Mark 12:40
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation."

King James Bible
Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

Darby Bible Translation
who devour the houses of widows, and as a pretext make long prayers. These shall receive a severer judgment.

World English Bible
those who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."

Young's Literal Translation
who are devouring the widows' houses, and for a pretence are making long prayers; these shall receive more abundant judgment.'

Mark 12:40 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Which devour widows' houses - Which devour the families of widows, or the means of supporting their families. This they did under pretence of counseling them in the knowledge of the law and in the management of their estates. They took advantage of their ignorance and their unprotected state, and either extorted large sums for their counsel, or perverted the property to their own use.

No wonder that our Saviour denounced them! If there is any sin of special enormity, it is that of taking advantage of the circumstances of the poor, the needy, and the helpless, to wrong them out of the pittance on which they depend for the support of their families; and as God is the friend of the widow and the fatherless, it may be expected that such will be visited with heavy condemnation.

For a pretence - For show, or "pretending" great devotion.

Mark 12:40 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Not Far and not In
'Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.'--Mark xii. 34, 'A bruised reed He will not break, and the smoking flax He will not quench.' Here is Christ's recognition of the low beginnings of goodness and faith. This is a special case of a man who appears to have fully discerned the spirituality and inwardness of law, and to have felt that the one bond between God and man was love. He needed only to have followed out the former thought to have been smitten by the conviction of his own sinfulness, and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Unity of the Divine Being
"There is one God." Mark 12:32. 1. And as there is one God, so there is one religion and one happiness for all men. God never intended there should be any more; and it is not possible there should. Indeed, in another sense, as the Apostle observes, "there are gods many, and lords many." All the heathen nations had their gods; and many, whole shoals of them. And generally, the more polished they were, the more gods they heaped up to themselves. But to us, to all that are favoured with the Christian
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Christ and the Sadduccees
"And there come unto Him Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection: and they asked Him, saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave a wife behind him, and leave no child, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. There were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed; and the second took her, and died, leaving no seed behind him; and the third likewise: and the seven left no seed. Last of all the woman also
G. A. Chadwick—The Gospel of St. Mark

The Discerning Scribe
"And one of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together, and knowing that He had answered them well, asked Him, What commandment is the first of all? Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said
G. A. Chadwick—The Gospel of St. Mark

Cross References
Matthew 23:13
"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

Matthew 23:14
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

Mark 12:39
and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets,

Luke 20:47
who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."

2 Corinthians 11:20
For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face.

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