therefore, no very definite description. Yet the Passion meal was not the ordinary eating from a dish. The nead of the family distributed the portions. The case is thus to be conceived: Jesus was about to hand Judas his portion. Now it is a psychological fact, that an evil conscience causes the hand to move with an uneasy motion, even at the moment when one succeeds in showing a hypocritical face full of innocence and calmness. The hand, in opposition to the steady countenance, makes a hypocritically tremulous motion. So, accordingly, does the traitorous hand of Judas, betraying him, hastily extend itself, it would appear, to meet the Lord’s hand, as it is still in the dish, in order with feigned ease to receive the sop. The three statements—He who dippeth with Me in the dish (Matthew, and almost identically Mark); To whom I shall give the sop (John); and, The hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table (Luke),—agree, therefore, as regards the actual state of the case.
Mark 14:24. And He said unto them, This is My blood.—That our Evangelist makes this expression follow the drinking creates no difference between Matthew, and Luke, and Mark. Because Mark, namely, wished to make this the prominent fact, that all the company in rotation drank of the cup, he represents the Lord as speaking these important words while the act of drinking was being performed; from which it is self-evident, that He speaks them while the cup was passing round.
Mark 14:31. Spake the more vehemently.—We understand this not quantitatively,—he made regarding this many additional statements,—but qualitatively, of the increasing force in expressing himself, as the following sentence shows.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. See Matthew.
2. As the first Old Testament Passover was celebrated before the actual exemption and deliverance of the Israelites in the Egyptian night of terror, in the believing certainty of their salvation, so was also the New Testament Passover, the Supper, celebrated in the certainty of actual preservation and deliverance, before the outward fact, the death and resurrection of Christ. Exactly thus, in the justification of the individual sinner, does the celebration of his salvation from condemnation precede the completion of his salvation in sanctification.
3. The way and manner in which Jesus unites with the celebration of the Supper the announcement that His disciples should be offended because of Him, and His solicitude for their preservation and restoration, brings before us the relation subsisting between this preservation and that of the first-born in Egypt, for whom atonement had been made. The disciples, too, must the destroying angel pass by. No doubt, because Christ, who is the First-born in an especial sense, presents Himself a sacrifice for them. But this First-born, too, wins back His life from death.
4. Three Passovers: The typical Passover of the typified deliverance; the actual Passover of the real deliverance, finished in principle, pointing to the completion in life; the coming Passover in the kingdom of God, the celebration of the perfected salvation.
5. The detection of Judas, and the announcement of the stumbling of the disciples after the Supper, is a sign that the Supper is appointed to exclude the apostate and the hypocritical, to strengthen, establish, and restore the weak.
6. The celebration of the Supper: 1. The external preparation, and the internal (“One of you”); 2. the celebration itself; 3. the practical improvement (“In this night”).
7. The Lord changes the Passover into the Supper: Christ’s disciples now make with great willingness a Passover out of the Supper, in various ways. A simply ecclesiastical meal of custom; a simply memorial meal; a dogma-teaching meal; a meal falsely alleged to be capable of removing guilt.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
See Matthew.—The pious recollection of the disciples, and the holy thought of the Lord (paschal lamb, the Last Supper).—The quiet, hidden friend of Christ in the city of His foes, and the concealed enemy of Christ in the disciple-band.—Both brought to view by Christ.—The Lord’s Supper a celebration of salvation in the confidence of faith: 1. Outwardly, a pre-celebration; 2. inwardly, an after-celebration.—The holy appointment and efficacy of the Supper: 1. Revelation of hearts (acknowledgment of sins, and confession of faith); 2. the affrighting of sinful consciences; 3. the exclusion of the wicked; 4. the celebration of the pardon and the establishment of believers; 5. the determining of the future path; 6. the restoration of the erring.—The self-exaltation with which Peter goes forth after the Supper, is a sign that he had not yet properly understood it.—Peter, before and after the Supper, and during its progress; pointing to a mistaking of the Supper in its symbolic import.—The disciples forget too soon after Judas’ departure how much they have in common with him.—The consciousness of success, with which the Lord looks to the coming season of the perfect reunion of His disciples and Himself, being fully assured that all their temptations and conflicts could not prevent this result.
HEDINGER:—At the approach of death, life-endangering perils, and other misfortunes, God’s word and sacrament are the best anointing and refreshment. Happy is he who consecrates his room to Jesus as a household church, or entertains Him oft in His poor members.—If we hazard all to obey God, we shall find it as the Lord hath promised before.—OSIANDER:—Who serves, believes, and obeys Christ, shall be deceived in nothing.—CANSTEIN:—Whosoever receives the holy Supper aright, receives in it an assurance of the coming eternal glory.—OSIANDER:—In suffering and trouble look at redemption.—He will not break the bruised reed. So gracious is Jesus, that he promises consolation to, and addresses in the language of promise, even the stumbling disciples.—HEDINGER:—He who relies too much on self, is building on sand.—Whosoever in a deliberative assembly introduces anything evil, may easily (in a greater or less degree) bring all the others over to his own side, so that they all express the same views.
