Mark 12
Meyer's NT Commentary

Mark 12:1. λέγειν] B G L Δ א, min. Syr. Vulg. It. have λαλεῖν. So Lachm. and Tisch. The testimony of the codd. in favour of λέγειν remains doubtless strong enough, nevertheless λαλεῖν is to be preferred, because there immediately follows what Jesus said, and therefore the change into λέγειν was readily suggested. Comp. Mark 3:23.

Mark 12:3. οἱ δέ] Lachm. Tisch. have καί, following B D L Δ א, min. Copt. Cant. 12 :Verc. Vind. It is from Matthew 21:25.

Mark 12:4. λιθοβολήσ.] is wanting in B D L Δ א, min. Copt. Arm. Vulg. It. Almost all the above witnesses have afterwards instead of ἀπέστ. ἠτιμωμ.: ἠτίμησαν. Fritzsche, Lachm. Tisch. have followed the former omission and this reading, and rightly; λιθοβολ. is a gloss on ἐκεφαλ. from Matthew 21:35, and ἀπέστ. ἠτιμωμένον is a reading conformed to the conclusion of Mark 12:3.

Mark 12:5. καὶ ἄλλον] Elz. Scholz have καὶ πάλιν ἄλλ., in opposition to preponderating evidence; πάλιν is a mechanical repetition from Mark 12:4.

Instead of τούς is to be written οὕς both times, following B L Δ א, min. with Fritzsche, Lachm. Tisch.

The Aeolic form ἀποκτέννοντες is on decisive evidence to be adopted, with Fritzsche, Lachm. Tisch. Comp. the critical remarks on Matthew 10:28.

Mark 12:6. The arrangement ἕνα ἔχων υἱόν is required by decisive evidence (Fritzsche, Lachm., comp. Tisch.), of which, however, B C** L Δ א, 33 have εἶχεν instead of ἔχων (so Tisch. rightly, as ἔχων is an emendation of the construction). Almost the same witnesses omit the οὖν after ἔτι; it is, with Tisch., to be deleted as a connective addition, as, moreover, αὐτοῦ after ἀγαπ. is a decidedly condemned mechanical addition.

Mark 12:8. Such preponderating evidence is in favour of the superfluous αὐτόν after ἐξέβαλ., that it is to be adopted with Lachm. and Tisch.

Mark 12:14. οἱ δέ] B C D L Δ א, 33, Copt. codd. of the It. have καί. So Fritzsche, Lachm. From Luke 20:21, whence also many variations with ἐπηρώτων have come into our passage.

Mark 12:17. The arrangement τὰ Καίσαρος ἀπόδ. Καίσαρι (Tisch.) is to be preferred, in accordance with B C L Δ א, 28, Syr. Copt. The placing of ἀπόδοτε first (Elz. Lachm.) is from the parallels.

ἐθαύμασαν] Lachm. has ἐθαύμαζον. But among the codd. which read the imperfect (B D L Δ א), B א have ἐξεθαύμαζον (D* has ἐξεθαυμάζοντο). This ἐξεθαύμαζον (Tisch.) is to be preferred. The simple form and the aorist are from the parallels.

Mark 12:18. ἐπηρώτησαν] Lachm. Tisch. have ἐπηρώτων, following B C D L Δ א, 33; the aorist is from the parallels.

Mark 12:19. τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ] αὐτοῦ is wanting in B C L Δ א, min. Copt., and is from Matthew.

Mark 12:20. After ἑπτά Elz. Fritzsche have οὖν, against decisive evidence; it is from Luke 20:29; instead of which some other witnesses have δέ (from Matthew).

Mark 12:21. καὶ οὐδὲ αὐτὸς ἀφῆκε] B C L Δ א, 33, Copt. have μὴ καταλιπών. Approved by Bornemann in the Stud. u. Krit. 1843, p. 133, adopted by Tisch. But if the Recepta had originated from what precedes and follows, it would have run simply καὶ οὐκ ἀφῆκε; the καὶ οὐδὲ αὐτός does not look like the result of a gloss, and might even become offensive on account of its emphasis.

Mark 12:22. ἔλβον αὐτήν] is wanting in B M, min. Colb., also C L Δ א, min. Copt., which, moreover, omit καί before οὐκ. Fritzsche has deleted ἔλαβον αὐτ., Lachm. has merely bracketed it; Tisch. has struck out, besides ἔλαβ. αὐτ., the καί also before οὐκ. Rightly; the short reading: καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐκ ἀφῆκαν σπέρμα, was completed in conformity with Mark 12:21.

