Matthew Poole's Commentary
And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.Mark 10:1 Christ teacheth in Judea,
Mark 10:2-12 answereth the Pharisees’ question concerning divorce,
Mark 10:13-16 blesseth the children that were brought unto him,
Mark 10:17-22 instructs a rich man how to attain eternal life,
Mark 10:23-27 showeth how hard it is for the rich to enter into the
kingdom of God,
Mark 10:28-31 promises rewards to all who have forsaken aught for
his gospel’s sake,
Mark 10:32-34 foretells of his own death and resurrection,
Mark 10:35-45 puts by the ambitious suit of the sons of Zebedee,
and checks the indignation of the other disciples thereat,
Mark 10:46-52 giveth sight to blind Bartimaeus.
We have nothing in this whole chapter but what we found before in Matthew 19:1-20:34. When Christ had the discourses mentioned in the former chapter, he was in Galilee; now he departeth from Galilee, passes through Samaria, and comes into the province of Judea, which being the chiefest, and that in which Jerusalem was, he was there more than before troubled with the scribes and Pharisees; who were now watching him in all his words and actions, that they might have somewhat whereof to accuse him.
And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.Matthew adds, for every cause, that is, for any cause, unless for adultery, for so the Pharisees had interpreted the law permitting divorce, Deu 24:1, taking advantage of those words, that she find no favour in his eyes, and interpreting the term uncleanness following, of any deformity, or other cause of dislike.
And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?Ver. 3-9. The order of the discourse as recorded by Mark something differeth from that in Matthew, but the evangelists were not so accurate in that, but took care only to set down the substance of the discourse, as appears from the relation of several other parts of the history. In the notes on Matthew 19:3-6 the reader will find whatsoever stands in need of explication opened.
See Poole on "Matthew 19:3", and following verses to Matthew 19:6.
And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.See Poole on "Mark 10:3"
And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.See Poole on "Mark 10:3"
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.See Poole on "Mark 10:3"
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;See Poole on "Mark 10:3"
And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.See Poole on "Mark 10:3"
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.See Poole on "Mark 10:3"
And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.Ver. 10-12. Matthew 5:32 19:9, interprets this passage of Mark, by adding those words, except it be for fornication. None but Mark alone hath what is in Mark 10:12, which concerneth the woman; which hath made some doubt whether the woman, in case of the husband’s adultery, may sue a divorce from him, but the most judicious interpreters say there is an equal right on both sides. I am sure the reason is equal on both sides. The adultery of the husband dissolves the tie and covenant of marriage, as well as the adultery of the wife. It is yet a more groundless and unreasonable opinion of some from the words of this and the parallel texts, that persons divorced may not marry again; as if God’s end in the law of divorce in case of adultery were merely to separate the wife from the husband’s bed. Whether the person that hath given the cause for the divorce may marry again, may be more disputed, not only because such persons are dead persons in the law of God, but because such a liberty granted would open a flood gate to iniquity of that kind, while persons weary of their correlates should by this means gratify their lusts, and also obtain their desires. But I shall not determine it. Certain it is our Saviour here speaketh only of divorces for trivial causes, which the law of God doth not warrant; and in such cases the person marrying again must necessarily commit adultery, because the band of the former union holds. As to the question, whether divorces be lawful in no cases but that of adultery;
See Poole on "Matthew 5:31", See Poole on "Matthew 5:32". See Poole on "Matthew 19:3", and following verses to Matthew 19:11.
And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.See Poole on "Mark 10:10"
And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.See Poole on "Mark 10:10"
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.Ver. 13-16. This is reported both by Matthew and Luke, only they both omit what we here have, Mark 10:15. By the kingdom of God, is doubtless to be understood the word of God, or rather the grace of Christ in the gospel: he that doth not receive it with humility and modesty, without disputing, without malice, like a little child, shall never come into heaven.
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.See Poole on "Mark 10:13"
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.See Poole on "Mark 9:13"
And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.See Poole on "Mark 10:13"
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?Luke saith he was a ruler. His question signified, that he believed such a thing as a happy eternal existence of good souls, and that he desired it, and that he was willing to do something in order to the obtaining a share and portion in it.
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.That is, originally good, and supremely good, or perfectly good. Herein our Saviour doth not deny himself to be God, but checked him who did not believe him such, yet called him God.
Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.Ver. 19,20. That is, in that latitude to which the doctors of the Jewish church at that time expounded them.
And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.See Poole on "Mark 10:19"
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.Ver. 21,22. See Poole on "Matthew 19:21", See Poole on "Matthew 19:22". Christ had a humane compassion towards so civil a person, but showeth him, that love was the fulfilling of the law, and that love is seen in a resolution to yield a universal obedience to the will of God. Our Saviour imposes a special precept upon him, conjoined with two general precepts concerning all the disciples of Christ, to which his not yielding obedience showed that he was mistaken in his notion, that he had from his youth kept the commandments, though it might be true according to that law interpretation of them given by the Pharisees.
