Mark 14:53
And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
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(53-65) And they led Jesus away.—See Notes on Matthew 26:57-66.

Mark 14:53-54. And they led Jesus away to the high-priest — To Annas first, who had been high-priest, and afterward to his son-in-law, Caiaphas, who then sustained the office. And with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes — Or the chief persons of the sanhedrim, with their proper officers, convened by Caiaphas on this important occasion. And Peter followed him afar off — Though he had at first forsaken Christ, and shifted for himself, as the rest of his companions did, yet afterward he and John bethought themselves, and determined to return, that they might see what would become of him: even unto the palace of the high-priest — See on Matthew 26:57. It appears, from the circumstance of Peter and John’s being ready to go into Caiaphas’s house with the band which conducted Jesus, that they had quickly recovered themselves after their flight.

14:53-65 We have here Christ's condemnation before the great council of the Jews. Peter followed; but the high priest's fire-side was no proper place, nor his servants proper company, for Peter: it was an entrance into temptation. Great diligence was used to procure false witnesses against Jesus, yet their testimony was not equal to the charge of a capital crime, by the utmost stretch of their law. He was asked, Art thou the Son of the Blessed? that is, the Son of God. For the proof of his being the Son of God, he refers to his second coming. In these outrages we have proofs of man's enmity to God, and of God's free and unspeakable love to man.See this fully explained in the notes at Matthew 26:57-75. Mr 14:53-72. Jesus Arraigned before the Sanhedrim, Condemned to Die, and Shamefully Entreated—The Fall of Peter. ( = Mt 26:57-75; Lu 22:54-71; Joh 18:13-18, 24-27).

Had we only the first three Gospels, we should have concluded that our Lord was led immediately to Caiaphas, and had before the Council. But as the Sanhedrim could hardly have been brought together at the dead hour of night—by which time our Lord was in the hands of the officers sent to take Him—and as it was only "as soon as it was day" that the Council met (Lu 22:66), we should have had some difficulty in knowing what was done with Him during those intervening hours. In the Fourth Gospel, however, all this is cleared up, and a very important addition to our information is made (Joh 18:13, 14, 19-24). Let us endeavor to trace the events in the true order of succession, and in the detail supplied by a comparison of all the four streams of text.

Jesus Is Brought Privately before Annas, the Father-in-Law of Caiaphas (Joh 18:13, 14).

Joh 18:13:

And they led Him away to Annas first; for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year—This successful Annas, as Ellicott remarks, was appointed high priest by Quirinus, A.D. 12, and after holding the office for several years, was deposed by Valerius Gratius, Pilate's predecessor in the procuratorship of Judea [Josephus, Antiquities, 18.2.1, &c.]. He appears, however, to have possessed vast influence, having obtained the high priesthood, not only for his son Eleazar, and his son-in-law Caiaphas, but subsequently for four other sons, under the last of whom James, the brother of our Lord, was put to death [Antiquities, 20.9.1]. It is thus highly probable that, besides having the title of "high priest" merely as one who had filled the office, he to a great degree retained the powers he had formerly exercised, and came to be regarded practically as a kind of rightful high priest.

Joh 18:14:

Now Caiaphas was he which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. See on [1509]Joh 11:51. What passed between Annas and our Lord during this interval the beloved disciple reserves till he has related the beginning of Peter's fall. To this, then, as recorded by our own Evangelist, let us meanwhile listen.

Peter Obtains Access within the Quadrangle of the High Priest's Residence, and Warms Himself at the Fire (Mr 14:53, 54).

53. And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled—or rather, "there gathered together unto him."

all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes—it was then a full and formal meeting of the Sanhedrim. Now, as the first three Evangelists place all Peter's denials of his Lord after this, we should naturally conclude that they took place while our Lord stood before the Sanhedrim. But besides that the natural impression is that the scene around the fire took place overnight, the second crowing of the cock, if we are to credit ancient writers, would occur about the beginning of the fourth watch, or between three and four in the morning. By that time, however, the Council had probably convened, being warned, perhaps, that they were to prepare for being called at any hour of the morning, should the Prisoner be successfully secured. If this be correct, it is fairly certain that only the last of Peter's three denials would take place while our Lord was under trial before the Sanhedrim. One thing more may require explanation. If our Lord had to be transferred from the residence of Annas to that of Caiaphas, one is apt to wonder that there is no mention of His being marched from the one to the other. But the building, in all likelihood, was one and the same; in which case He would merely have to be taken perhaps across the court, from one chamber to another.