ἐσχάτη] Fritzsche, Lachm. Tisch. have ἔσχατον, certainly on considerable attestation; but it is an emendation (comp. Matthew and Luke: ὕστερον), on account of the difference of the genders (ἐσχ. feminine, πάντ. masculine).

The order καὶ ἡ γυνὴ ἀπέθ. is, with Fritzsche, Lachm., Tisch., to be adopted. The Recepta is from the parallels.

Mark 12:23. After ἐν τῇ Elz. Lachm. Scholz have οὖν, which important witnesses omit, others place after ἀναστ. From the parallels.

ὅταν ἀναστῶσι] is wanting in B C D L Δ א, min. vss. Condemned by Griesb., bracketed by Lachm. It is to be maintained, for there was no occasion for any gloss; its absolute superfluousness, however, the absence of any such addition in the parallels, and the similarity of ἀναστάσει and ἀναστῶσι, occasioned the omission.

Mark 12:25. γαμίσκονται] A F H, min. have ἐκγαμίσκονται. B C G L U Δ א, min. have γαμίζονται. Consequently the testimonies in favour of the Recepta are left so weak (even D falls away, having γαμίζουσιν), and γαμίζονται has so much the preponderance, that it is, with Fritzsche, Lachm. Tisch., to be adopted. Comp. on Matthew 22:30.

Before ἐν Elz. has οἱ. The weight of the evidence is divided. But since this οἱ after ἄγγελΟΙ was more easily dropped out than brought in (by being written twice over), and is wanting also in Matthew, it is to be maintained.

Mark 12:26. Instead of τοῦ βάτου Elz. has τῆς βάτου, in opposition to decisive evidence.

Decisive evidence condemns in Mark 12:27 the article before Θεός, and then Θεός before ζώντων; just as also ὑμεῖς οὖν before πολὺ πλανᾶσθε is, following B C L Δ א, Copt., to be struck out, with Tisch., as being an addition to these short pithy words.

Mark 12:28. εἰδώς] Fritzsche, Lachm. Tisch. have ἰδών (Fritzsche: καὶ ἰδών). So, with or without καί (which is a connective interpolation), in C D L א* min. vss., including Syr. Arm. Vulg. It. Aug. But these witnesses are not preponderating, and εἰδώς might easily seem unsuitable and give way to the more usual ἰδών; comp. Mark 12:34.

The order ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς has been preferred by Schulz, Fritzsche, and Tisch. (following Gersd. p. 526), in accordance with B C L Δ א, min. Copt. Theophylact. But it was just the customary placing of the pronoun after the verb that occasioned the inversion of the words, in which the intention with which αὐτοῖς was prefixed was not observed. It is otherwise at Mark 14:40.

Instead of πάντων Elz. has πασῶν, contrary to decisive evidence.

Mark 12:29. The Recepta is ὅτι πρώτη πασῶν τῶν ἐντολῶν. Very many variations. Griesb. and Fritzsche have ὅτι πρώτη πάντων ἐντολή, following A, min. Scholz reads ὅτι πρ. πάντων τῶν ἐντολῶν, following E F G H S, min. Lachm. has ὅτι πρ. πάντων [ἐντολή ἐστιν]. Tisch. has ὅτι πρώτη ἐστιν, following B L Δ א, Copt. The latter is the original form, which, according to the question of Mark 12:28 and its various readings, was variously amplified, and in the process ἐστίν was partly dropped.

Mark 12:30. αὕτη πρώτη ἐντολή] is wanting in B E L Δ א, Copt. Deleted by Tisch. An addition in accordance with Matthew, with variations in details, following Mark 12:28-29.

Mark 12:31. Instead of καὶ δευτ. read, with Tisch., merely δευτ.

Elz. Griesb. Scholz have ὁμοία αὕτη; Fritzsche, Lachm. have ὁμ. αὐτῇ; Tisch. merely αὕτη. The last is attested by B L Δ א, Copt., and is to be preferred, since ὁμοία very readily suggested itself to be written on the margin from Matthew.

Mark 12:32. After εἷς ἔστι Elz. has Θεός; a supplement in opposition to preponderant evidence.

Mark 12:33. καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ψυχ.] is wanting in B L Δ א, min. Copt. Verc. Marcell. in Eus. Condemned by Rinck, bracketed by Lachm., deleted by Tisch. But if it were an addition, it would have been inserted after καρδίας (comp. Mark 12:30). On the other hand, the arrangement different from Mark 12:30 might easily draw after it the omission.

The article before θυσιῶν (in Elz.) is decisively condemned.

Mark 12:36. γάρ] is wanting in B L Δ א, min. Copt. Verc., while D, Arm. read καὶ αὐτός, and Colb. Corb. have autem. Lachm. has bracketed γάρ, and Tisch. has deleted it. The latter is right. The connection was variously supplied.