BRAUNE:—If amongst His friends there was a secret foe, there were many secret friends amongst His foes.—The traitor proceeds to complete his transgression, and Jesus proceeds to the institution of the sacrament of the Atonement.—IGNATIUS:—The Supper is a remedy bringing immortal life, an antidote to death.—Mark, who was most intimate with Peter, gives Jesus’ words thus: Before the cock crow twice, thou wilt thrice deny Me. The third part of the night, from twelve to three, was called the cock-crowing: before this should end, Peter would have thrice denied the Lord.
BRIEGER:—In the Passover, Christ is shadowed forth from every side. According to the law, the paschal lamb must be set apart on the tenth day of the month Nisan. And upon the tenth of this month, upon the so-called Palm Sunday, Christ made His triumphal entry, etc. (Add to this, that Jesus died about the ninth hour, almost the time when the paschal lamb was usually slain; that all the people put Him to death, as every head of a family slew a lamb; that the roasting-spit for the lamb had the form of a cross; that no bone of the lamb should be broken.)—How precious the promise, that He, as the Risen One, should go before them into Galilee! But they have ears for nothing. They regard only that word which charges them so hardly, and so deeply wounds. The Apostles were now occupied so entirely with themselves, that they were unmoved by what was immediately to befall their Lord.—However, if they had not observed the statement that the sword should fall on Him, they could not have had regard to the promise of His resurrection.—GOSSNER:—Christ can raise the hymn of praise, although He knows His disciples are about to betray Him, etc. We must not be restrained from praising God because of anything.—BAUER:—His body, His blood; that is, receive His life.
Mark 14:19.—Καὶ ἄλλος, μήτι ἐγώ; omitted by B., C., L., Versions, Vulgate, &c.; probably because the words were deemed superfluous, and that the construction was inadmissible. (We suppose εἶς to be supplied with the first μήτι ἐγώ.)
Mark 14:20.—The evidence against ἀποκριθείς is quite conclusive; [rejected by Lachmann, Tischendorf.]
[Mark 14:20.—Lachmann, after A. and Versions, reads τὴν χεῖρα after εμοῦ.]
[Mark 14:22.—‘O Ἰησοῦς is wanting in B., D., Versions; bracketed by Lachmann; rejected by Tischendorf.]
Mark 14:22.—Φάγετε must be struck out, on the authority of A., B., C., &c.
Mark 14:24.—Καινῆς is wanting in B., C., D., L., &c. Tischendorf rejects it, but it is retained by Lachmann. The uncertainty of the reading even in Matthew excites suspicion, that the Pauline tradition gave rise to it; for “the blood of the testament [covenant]” can mean nothing else than “of the new testament.”
[Mark 14:27.—’Εν ἐμοὶ ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ταύτῃ. B., C.*, D. want these words. A. has them. Lachmann retains ἐν ἐμοὶ, and brackets ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ταύτῃ.]
[Mark 14:31.—B., D., L., Lachmann, Tischendorf read ἐλάλει for ἔλεγε.]
[Mark 14:31.—B., C., D., L. want μᾶλλον; Lachmann, Tischendorf omit it.]
And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.3. Gethsemane and the Betrayal; or, the Lord’s sorrow of Soul.—The coming of the Traitor. MARK 14:32–42.—The Betrayal and its Effect. The Arrest of the Lord. The Flight of the Disciples. MARK 14: 43–52
(Parallels: Matt. 26:36–56; Luke 22:39–53; John 18:1–11.)
A. Gethsemane. MARK 14:32–42.
32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. 33And he taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; 34And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. 35And he went forward16 a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. 37And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? 38 couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye, and pray, lest ye enter into temptation: the spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. 39And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words. 40And when he returned, he found them asleep again; (for their eyes were heavy;) neither wist they what to answer him. 41And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.