And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.See Poole on "Mark 10:21"
And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!Ver. 23-27. See Poole on "Matthew 10:23", and following verses to Matthew 10:26, where the same history occurred, and all the additions to it here are opened.
And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!See Poole on "Mark 10:23"
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.See Poole on "Mark 10:23"
And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?See Poole on "Mark 10:23"
And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.See Poole on "Mark 10:23"
Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.Ver. 28-31. See Poole on "Matthew 19:27", and following verses to Matthew 19:30. Our Saviour having blessed the poor, especially such as had stripped themselves of all for his sake and the gospel’s, Peter raised up hopes to himself, who had no riches to trust in or have his heart cleave unto, and had stripped himself of all that little he had to follow Christ. Christ assures him that neither he, nor any other that had done so, should by it lose any thing; for though in this life they should have persecutions, yet they should be amply rewarded in value, if not in kind, in this world, and with infinite happiness in the next.
And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,See Poole on "Mark 10:28"
But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.See Poole on "Mark 10:28"
But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.See Poole on "Mark 10:28"
And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,Ver. 32-34. See Poole on "Matthew 20:17", and following verses to Matthew 20:19. This is at least the third time that our Saviour instructs his disciples as to his passion, toward which he was now going, and that with such a readiness, that, to the amazement of his disciples, he led the way, and outwent them. It is observable that Christ here describeth his sufferings more particularly than before. He tells them here that he should be first
delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they should condemn him. Then they should
deliver him to the Gentiles, ( such were the Romans and Pontius Pilate), and they should
mock him, scourge him, spit on him, put him to death, but he should rise again the third day. Luke adds, Luke 18:34, They understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken. How hardly do we believe what seems contrary to our interests! But we are to hear for the time to come. This premonition was afterwards of use to them, they remembered the words of Jesus when the things were come to pass. Preachers’ words are not lost, though at present they be not believed or hearkened to.
Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:See Poole on "Mark 10:32"
And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.See Poole on "Mark 10:32"
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.Ver. 35-41. See Poole on "Matthew 20:20", and following verses to Matthew 20:24, where we have the same history with little or no variation, only Matthew tells us that James and John did that by their mother which Mark reports as done by them in person; but there is nothing more ordinary even in our common discourse than to speak of that as done by ourselves, which is done by another on our behalf, at our command or solicitation. Both the evangelists agree in all the other parts of their relation, and in the following discourse also very much.
And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?See Poole on "Mark 10:35"
They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.See Poole on "Mark 10:35"
But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?See Poole on "Mark 10:35"
And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:See Poole on "Mark 10:35"
But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.See Poole on "Mark 10:35"
And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.See Poole on "Mark 10:35"
But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.Ver. 42-45. See Poole on "Matthew 20:25", and following verses to Matthew 20:28, where we had the same almost verbatim. Those that think it worth the while to inquire what critical men say about that phrase, oi dokountev arcein, which we translate they which are accounted to rule, may find it in Pool’s Synopsis Criticorum. When all is said, doubtless the oi arcontev in Matthew, and oi dokountev arcein, and Luke’s oi basileiv, signify the same persons. And our translators might as justifiably have translated those words, the rulers, as
they which are accounted to rule, which is a translation the active participle will hardly bear.
But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:See Poole on "Mark 10:42"
And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.See Poole on "Mark 10:42"
For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.Ver. 45. See Poole on "Mark 10:42"
And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.Ver. 46-52. This history is a mere narrative of a matter of fact, in the relation of which no difficulties occur which stand in need of explication. Matthew, Mark, and Luke relate it with but two considerable differences. Matthew mentions two blind men, the other two evangelists but one. It is probable the one was the more remarkable, and his father a person of some note, therefore he is mentioned also; the other probably some obscurer person. Luke reports it done, as he was come nigh unto Jericho; Matthew and Mark, as he went out of Jericho: but though Luke saith that he sat begging by the way as they came nigh to Jericho, yet he doth not say the miracle of his cure was wrought then. It is most probable that he followed Christ into Jericho, crying after him, and also when he went out of Jericho, and that it was as he went out of Jericho (as Matthew and Mark say) that our Saviour took notice of him, called him, and wrought the cure upon him.
See Poole on "Matthew 20:29", and following verses to Matthew 20:34.
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.See Poole on "Mark 10:46"
And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.See Poole on "Mar 40:46"
And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.See Poole on "Mar 40:46"
And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.See Poole on "Mark 10:46"
And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.See Poole on "Mark 10:46"
And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.See Poole on "Mark 10:46"