Mark 12:37. οὖν] is wanting in B D L Δ א, min. copt. Syr. p. codd. It. Hil. Bracketed by Lachm., deleted by Tisch. An addition from the parallels.

Mark 12:43. εἶπεν] instead of the Recepta λέγει (which Scholz, Rinck, Tisch. defend), is decisively attested, as also is ἔβαλε (Lachm.) instead of the Recepta βέβληκε. In place of βαλόντ. (Elz.), βαλλόντ. must be written on decisive attestation.

And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
Mark 12:1-12. See on Matthew 21:33-46. Comp. Luke 20:9-19. Matthew makes another kindred parable precede, which was undoubtedly likewise original, and to be found in the collection of Logia (Mark 12:28-32), and he enriches the application of the parable before us in an equally original manner; while, we may add, the presentation in Mark is simpler and more fresh, not related to that of Matthew in the way of heightened and artificial effect (Weiss).

ἤρξατο] after that dismissal of the chief priests, etc.

αὐτοῖς] therefore not as Luke has it: πρὸς τὸν λαόν, to which also Matthew is opposed.

ἐν παραβολαῖς] parabolically. The plural expression is generic; comp. Mark 3:22, Mark 4:2. Hence it is not surprising (Hilgenfeld). Comp. also John 16:24.

Mark 12:2. According to Mark and Luke, the lord receives a part of the fruits; the rest is the reward of the vine-dressers. It is otherwise in Matthew.

Mark 12:4. Observe how compendiously Matthew sums up the contents of Mark 12:4-5.[146]

κἀκεῖνον] The conception of maltreatment lies at the foundation of the comparative also, just as at Mark 12:5. Comp. on Matthew 15:3.

ἐκεφαλαίωσαν] they beat him on the head. The word is not further preserved in this signification (Vulg.: in capite vulnerarunt), but only in the meaning: to gather up as regards the main substance, to set forth summarily (Thuc. iii. 67. 5, viii. 53. 1; Herod. iii. 159; Sir 35:8); but this is wholly inappropriate in this place, since it is not, with Wakefield, Silv. crit. II. p. 76 f., to be changed into the meaning: “they made short work with him.”[147] We have here a veritable solecism; Mark confounded κεφαλαιόω with ΚΕΦΑΛΊΖΩ, perhaps after the analogy of ΓΝΑΘΌΩ and ΓΥΙΌΩ (Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 9 5).

ἠτίμησαν (see the critical remarks): they dishonoured him, treated him disgracefully, the general statement after the special ἐκεφαλ. The word is poetical, especially epic (Hom. Il. i. 11, ix. 111; Od. xvi. 274, al.; Pind. Pyth. ix. 138; Soph. Aj. 1108; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 251), as also in this sense the later form ἀτιμόω, of frequent use in the LXX. (Eur. Hel. 462, al.), which in the prose writers is used in the sense of inflicting dishonour by depriving of the rights of citizenship (also in Xen. Ath. i. 14, where ἀτιμοῦσι is to be read).

Mark 12:5. Κ. ΠΟΛΛΟῪς ἌΛΛΟΥς] Here we have to supply: they maltreated—the dominant idea in what is previously narrated (comp. κἀκεῖνον, Mark 12:4-5, where this conception lay at the root of the ΚΑΊ), and to which the subsequent elements ΔΈΡΟΝΤΕς and ἈΠΟΚΤΕΝΝΌΝΤΕς are subordinated. Comp. Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 252 [E. T. 293]. But Mark does not write “in a disorderly and slipshod manner,” as de Wette supposes, but just like the best classical writers, who leave the finite verb to be supplied from the context in the case of participles and other instances. See Bornemann, ad Xen. Sympos. iv. 53; Hermann, ad Viger. p. 770; Nägelsbach, Anm. z. Ilias, ed. 3, p. 179.

Mark 12:6. The ἔτι ἕνα εἶχεν υἱὸν ἀγ. (see the critical remarks), which is peculiar to the graphic Mark, has in it something touching, to which the bringing of ἝΝΑ into prominence by the unusual position assigned to it contributes. Then, in vivid connection therewith stands the contrast of Mark 12:7-8; and the trait of the parable contained in Mark 12:7 f. certainly does not owe its introduction to Mark (Weiss).

Mark 12:8. Not a hysteron proteron (Grotius, Heumann, de Wette), a mistake, which is with the greatest injustice imputed to the vividly graphic Mark; but a different representation from that of Matthew and Luke: they killed him, and threw him (the slain) out of the vineyard. In the latter there is the tragic element of outrage even against the corpse, which is not, however, intended to be applied by way of special interpretation to Jesus.