B. The Betrayal.—The Arrest. The Flight of the Disciples MARK 14:43–52
43 And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, 17 one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude, with swords and staves, from the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders. 44And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. 45And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, Master; 18and kissed 46, him. And they laid their hands on him, and took him. 47And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. 48And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? 49I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the Scriptures must be fulfilled. 50And they all forsook him, and fled. 51And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men 19 laid hold on him: 52And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
1. See the parallel passages in Matthew and Luke. Peculiarities of Mark:—In narrating the sufferings of Christ in Gethsemane, Mark is the only Evangelist who gives the subject of Jesus’ prayer,—that “the (dread) hour might pass from Him.” The prayer, too, has with him a more earnest expression, with the “Abba,” and “All things are possible unto Thee.” In the passage recording the finding the three asleep, the reproof of Christ is directed especially to Peter, and Jesus calls him Simon, as He always does when He would remind him of his weakness and old nature. The modification of the first petition in the second, mentioned by Matthew, is omitted by him. Jesus prays, according to him, in the same words; that is, Mark will emphasize the wrestling importunity in this petition likewise, while Matthew gives prominence to the stronger manifestation of the resignation of Jesus. The third prayer is not introduced by Mark, but is nevertheless implied in his recital. In the remark: “For their eyes were heavy,” he employs, according to Codd. A., B., (Laehmann,) the stronger term, καταβαρυνόμενοι. He also has the noteworthy statement: “Neither wist they what to answer;” which recalls the similar expression in the history of the Transfiguration. Strikingly characteristic is the short phrase: “It is enough” (ἀπέχει); which is addressed by Jesus to the sleep-oppressed disciples. According to Mark’s representation, Judas stands suddenly before our Lord, like some unearthly appearance. The traitor had given to the enemy a distinct, previously appointed signal (σύσσημον), and commanded them to seize the Master with all possible care, and to lead Him away. With a twofold salutation, Rabbi, Rabbi, the traitor here approaches Jesus eagerly and with feigned friendship. Jesus’ address to Judas is here passed over. Of the sword-stroke of Peter he speaks in milder terms, saying he had cut off the ὠτάριον (diminutive) of the servant. The command of Jesus to Peter is also omitted. On the other hand, we are indebted to Mark for the remarkable episode of the youth who changed so quickly from a follower of Jesus to a deserter.
Mark 14:33. To be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; ἤρξατο ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι καὶ ἀδημονεῖν.—Matthew has λυπεῖσθαι καὶ ἀδημονεῖν. Luke, instead of either expressions: γενόμενος ἐν ἀγωνίᾳ (in a dreadful struggle or agony). This agony has its two sides, which are described with about equal force in the phraseology of Matthew and Luke; ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι is a stronger term than λυπεῖσθαι, and is given only by Mark; indeed, the word is only found in the passages, Mark 9:15; 16:5, 6. Upon this point consult the Commentary on Matthew, 26:37. The traitorous, false, despairing world, represented in Judas, fills Christ with sorrow to amazement; He shudders before it, before the infernal powers lying behind it, and before the abyss of wickedness in this spiritual hell; the impotent, poor, and lost world, which lay sleeping around Him, overcome with sorrow and devoid of all presentiment, as represented by the three sleeping disciples, gives Him the feeling of eternal abandonment, Isa. 63:3. Comp. Matthew. Starke: ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι is used of fright at a peal of thunder, Acts 9:3, 6; and before a phantom, Matt. 14:26: 20 from this some conclude that the most frightful phantoms may have presented themselves to Christ, etc.
Mark 14:35. The hour might pass from Him.—Not His suffering generally, but that hour. The whole feeling of suffering and judgment, to be so betrayed by the one half of the world, and to be so forsaken by the other half. See Matthew. [The “feeling” cannot be entirely accounted for by the desertion of the creature merely; there was also to be the desertion of the Creator.—Ed.]
Mark 14:36. Abba.—Most vivid narration. Citation of the actual words, as in the expression, Talitha cumi, and the exclamation on the cross. Meyer: “This address, among the Greek-speaking Christians, acquired the nature of a nomen proprium.” Apart from the misunderstanding which would arise, the phrase Talitha cumi, and other expressions, speak against this opinion. Accordingly, ὁ πατήρ is certainly an explanatory addition. [Meyer remarks, in loc., that the common view that ὁ πατήρ is a translation of Abba, is not congruous with the idea of earnest supplication; and refers to Romans 8:15.—Ed.]—Nevertheless not.—We supply: “But do not this, as I will, as My feelings would have.” Meyer: “Let this not be which I will.” Matthew indicates by πλὴν οὐχ ὡς. Luke uses appropriately τὸ θέλημα (inclination of the will), not θέλησις (act of will). Accordingly, ἀλλ ̓ οὐ τί is to be taken in rather a formal sense.
Mark 14:40. Found them asleep again.—Luke: “For sorrow.” Sorrow kept the Lord awake, but lulled the disciples to sleep.
Neither wist they what to answer.—Comp. Mark 9:6.
Mark 14:41. Sleep on now, and take your rest.—See Note upon Matthew. The ironical meaning, as conveyed by Matthew, is altered by Luke into a reproof: “Why sleep ye?” Mark presents an intermediate view: first irony, then the call to wake.—It is enough (ἀπέχει).—This is the opposite of οὐδὲν ἀπέχει: nothing stands in the way, nothing hinders. The meaning accordingly is, It has failed; it is no more of use, etc. “Meyer: “It is enough,—ἐξαρκεῖ.” This is quite a derivative meaning, and an application of the word very remote indeed. (The Vulgate renders sufficit, &c.) Quite as untenable is another interpretation: “There is enough watching, ye have watched enough;” or, “My anguish is past.”
Mark 14:45. Master, Master.—Not merely an exclamation of excitement, but also of hypocritical reverence carried to its greatest height.