Ver. 53-65. This history of our Saviour’s examination before the high priest we had in Matthew 26:57-68:

See Poole on "Matthew 26:57", and following verses to Matthew 26:68. It should seem the high priests and council were very eager upon this thing. This council seems to have sat up all night, for early in the morning they carried him (condemned by them) to Pilate, and before twelve they brought him out of the city to be crucified. These wretched hypocrites had but the evening before been taking the passover. It was now the feast of unleavened bread. This was now the first fruit of their thanksgiving to God, for bringing them out of the land of Egypt; besides that their keeping a court of judgment in a capital case on a holy day, or in the night, were things against all rules of order. But the rage of persecutors can be neither bounded by the laws of God or men. If the servants of God still be thus treated, they are in this more like Christ, who hath told them, that the disciple is not above his master. But see further in the notes on Matthew twenty-six.

And they led Jesus away to the high priest,.... Caiaphas, as is added in the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions. This was done, after they had took Jesus and bound, him, and after they had had him to Annas, who sent him bound to Caiaphas; see John 18:12;

and with him, the high priest Caiaphas,

were assembled all the chief priests, and the elders, and the Scribes; even the whole sanhedrim, who met at Caiaphas's house, and were waiting there for Jesus; whom Judas with his band of soldiers and others, were gone to secure, and brng before them; See Gill on Matthew 26:57.

And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were {n} assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.

(n) The highest council was assembled because Christ was accused as a blasphemer and a false prophet: for as to the other crime of treason, it was forged against him by the priest in order to force Pilate to condemn him.

Mark 14:53-54. See on Matthew 26:57 f. Comp. Luke 22:54 f.

τρὸς τ. ἀρχιερ.] i.e. Caiaphas, not Annas, as appears from Matthew.

συνέρχονται αὐτῷ] is usually explained: they come together to Him (the high priest), in which case the dative is either taken as that of the direction (Fritzsche), or is made to depend upon συν: with him, i.e. at his house, they assemble. But always in the N. T. (Luke 23:55; Acts 1:21; Acts 9:39, al.), even in John 11:33, συνέρχεσθαί τινι means: to come with any one, una cum aliquo venire (comp. Winer, p. 193 [E. T. 269]); and αὐτῷ, in accordance with the following ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ, is most naturally to be referred to Jesus. Hence: and there came with Him all the chief priests,[169] i.e. at the same time, as Jesus is led in, there come also all the chief priests, etc., who, namely, had been bespoken for this time of the arranged arrest of the delinquent. This view of the meaning, far from being out of place, is quite in keeping with the vivid representation of Mark.

πρὸς τὸ φῶς] at the fire-light, Luke 22:56. See Raphel, Polyb. p. 151; Sturz, Lex. Xen. IV. p. 519 f. According to Baur, indeed, this is an expression unsuitably borrowed from Luke.

[169] Whither? is clearly shown from the context, namely, to the ἀρχιερεύς. This in opposition to Wieseler, Synops. p. 406.

Mark 14:53-65. Before Caiaphas (Matthew 26:57-68, Luke 22:54; Luke 22:66-71).

53–65. The Jewish Trial

53. And they led Jesus away] They bound Him first (John 18:12), and then conducted Him across the Kidron and up the road leading into the city.

to the high priest] This we know from St John was Caiaphas. But our Lord was first brought to the palace of Annas his father-in-law (John 18:13). This was either at the suggestion of some of the ruling powers, or in accordance with previous arrangement, that his “snake-like” astuteness as president of the Sanhedrim might help his less crafty son-in-law. The palace seems to have been jointly occupied by both as a common official residence, and thither, though it was deep midnight, the chief priests, elders, and scribes repaired.

Mark 14:53. Συνέρχονται αὐτῷ, are assembled with him) By his edict.

Verse 53. - And they led Jesus away to the high priest. This high priest was Caiaphas. But we learn from St. John (John 18:13) that our Lord was first brought before Annas, the father-in-law of Caiphas. Annas and his five sons held the high priesthood in succession, Caiaphas, his son-in-law, stepping in between the first and the second son, and holding the office for twelve years. It is supposed that it was in the house of Annas that the price of the betrayal was paid to Judas. Annas, though not then high priest, must have had considerable influence in the counsels of the Sanhedrim; and this will probably explain the fact of our Lord having been first taken to him. Mark 14:53
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