Mark 12:9. ἐλεύσεται κ.τ.λ.] not an answer of the Pharisees (Vatablus, Kuinoel, following Matthew 21:41); but Jesus Himself is represented by Mark as replying to His own question.[148]

Mark 12:10. οὐδέ] What Jesus has set before them in the way of parable concerning the rejection of the Messiah and His divine justification, is also prophesied in the Scripture, Psalm 118:22; hence He continues: have ye not also read this Scripture, etc.? On γραφή, that which is drawn up in writing, used of individual passages of Scripture, comp. Luke 4:21; John 19:37; Acts 1:16; Acts 8:35.

Mark 12:12. καὶ ἐφοβ. τ. ὄχλ.] καί connects adversative clauses without changing its signification, Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 147 f.; Winer, p. 388 [E. T. 545]. It is an emphatic and in the sense of: and yet. Especially frequent in John.

The words ἔγνωσαν γὰρεἶπε, which are not to be put in a parenthesis, are regarded as illogically placed (see Beza, Heupel, Fritzsche, Baur, Hilgenfeld, and others), and are held to have their proper place after κρατῆσαι. But wrongly. Only let ἔγνωσαν be referred not, with these interpreters, to the chief priests, scribes, and elders, but to the ὄχλος, which was witness of the transaction in the temple-court. If the people had not observed that Jesus was speaking the parable in reference to (πρός) them (the chief priests, etc., as the γεωργούς), these might have ventured to lay hold on Him; but, as it was, they might not venture on this, but had to stand in awe of the people, who would have seen at once in the arrest of Jesus the fulfilment of the parable, and would have interested themselves on His behalf. The chief priests, etc., were cunning enough to avoid this association, and left Him and went their way. In this manner also Luke 20:19 is to be understood; he follows Mark.

[146] All the less ought the several δοῦλοι to be specifically defined; as, for instance, according to Victor Antiochenus, by the first servant is held to be meant Elias and the contemporary prophets; by the second, Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos; by the third, Ezekiel and Daniel. That the expression in vv. 2–4 is in the singular, notwithstanding the plurality of prophets, cannot in a figurative discourse be surprising, and cannot justify the conjecture that here another parable—of the three years of Christ’s ministry—has been interwoven (Weizsäcker).

[147] This explanation is set aside by αὐτόν, which, moreover, is opposed to the view of Theophylact: συνετέλεσαν καὶ ἐκορύφωσαν τὴν υβριν. The middle is used in Greek with an accusative of the person (τινά), but in the sense: briefly to describe any one. See Plat. Pol. ix. p. 576 B.

[148] That the opponents themselves are compelled to pronounce judgment (Matthew), appears an original trait. But the form of their answer in Matthew (κακοὺς κακῶς κ.τ.λ.) betrays, as compared with Mark, a later artificial manipulation.

And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.
And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.
And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.
And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.
Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.
But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.
And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.
And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:
This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.
And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.
Mark 12:13-17. See on Matthew 22:15-22. Comp. Luke 20:20-26. Mark is more concise and vivid than Matthew.

ἀποστέλλουσι] the chief priests, scribes, and elders (Mark 11:27), whereas Matthew inaccurately refers this new and grave temptation to the Pharisees as its authors.

ἵνα αὐτ. ἀγρεύσ. λόγῳ] in order that they (these messengers) might ensnare Him by means of an utterance, i.e. by means of a question, which they were to address to Him. See Mark 12:14. Comp. Mark 11:29. The hunting term ἀγρεύω is frequently even in the classical writers transferred to men, who are got into the hunter’s power as a prey. See Valckenaer, ad Herod, vii. 162; Jacobs, ad Anthol. VII. p. 193. In a good sense also, as in Xen. Mem. iii. 11. 7 : τὸ πλείστου ἄξιον ἄγρευμα φίλους θηράσειν.

Mark 12:14. ἐπʼ ἀληθείας] equivalent to ἀληθῶς, Luke 4:25; Luke 20:21; Luke 22:59; Luke 4:27; Luke 10:34. See Wetstein in loc.; Schaefer, Melet. p. 83; Fritzsche, Quaest. Luc. p. 137 f.

δῶμεν, ἢ μὴ δ.] The previous question was theoretical and general, this is practical and definite.

Mark 12:15. εἰδώς] as knowing hearts (John 2:25). Comp. Matthew 12:25; Luke 6:8; Luke 11:17.

τ. ὑπόκρισιν] “Discere cupientium praeferebant speciem, cum animus calumniam strueret,” Grotius.