Mark 14:51. A certain young man.—This forms an episode as characteristic of Mark as the Emmaus disciples of Luke; and given for similar reasons. That he was no apostle is evident from the designation: “A certain young man;” from the circumstance that he had already the night-dress on; and especially from the contrast he presents to the Apostles. He only presents himself after their flight, a youthful Joseph of Arimathea, and so a precursor of him. Some have without reason settled upon John as the person (Ambrose, Chrysostom, Gregory the Great); others have selected, equally without ground, James the Just (EPIPH. Hœres. 87, 13). That the youth belonged to a family standing in a relation of friendship to the Lord, we may safely assume; at least, he was himself an enthusiastic follower of Christ. On this account, it was natural to suppose a youth of the family where Jesus had eaten the Passover (Theophylact). In this case, however, we must assume that the young man had, on this occasion, been sleeping, or retiring to rest, in the house which belonged to the family, and which lay in the valley of the Cedron; for, that the young man had been startled from his sleep, or in preparing to retire to rest, in the neighborhood of Gethsemane (in some neighboring country-seat, says Grotius), is proved by his wearing the night-dress. Both circumstances might possibly be found united in Mark himself, whom we, with Olshausen, consider to be this “certain young man.” (See Introduction.) Reasons: 1. The youth’s picture agrees in every line with the character of Mark. 2. The circumstances of the youth agreed perfectly with those of Mark: the friend of the Lord, resting in this country-house for the night. 3. There is an analogical support of this view, in the fact that John also, by a mere hint, weaves himself and His mother into the Evangelical narrative (John 1:40, 19:25); and probably Luke does the same thing (24:18). 4. The fact that this circumstance is related by Mark alone, which Meyer considers so very trifling, and Bauer holds to be a piquant addition.—The young men—These certainly were not the temple-guards, nor yet the soldiery, but young persons who had of their own accord joined the company; partly from their interest in adventure. For this reason, they found themselves particularly tempted to make an attack upon this young man, their equal in years, in the nightdress, who wished to follow Jesus, clad in so ridiculous a manner.
Mark 14:52. And he left the linen cloth.—The night-mantle, thrown about him, was easily loosed. Bengel: pudorem vicit timor in magno periculo. Whitefield has properly pointed out the action of this youth as the emblem of a late reception of Jesus, though others have praised it as the emblem of an early following of the Lord, as belief in youth. Both are to be found in it: a beautiful enthusiasm of belief, and a fanatical self-dependence and over-estimation of personal strength. Rather far-fetched is Guyon’s allegory, that we must follow Jesus, stripping off all that is our own, and all that is false. This youth was a follower while he had the linen cloth; deprived of this, he became a deserter.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. Comp. Matthew.
2. The suffering of Jesus in Gethsemane, and the treachery of Judas, stand in the most intimate relation to each other. The bringing about of His sufferings by means of the treachery which grew up in the midst of His disciples, and the spirit of worldliness, of worldly sorrow and worldly falseness, of self-disrespect and despair, manifested in this treachery,—this is, in the particular sense, the bitter cup which he had to drain; for it is the heaviest judgment of God, that sin itself must break forth in treachery proceeding out the disciple-circle; a fact, in which is revealed the full judgment of God upon the sin of the world in its faithlessness, and in its despair—upon the sin of that world which could break through the barriers separating the disciples of Christ from the world. In Christ’s experience of this judgment, there are two points to be marked: the realization of His being perfectly deserted; the manifestation of the world’s weakness, and of the imminent danger to which the wickedness of the world exposed Him even amid His disciples. That He must see Himself forsaken by His young Church, that He must grieve because of the apostasy in the midst of this Church: therein lies the bitter gall of His passion-cup, therein was judgment finished. He prayed that this hour might pass, if it were possible (Mark 14:35). And (Mark 14:41) it is said, The hour is come; behold, the Son of Man, etc. The betrayal marks and seals this hour.
3. The sleeping of the good disciples is contrasted with the watchfulness of the evil disciple. What was common to both parties, was the unspeakable sorrow. In the case of Judas, this has changed into absolute demoniacal distress, animosity, and rage; in the case of the Eleven, it is manifested in complete relaxation, cowardice, and indecision. On this account, Christ opposes to the sleep and indecision of the Eleven, the intensest agitation of soul and energy; to the fevered excitement of Judas, on the contrary, the most perfect quiet of soul.
4. The youth who follows the Lord in his night-garb, and then flees, is a striking picture of the pious resolutions of Jesus’ disciples, which are dissipated in the night of great temptation.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
See Matthew.—The Lord’s preparation as opposed to His enemies’ preparation.—The unfathomable clearness of spirit in the agony of the Lord, and the unfathomable confusion of spirit in the agony of Judas.—The treachery of a disciple in Gethsemane, the Lord’s secret place of prayer, forms a page black as midnight in the history of the world and of the Church.—God’s providence has changed this terrific curse into a cup of blessing for the lost world, through Christ’s obedience.—Jesus could pray twice or thrice almost the same words, yet make from them each time a new prayer (differently placed emphasis): 1. Take from Me this cup; 2. yet not what I will; 3. but what Thou wilt.—The chasm which opens between the Lord and His disciples, while He prays and they sleep: 1. Christ ever more wakeful, more calm, more sure of victory; 2. the disciples ever heavier with sleep, more confused, and undecided.—How the Lord Himself announces the hour of which He prayed that it might pass by: The hour is come; behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinful men.—Arise, let us go! lo, he that betrayeth Me is at hand.—Jesus’ disciple as guide to the hostile band.—The kiss of Judas; or, here likewise is Antichrist concealed in the pseudo Christ (a lying Christ).—Christ between the helpless assailants and the helpless defenders: 1. The assailants in their helplessness: a. the traitor, the soldiers; b. He grants them the might which they are allowed to have, according to the Holy Scriptures and God’s providence, though it seems as if derived from human laws. 2. The defenders in their helplessness: a. the sword-stroke of Peter, the fleeing disciples, the fleeing youth; b. He grants them the might of His preserving grace.—There existed a natural relationship between this young man and the disciple Peter, as there existed a spiritual relationship between the Apostle Peter and the Evangelist Mark.—Christ betrayed and captured: 1. How all appears in this state of things to be lost; 2. how sin and Satan are thereby betrayed and captured.—By His bonds are we freed.
STARKE:—To pray is the best thing we can do in the hour of temptation.—QUESNEL:—God’s will must be at all times dearer than our own, let it cost what it may to perfect it.—CANSTEIN:—Prayer is needed with watching, and watching with prayer. Both must go together.—Alas, if Israel’s Shepherd should not be watchful, how evil would it be with us, from our lethargic security and sloth!—Judas sells Jesus. We should not consider the whole world a sufficient purchase-price for Jesus.—OSIANDER:—The wickedness of the world is so great, that the very persons who are appointed to administer justice persecute the just, and defend the unjust.—CANSTEIN:—Whosoever allures others into sin, sins himself, and loads himself with all the sin which the others commit.—OSIANDER:—Satan blinds men, that, when they do evil, they know not what will be its result.—CANSTEIN:—A good intention may lead to evil (the blow of the sword).—Hasty passions are dangerous; therefore, resist a a blind zeal, which, the hotter it burns, displeases God the more.—HEDINGER:—Where the cross is, there is flight.
BRAUNE:—As Christ withdrew Himself, at the beginning of His public ministry, into the wilderness, so also now at the conclusion of His mission.—He addresses Himself to Peter at once, to do all that He could to bring him to see his weakness.—It is not the Scripture which makes the necessity of fulfilment: but the will of God, revealed in the prophets, causes the fulfilment of the Scriptures. The darkness, likewise, stands beneath God’s light.—It is noticeable, that upon the spot where Jesus was seized by the band, Titus, the Roman commander, pitched his camp forty years after. The Turks, however, have walled the place where Judas kissed Christ, as an accursed spot.
BRIEGER:—Had Christ not been tempted as well from the side of terror as formerly from that of lust, the Scriptures could not say: He was tempted in all points.—Was that, perhaps, now fulfilled in His own person, which He prophesied of this time (Luke21:26)? Then did that statement receive its accomplishment in Gethsemane: “I have trodden the winepress alone,” Isa. 63:3.—Rabbi, Rabbi. It was the last Rabbi his lips uttered.—The whole transaction (the arrest of Christ) presents itself as a drama arranged by the chief council. But all the pretence being, destroyed, the leaders of the people stand before us as common criminals.—This terror could not have overmastered the disciples, had they not erred regarding the Lord. Being dissatisfied that Jesus did not deliver Himself from suffering, they held themselves bound to withdraw from danger.—GOSSNER, on Mark 14:27:—If thou canst not overcome sleep how wilt thou overcome death?—BAUER:—And these were the best of the disciples of Jesus!—Judas, accordingly, is there with his band already! He has been quick. Yes, sin runs a rapid race.
Mark 14:35.—The remarkable difference between προσελθών and προελθών is found here, just as in Matthew. Most MSS. are in favor of the first; the sense favors the second. If we retain προσελθών, the terminus ad quem is wanting: unless there he a reference to drawing near to God in prayer, קָרַב. Luke uses an expression denoting separation.
Mark 14:43.—After “Judas,” A., D., K., Lachmann, Tischendorf read ὸ ’Ισκαριώτης.]
[Mark 14:45.—The second ῥαββί omitted by Lachmann after B., C.*, D., L., Vulgate.]
[Mark 14:51,—Lachmann, Tischendorf, after B., C.*, D., L., Syriac, Persian, Coptic, Itala, Vulgate, omit οἱ νεανίσκοι.
[In Matt. 14:26 the words employed are ἐταράχθησαν, and ἀπὸ τοῦ φόβου ἔκραξαν.—Ed.]