Mark 12:17. Observe the more striking order of the words in Mark: what is Caesar’s, pay to Caesar, etc.

ἐξεθαύμαζον] see the critical remarks. The aorist would merely narrate historically; the imperfect depicts, and is therefore not inappropriate (in opposition to Fritzsche); see Kühner, II. p. 73, and ad Xen. Anab. vii. 1. 13. Comp. Mark 5:20, Mark 6:6. The compound ἐκθαυμ. strengthens the notion; Sir 27:23; Sir 43:18; 4Ma 17:17, also in the later Greek writers, but not further used in the N. T.

And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.
And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's.
And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.
Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,
Mark 12:18-27.[149] See on Matthew 22:23-33, who narrates more briefly and smoothly. Comp. Luke 20:27-40.

ἐπηρώτων] Imperfect, as at Mark 12:17.

Mark 12:19. ὅτι is recitative, and ἵνα is the imperative to be explained by the volo that lies at the root of the expression (see on 2 Corinthians 8:7; Ephesians 5:33). Comp. on ὅτι before the imperative, Plat. Crit. p. 50 C: ἴσως ἂν εἴποιεν (the laws), ὅτιμὴ θαύμαζε τὰ λεγόμενα.

The ἐπιγαμβρεύσει, which Matthew has here, is a later annexation to the original text of the law. Anger, Diss. II. p. 32, takes another view (in favour of Matthew).

Mark 12:20. ἑπτά] emphatically prefixed, and introduced in a vivid way without οὖν.

Mark 12:21. καὶ οὐδὲ αὐτός] and also not he.

καὶ ὁ τρίτος ὡσαύτ.] namely, he took her and died without children; comp. what has gone before.

Mark 12:23. ὅταν ἀναστῶσι] when they shall have risen, not an epexegesis of ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει: but the discourse goes from the general to the particular, so that the seven brothers and the woman is the subject of ἀναστῶσι.

Mark 12:24. διὰ τοῦτο] does not point back to what has gone before (“ipse sermo vester prodit errorem vestrum,” Bengel), which must have been expressed, but forward to the participle which follows: do ye not err on this account, because ye do not understand? See Maetzner, ad Antiph. p. 219; Bornemann in the Stud. u. Krit. 1843, p. 137 f.; Winer, p. 146 f. [E. T. 201 f.].

Mark 12:25. ὅτανἀναστῶσιν] generally, not as at Mark 12:23.

γαμίζονται] The form γαμίσκω (Arist. Pol. vii. 14. 4) is not indeed to be read here (see the critical remarks), but neither is it, with Fritzsche, altogether to be banished out of the N. T. It is beyond doubt genuine in Luke 20:34 f.

Mark 12:26. ὅτι ἐγείρονται] that they, namely, etc.; this is the conclusion to be proved—the doctrinal position denied by the interrogators.

ἐπὶ τοῦ βάτου] belongs to what has preceded (in opposition to Beza) as a more precise specification of ἐν τῷ βιβλ. M.: at the (well-known) thorn-bush, i.e. there, where it is spoken of, Exodus 3:6. See on quotations of a similar kind, Jablonsky, Bibl. Hebr. praef. § 37; Fritzsche, ad Romans 11:2. Polybius, Theophrastus, and others have βάτος as masculine. It usually occurs as feminine (Luke 20:37; Deuteronomy 33:16), but at Exodus 3:2-4, likewise as masculine.

Mark 12:27. According to the amended text (see the critical remarks): He is not God of dead men, but of living! Much ye err!

[149] Hitzig, Joh. Mark. p. 219 ff., places the Pericope of the adulteress, John 7:53 ff., after ver. 17, wherein Holtzmann, p. 92 ff., comparing it with Luke 21:37 f., so far follows him as to assume that it had stood in the primitive-Mark, and had been omitted by all the three Synoptists. Hilgenfeld (in his Zeitschr. 1863, p. 317) continues to attribute it to John. It probably belonged originally to one of the sources of Luke that are unknown to us.

Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.
And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.
And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.
In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.
And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?
For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.
And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
Mark 12:28-34. See on Matthew 22:34-40.

Mark, however, has much that is peculiar, especially through the characteristic and certainly original amplification in Mark 12:32-34.

The participles are to be so apportioned, that ἀκούσας is subordinated to the προσελθών, and εἰδώς belongs to ἐπηρώτηρεν as its determining motive.

εἰδώς] not inappropriate (Fritzsche, de Wette); but the scribe knew from his listening how aptly Jesus had answered them (αὐτοῖς, emphatically placed before ἀπεκρ.); and therefore he hoped that He would also give to him an apt reply.