And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.4. Christ betrayed to the Jews, in the Palace of the High Priest, and before the Ecclesiastical Court. The False Witnesses. The Truthful Witness, and His sublime Testimony. The Sentence of Death. Peter’s Denial. MARK 14:53–72
(Parallels: Matt. 26:57–75; Luke 22:54–71; John 18:12–27.)
A. Mark 14:53–65
53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests, and the elders, and the scribes. 54And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed him self at the fire. 55And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus, to put him to death; and found none. 56For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. 57And there arose certain, and bare false witness 58 against him, saying, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. 59But neither so did their witness agree together. 60And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 61But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 63Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? 64Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all con demned him to be guilty of death. 65And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike 21 him with the palms of their hands.
B. Mark 14:66–72
66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: 67And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. 68But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I 22 what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; [and the cock 69 crew]. 23 And a [the] maid saw him again, and began to say 24 to them that stood by, This is one of them. 70And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. 25 71But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of 72 whom ye speak. And 26 the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word 27 that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
See Matthew, and the parallel in Luke.—Mark gives the same account of the false witnesses as Matthew; but he is the only one who mentions the reason why the chief council obtained no false witness, viz.: the witnesses did not corroborate one another. Matthew selects two witnesses as testifying to Jesus’ statement respecting the destruction of the temple; Mark says, a few. Matthew had in mind the legal number which must be present; Mark, the smallness of the number. In Mark’s account, the false testimony is strongest on the point, “I will destroy this temple,” etc.; at the same time, he notices the contrast between the temple made with hands and that not made with hands. Again, he brings into view the conflicting nature of the testimony. Perhaps even in Matthew the divergent testimony is alluded to, under “I am able to destroy,” etc. According to Mark, the high priest comes forward into the midst. The silence is strongly marked. The adjuration of Jesus by the high priest is only implied in the remark, he interrogated Him. The testimony of Jesus is more strongly expressed than in Matthew, ἐγώ εἰμι. On the contrary, he does not report literally the sentence of death, as does Matthew. But, again, he gives us the distinct view of how the servants—probably the prison-warders—take Christ to lead Him to a place of safe custody till the next morning. Then he says that Peter was below in the entrance-hall (of the palace); and gives us, thus, to understand that the trial had taken place in an upper story, or at least in an elevated hall. The maid of the high priest calls Jesus, The Nazarene. The first statement of Peter is characteristically ambiguous. The first cock-crow is mentioned by Mark alone (according to the exact remembrance of Peter). The second attack, Mark again appears to place, contrary to Matthew, in the mouth of the same maid; but it is, without doubt, the portress of the προαύλιον that is meant. The ἕτερος here, alluded to by Luke, belongs to the bystanders, of whom Mark here informs us. The portress did not address Peter himself, but denounced him to those about: upon this, one of them laid hold of Peter. Of the second denial, Mark gives a shorter, and thus milder account, than Matthew; there is here no mention of the oath. Upon the second denial, immediately follows the second crowing of the cock. At the end, he marks, with a brief, forcible expression, ἐπιβαλὼν ἔκλαιε, the repentance of Peter.
Mark 14:53. And with him (αὐτῷ) were assembled.—Of course it is the high priest who is meant. The meaning given by Meyer is quite foreign to the passage: They come, that is, they meet Jesus there all at the same time. The words might, literally taken, bear this explanation; but the thought of their meeting there at the same time must have been expressed more precisely; not to mention, that according to Luke, several members of the Sanhedrim had joined themselves to the band, and had gone to meet the party. It was only because there was a council at the palace of the high priest that matters happened in this way, although, no doubt, the αὐτῷ which follows immediately must relate to Jesus.
Mark 14:54. At the fire, πρὸς τὸ φῶς.—It is an open hearth which lights and heats the hall at the same time, at which they warm themselves. The designation is employed to explain the circumstance, that Peter was recognized in the light of the fire.
Mark 14:56. Agreed not.—Two witnesses at least must agree, Deut. 17:6; 19:15. In the main, however, the witnesses must not contradict or another.
Mark 14:58. We heard Him say, I will destroy this temple.—The variations, as respects Matthew, constitute no difficulty in this passage; since, as is remarked by the Evangelist, the testimonies did not agree. In the contrast,—made with hands, made without hands,—we have probably one of the most false declarations. Meyer: From this it is evident that the one witness was not examined in the presence of the other. Let the conduct of the judges in the trial of Susanna be compared with this.
Mark 14:61. Of the Blessed.—The εὐλογητός, or הַבָּרוּךְ, in the absolute sense, is God. Undoubtedly this is a hypocritical expression of reverence in refraining from naming the name of God, intending to designate Christ’s declaration blasphemy of God, of the Blessed. “The Sanctus Benedictus of the Rabbis is well known (SCHÖTTGEN ad Rom. 9, 5).” Meyer.