πάντων] neuter. Compare Xen. Mem. iv. 7. 70: ὁ δὲ ἥλιοςπάντων λαμπρότατος ὤν, Thucyd. vii. 52. 2. See Winer, p. 160 [E. T. 222]; Dorvill. ad Charit. p. 549.

Mark 12:29-30. Deuteronomy 6:4-5. This principle of morality, which binds all duties into unity (see J. Müller, v. d. Sünde, I. p. 140 f.), was named pre-eminently קריאה, or also from the initial word שׁמע, and it was the custom to utter the words daily, morning and evening. See Vitringa, Synag. ii. 3. 15; Buxtorf, Synag. 9.

ἰσχύος] LXX. δυνάμεως. It is the moral strength, which makes itself known in the overcoming of hindrances and in energetic activity. Comp. Beck, bibl. Seelenl. p. 112 f., and on Ephesians 1:19. Matthew has not this point, but Luke has at Mark 10:27.[150]

Mark 12:32. After ΔΙΔΆΣΚΑΛΕ there is only to be placed a comma, so that ἘΠʼ ἈΛΗΘΕΊΑς (comp. on Mark 12:14) is a more precise definition of ΚΑΛῶς.

] that He is one. The subject is obvious of itself from what precedes. As in the former passage of Scripture, Mark 12:29, so also here the mention of the unity of God is the premiss for the duty that follows; hence it is not an improbable trait (Köstlin, p. 351), which Mark has introduced here in the striving after completeness and with reference to the Gentile world.

Mark 12:33. συνέσεως] a similar notion instead of a repetition of ΔΙΑΝΟΊΑς, Mark 12:30. It is the moral intelligence which comprehends and understands the relation in question. Its opposite is ἈΣΎΝΕΤΟς (Romans 1:21; Romans 1:31), Dem. 1394, 4 : ἈΡΕΤῆς ἉΠΆΣΗς ἈΡΧῊ Ἡ ΣΎΝΕΣΙς. Comp. on Colossians 1:9.

ὉΛΟΚΑΥΤ.] “Nobilissima species sacrificiorum,” Bengel. ΠΆΝΤΩΝ ΤῶΝ applies inclusively to ΘΥΣΙῶΝ. Krüger, § 58. 3. 2.

Mark 12:34. ἸΔῺΝ ΑὐΤῸΝ, ὍΤΙ] Attraction, as at Mark 11:32 and frequently.

ΝΟΥΝΕΧῶς] intelligently, only here in the N. T. Polybius associates it with φρονίμως (1:83. 3) and ΠΡΑΓΜΑΤΙΚῶς (2:13. 1, 5:88. 2). On the character of the word as Greek, instead of which the Attics say ΝΟΥΝΕΧΌΝΤΩς (its opposite: ἈΦΡΌΝΩς, Isocr. Mark 5:7), see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 599.

οὐ μακρὰν κ.τ.λ.] The (future) kingdom of the Messiah is conceived as the common goal. Those who are fitted for the membership of this kingdom are near to this goal; those who are unfitted are remote from it. Hence the meaning: There is not much lacking to thee, that thou mightest be received into the kingdom at its establishment. Rightly does Jesus give him this testimony, because in the frankly and eagerly avowed agreement of his religious-moral judgment with the answer of Jesus there was already implied a germ of faith promising much.

καὶ οὐδεὶς οὐκέτι κ.τ.λ.] not inappropriate (de Wette, Baur, Hilgenfeld, Bleek); but it was just this peculiar victory of Jesus—that now the result of the questioning was even agreement with Him—which took from all the further courage, etc.

[150] The variations of the words in Matthew, Mark, and Luke represent different forms of the Greek tradition as remembered, which arose independently of the LXX. (for no evangelist has δύναμις, which is in the LXX.).


The difference, arising from Matthew’s bringing forward the scribe as πειράζων (and how naturally in the bearing of the matter this point of view suggested itself!), is not to be set aside, as, for instance, by Ebrard, p. 493,[151] who by virtue of harmonizing combination alters Mark 12:34 thus: “When Jesus saw how the man of sincere mind quite forgot over the truth of the case the matter of his pride,” etc. The variation is to be explained by the fact, that the design of the questioner was from the very first differently conceived of and passed over in different forms into the tradition; not by the supposition, that Mark did not understand and hence omitted the trait of special temptation (Weiss), or had been induced by Luke 20:39 to adopt a milder view (Baur). Nor has Matthew remodelled the narrative (Weiss); but he has followed that tradition which best fitted into his context. The wholly peculiar position of the matter in Mark tells in favour of the correctness and originality of his narrative.

[151] He follows the method of reconciliation proposed by Theophylact: πρῶτον μὲν αὐτὸν ὡς πειράζοντα ἐρωτῆσαι· εἶτα ὠφεληθέντα ἀπὸ τῆς ἀποκρίσεως τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ νουνεχῶς ἀποκριθέντα ἐπαινεθῆναι. Comp. Grotius and others, including already Victor Antiochenus and the anonymous writer in Possini Cat.; Lange, again, in substance takes the same view, while Bleek simply acknowledges the variation, and Hilgenfeld represents Mark as importing his own theology into the conversation.

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
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: this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David?
Mark 12:35-37. See on Matthew 22:41-46. Comp. Luke 20:41-44.

Mark is distinguished from Matthew in this respect, that the latter represents Jesus as laying the theological problem before the assembled Pharisees, and then relates that they were thereby brought to silence, so that they put no further questions to Him; whereas Mark relates that the conversation as to the most important commandment had had this result, and thereafter Jesus had thrown out before the people, while He was teaching (Mark 12:37; Mark 12:35), the question respecting the Son of David.

ἀποκριθείς] The following question to the people is a reply—publicly exposing the theological helplessness of the scribes—to the silence, to which they had just seen themselves reduced by the very fact that one of their number had even given his entire approval to Jesus. The scribes are still present. But it is not to themselves that Jesus puts His question; He utters it before the people, but in express reference to the γραμματεῖς. They may therefore give information also before the people, if they can. If they cannot, they stand there the more completely vanquished and put to shame. And they cannot, because to them the divine lineage of the Messiah, in virtue of which as David’s descendant He is yet David’s Lord, remained veiled and unperceived;—we may conceive after πόθεν υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἐστιν the pause of this silence and this confusion. So peculiar is this whole position of the matter in Mark, that it appears to be (in opposition to Hilgenfeld and Baur) original.

πῶς] how then? “Quomodo consistere potest, quod dicunt,” Grotius.

The twofold emphatic αὐτὸς Δαυ. places the declaration of David himself in contrast to the point held by the scribes.

καὶ πόθεν] breaking in with surprise. Comp. Luke 1:43. πόθεν is the causal unde: whence comes it that.[152] Comp. Plat. Phaedr. p. 269 D.; Dem. 241, 17; Wolf, ad Lept. p. 238.

ὁ πολὺς ὄχλ.] the multitude of people, which was present.

ἢκουεν αὐτοῦ ἡδέως] a triumph over those put to silence.

[152] In opposition to the whole N. T., the question is, according to Schenkel (comp. Strauss), intended to exhibit the Davidic descent of the Messiah as a phantom. This descent in fact forms of necessity the presupposition of the words καὶ πόθεν κ.τ.λ., the concessum on the part of Jesus Himself. And it is the postulate of the whole of the N. T. Christology, from Matthew 1:1 to Revelation 22:16. Comp., moreover, the appropriate remarks of Beyschlag, Christol. d. N. T. p. 61 f. But the pre-existence of Jesus, which certainly must have been in His consciousness when He asked the question, is not expressed (in some such way as in John 8:58), nor is the recognition of it claimed for the Psalmist by ἐν πνεύματι. The latter merely asserts that David, as a prophet, designated his Son as his Lord.

For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.
And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,
Mark 12:38-40. Comp. on Matthew 23:1; Matthew 23:6-7 (14). Mark gives only a short fragment (and Luke 20:45-47 follows him) of the great and vehement original speech of severe rebuke, which Matthew has adopted in full from the collection of Logia.

βλέπετε ἀπό] as Mark 8:15.

τῶν θελόντων] quippe qui volunt, desire, i.e. lay claim to as a privilege. “Velle saepe rem per se indifferentem malam facit,” Bengel.

ἐν στολαῖς] i.e. in long stately robes, as στολή, even without more precise definition, is frequently used (1Ma 6:16; Luke 15:22; Marc. Anton. i. 7). Grotius well remarks that the στολή is “gravitatis index.”

καὶ ἀσπασμούς] governed by θελόντων. See Winer, p. 509 [E. T. 722].

Mark 12:40. οἱ κατεσθίοντες κ.τ.λ.] is usually not separated from what precedes, so that the nominative would come in instead of the genitive, bringing into more independent and emphatic prominence the description of their character. See Bernhardy, p. 68 f.; Buttmann, neut. Gram. p. 69 [E. T. 79]. But it is more suited to the vehement emotion of the discourse (with which also the asyndetic form of Mark 12:40 is in keeping), along with Grotius, Bengel, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Ewald (doubtfully also Winer, p. 165 [E. T. 228]), to begin with οἱ κατεσθίοντες a new sentence, which runs on to κρῖμα: the devourers of widows’ houses … these shall (in the Messianic judgment) receive a greater condemnation!