Mark 14:63. His clothes, τοὺς χιτῶνας.—Comp. Note on Matt. 26:65. He tore all his clothing, except that which was next his body. Winer: Persons of respectability, and travellers, sometimes wore two articles of underclothing.
Mark 14:65. And some began.—Meyer: “The members of the Sanhedrim. The servants follow.” Rather the temple attendants, who were surrounding the Lord in the hall (see John and Luke): those who afterwards took Jesus into custody, under the designation of servants, are prison warders, as Matt. 5:25; hence servants in a special sense. Mark presents the scene of the mocking, which is given by Luke in detail, under the one aspect of abuse, which is in this way thrown out into stronger relief; and Matthew gives a similar view.
Mark 14:66. Beneath.—This in opposition to the hall of trial, which was higher.
Mark 14:68. I know not; or, it is unknown to me, not understood.—The double force in οὐκ οῖ̓δα οὐδὲ, κ.τ.λ., is difficult to express. If we translate, “I know not,” this is too little; “I know Him not,” this is too much; “I recognize not,”—then we have a phrase too decidedly unconnected.—Into the porch, or, according to Matthew, the entrance-hall. It is the same idea.
Mark 14:69. And a [the] maid.—As soon as she noticed him. On the comparison between Matthew, and Luke, and Mark, consult the introductory remarks to this section. And began to say again.—As the other had begun. The first πάλιν relates a repetition of the denunciation to the bystanders, the second πάλιν to the second denial of Peter in the same circumstances; the third πάλιν implies that those around had already once laid hands upon Christ, and in this way substantiates the recital of Luke, Mark 14:58.
Mark 14:70. For thou art a Galilean.—Not meaning: As Jesus is also; but among the other proofs that thou art one of them, is this, that thou art a Galilean.
Mark 14:72. And Peter called to mind the word.—A similar important thought or self-recollection of Peter is related in Mark 11:21.
And when he thought thereon, he wept.—It is extremely difficult to bring out clearly what ἐπιβαλὼν ἔκλαιε imports. For the various explanations, compare BRETSCHNEIDER’S Lexicon, De Wette, Meyer, etc. Many consider it as the Vulgate, cœpit flere; but this is not grammatically correct. Others, he went out hastily (analogous to the phrases in Matthew and Luke); others, he threw a covering over his head; or, he cast his eyes upon the Lord; or, he continued to weep; or, according to Ewald, he interrupted with his weeping the sound of the crowing (that is, answering with loud sobbing the crowing of the cock); or, he took notice of that sound, bethought himself of the matter. (De Wette: ̓Επιβαλών refers to the cock-crow; Meyer.). We find only three interpretations tenable: 1. He flung himself forth, that is, he involuntarily rushed out, as it were meeting the cock-crow as he hurried out, according to the narratives of Matthew and Luke. 2. Referring the phrase to the word of Jesus: he threw himself into it, under the condemnation of this word (took it to heart), and wept. Or, 3. making the cock-crowing to be as it were Christ’s waking call; and there upon he threw himself out of the place (as though Christ had called him; Leben Jesu, iii. 334), and wept. First a rushing forth, as if he had an external goal to reach, then a bitter sinking down into himself and weeping. The turning-point between the carnal and spiritual mode of viewing the life. He hastened forth at the call; on the outside, he found the call went inwards and upwards, and he stopped and wept.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. Comp. Matthew.
2. Peter has not extenuated his own fault; for from him, through Mark, we are informed that the first crowing did not suffice to recall him to his duty, but a second was needed.
3. In the three words, καὶ ἐπιβαλὼν ἔκλαιε, we have given to us the perfect revolution in Peter’s view of the world. As he rushes forth upon the call, as though in his remorse he sought some object exterior to himself, his world-view (his opinion of the world) is still an external one; when he begins to weep, it becomes an inner view. His whole outer world has fallen in ruins; he has no longer an external object of pursuit; he has been thrown back into himself, and comes through his inner self to the Lord, who has now become to him a new Christ in the light of the Spirit. Judas could not attain to this change and revolution: he rushed out—to the associates of his guilt, the chief priests—and they gave him, in his despair, the final blow. In the case of Peter it was: “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned.”