καί] is the simple copula: those devouring widows’ houses and (and withal) by way of pretence uttering long prayers (in order to conceal under them their pitiless greed).

τῶν χηρῶν] ὑπεισήρχοντο γὰρ τὰς ἀπροστατεύτους γυναῖκας ὡς δῆθεν προστάται αὐτῶν ἐσόμενοι, Theophylact.

καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχ.] προσχήματι εὐλαβείας καὶ ὑποκρίσει ἀπατῶντες τοὺς ἀφελεστέρους, Theophylact.

περισσότερον κρῖμα] ὅσῳ δὲ μᾶλλον τετίμηνται παρὰ τῷ λαῷ καὶ τὴν τιμὴν εἰς βλάβην ἕλκουσι, τοσούτῳ μᾶλλον καταδικασθήσονται· δυνατοὶ γὰρ δυνατῶς ἑτασθήσονται, Victor Antiochenus.

And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:
Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.
And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
Mark 12:41-44. Comp. Luke 21:1-4. It is surprising that this highly characteristic and original episode, which according to Eichthal, indeed, is an interpolation and repeated by Luke, has not been adopted in Matthew. But after the great rebuking discourse and its solemn close, the little isolated picture seems not to have found a place.

τοῦ γαζοφυλακίου] comp. Josephus, Antt. xix. 6. 1, where Agrippa hangs a golden chain ὑπὲρ τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον. According to the Rabbins it consisted of thirteen trumpet-shaped brazen chests (שׁוֹפָרוֹת), and was in the fore-court of the women. It was destined for the reception of pious contributions for the temple, as well as of the temple-tribute. See, generally, Lightfoot, Hor. p. 539 f.; Reland, Antt. i. 8. 14. The treasure-chambers (γαζοφυλάκια) in Josephus, Bell. v. 5. 2 and vi. 5. 2, have no bearing here. Comp. Ebrard, p. 495. The word itself (comp. John 8:20) is found also in the Greek writers (Strabo, ii. p. 319), and frequently in the LXX. and the Apocrypha.

χαλκόν not money in general (Grotius, Fritzsche, and others), but copper money, which most of the people gave. See Beza.

ἒβαλλον] imperfect, as at Mark 12:17-18. The reading ἒβαλον (Fritzsche) is too weakly attested, and is not necessary.

Mark 12:42 f. μία] in contrast with the πολλοί πλούσιοι: one single poor widow. A λεπτόν, so called from its smallness (Xen. Cyr. i. 4. 11 : τὸ λεπτότατον τοῦ χαλκοῦ νομίσματος), was 1/8th of an as in copper. See on Matthew 5:26. It is the same definition in the Talmud, that two פרוטות make a קדריונטם; see Lightfoot, p. 638 f.

On the fact that it is not “a quadrans” but λεπτὰ δύο, that is mentioned, Bengel has aptly remarked: “quorum unum vidua retinere potuerat.” The Rabbinical ordinance: “Non ponat homo λεπτόν in cistam eleemosynarum” (Bava bathra f. 10. 2), has no bearing here (in opposition to Schoettgen), for here we have not to do with alms.

προσκαλεσάμ.] “de re magna,” Bengel.

πλεῖον πάντων] is said according to the scale of means; all the rest still kept back much for themselves, the widow nothing (see what follows),—a sacrifice which Jesus estimates in its moral greatness; τὴν ἑαυτῆς προαίρεσιν ἐπεδείξατο εὐπορωτέραν τῆς δυνάμεως, Theophylact.

The present participle βαλλόντων (see the critical remarks) is not inappropriate (Fritzsche), but designates those who were throwing, whose βάλλειν was present, when the widow ἔβαλε.

Mark 12:44. ἐκ τῆς ὑστερήσ. αὐτῆς] (not αὑτῆς) is the antithesis of ἐκ τοῦ περισσ. αὐτ. in Mark 12:43. Comp. 2 Corinthians 8:14; Php 4:12. Out of her want, out of her destitution, she has cast in all that (in cash) she possessed, her whole (present) means of subsistence. Observe the earnest twofold designation. On βίος, victus, that whereby one lives, comp. Luke 8:43; Luke 15:12; Luke 15:30; Hesiod, Op. 230; Xen. Mem. iii. 11. 6; Soph. Phil. 919, 1266; Dem. 869, 25; Plat. Gorg. p. 486 D; and Stallbaum in loc.

And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer's NT Commentary

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