4. The maid mentioned in this passage, and Herodias, are the only examples of female wickedness, or enmity on the part of woman to what was good, recorded in the Gospels.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
See the parallel passages in Matthew.—The true Shepherd betrayed by a faithless disciple at the tribunal of a false world: 1. By the treachery of the false one, He stands is the Faithful One at the bar; 2. by the false judgment, He passes forth as the Faithful.—The false judgment passed by the world upon the Lord: 1. The false judges, who seek false witness against Him; 2. the false witnesses, who contradict one another; 3. the false judgment, which stamps the true praise of God as blasphemy, and represents blasphemy of God to be the judgment of God; 4. the false servants of God, who abuse and make a mock of the prisoner entrusted to their guardianship.—As the sun bursts through mist and clouds, so breaks Christ triumphantly through all the false obscurations of His honor (by false judges, witnesses, judgments, guards).—So does God’s truth, and work, break through all juggleries, deceits, and time-serving judgments, of sin and lying.—Christ’s true testimony and confession is the only star of salvation in the awful night of human destruction and judgment.—Self-contradiction, the everlasting self-judgment of Satan, of sin, and of Christ’s foes.—Christ the confessor, and Peter the denier (Christ was the divinely faithful friend to men, Judas the betrayer; Christ was He who held His ground, the disciples were the runaways).—The great and marvellous spiritual combat: 1. One strove against all, and yet for all; 2. He suffered as a lamb, yet conquered like a lion; 3. He is overcome, and yet He is the victor.—Contrast the powerful opponents of Christ and the weak opponents of Peter.—The difference between the Christ’s confession, and Peter’s Galilean dialect.—Mark how the chasm which bursts apart between Christ and His disciples unites them for ever: 1. The chasm which opens: Christ, the denied confessor; Peter, the positive denier. 2. Peter, now an actually humbled sinner; Christ, in the fullest sense, now his Saviour and Comforter.—The Lord’s great discourse in His deep silence.—Christ’s sublime silence at the world’s tribunal a prediction of His sublime speaking at the future judgment of the world.
STARKE:—QUESNEL:—Let the world say what it will, how entirely different are things to the eye of faith, from what they seem to the eye of the world! What is more distinguished than this assembly? There at the same time sanctity, rank, and wisdom appear to collect and unite together; and yet it is nothing but a company of murderers, and a godless assembly (except, indeed, that it possessed a historic right, which was destroyed at Christ’s crucifixion).—He who audaciously flings himself into danger, will soon find that he sinks continually deeper, till finally he cannot free himself.—CANSTEIN:—It is dangerous to be in the company of the wicked.—Alas! how much injustice is found in law-processes and contentions!—Envy.—Nova Bibl. Tub.:—Is it not to be deplored that many strive in behalf of the stones of the temple, and yet pull down and destroy the temple of the living God!—QUESNEL:—The greatest truths, when ill-understood, are often considered blasphemies, and furnish occasions for rage and tumult, Heb. 12:3.—Keep silent (before the godless world’s accusations).—Reply (to those who exercise authority).—One may mislead many.—As is the shepherd, such are the sheep [said in reference to the high priest. But this is only partially applicable].—When the higher classes condemn Christ, those beneath them mock Him. This is the effect of evil example. Oh! what an account is to be rendered!—Sufferings generally come in troops.—PETRUS:—Lies of necessity are not to be excused.—The cock which still crows, when we deny Jesus, is the conscience of each; ah, would that we heard its voice!—Bibl. Wirt.:—God uses every means to bring men to repentance.
BRAUNE:—Death was pronounced upon Christ: in the sight of God, the haters of the divine love had no right so to act; it was merely the seeming appearance of right before the people.—We never hear that these false witnesses were punished.—The first Epistle of Peter shows how changed his views regarding suffering and the cross had become. This change of view dates from his repentance.—BRIEGER:—His sitting at the right hand of God they were soon to find to be true (the founding of the Church, the Apostles’ acts, the destruction of Jerusalem, etc.)—Jesus, although awaiting condemnation and death, subdued Satan in His people.—This we recognize in the repentance of Peter.—GOSSNER:—Before Pentecost, the disciples fled from death; after Pentecost, they rejoiced in death.—BAUER:—A fearful assembly.—On Mark 14:72. Alas! how lonely, how isolated, does sin leave us in the world!
Mark 14:65.—Instead of ἔβαλλον, A., B., C., Lachmann, Tischendorf read ἔλαβον, “they took him” (away from the hall of judgment, into custody, i.e.).]
Mark 14:68.—We read, with Cod. A., &c., and the Recepta, οὐκ οἶδα, οὐδὲ ἐπίσταμαι. Certainly οὔτε, οὔτε is strongly attested by B., D., L., and is adopted by Tischendorf and Lachmann. We consider, however, this mode of expression too strong to be used in the circumstances. Matthew says, “I know not what thou sayest;” Luke, “I know Him not:” our reading, in what appears the original account, receives support from these two expressions.
Mark 14:68.—Καὶ ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησε, wanting in B., L., Coptic, bracketed by Lachmann; probably interpolated from the parallel passage in Matthew.
[The Greek runs: “And the maid (that kept the porch, i.e.), seeing him, again began to say,” &c.]
Mark 14:70.—Καὶ ἡ λαλια σου ὁμοιάζει, omitted in B., C., D., L., &c., and in the texts of Tischendorf and Lachmann. It is interpolated probably from Matthew.
[Mark 14:72.—Codd. B., D. have εὐθύς; A., C. have it not. Lachmann retains it; Tischendorf and Recepta reject it.]
Mark 14:72.—Τὸ ῥῆμα ὡς, A., B., C., L., Δ., Lachmann, Tischendorf.