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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - MARK 14

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    14:1 {After two days} (meta duo hemeras). this was Tuesday evening as we count time (beginning of the Jewish Wednesday). In #Mt 26:2 Jesus is reported as naming this same date which would put it our Thursday evening, beginning of the Jewish Friday. The Gospel of John mentions five items that superficially considered seem to contradict this definite date in Mark and Matthew, but which are really in harmony with them. See discussion on #Mt 26:17 and my {Harmony of the Gospels}, pp. 279 to 284. Mark calls it here the feast of "the passover and the unleavened bread," both names covering the eight days. Sometimes "passover" is applied to only the first day, sometimes to the whole period. No sharp distinction in usage was observed. {Sought} (ezetoun). Imperfect tense. They were still at it, though prevented so far.

    14:2 {Not during the feast} (me en tei heortei). They had first planned to kill him at the feast (#Joh 11:57), but the Triumphal Entry and great Tuesday debate ( this very morning) in the temple had made them decide to wait till after the feast was over. It was plain that Jesus had too large and powerful a following. See on ¯Mt 26:47.

    14:3 {As he sat at meat} (katakeimenou autou). #Mt 26:7 uses anakeimenou, both words meaning reclining (leaning down or up or back) and in the genitive absolute. See on ¯Mt 26:6 in proof that this is a different incident from that recorded in #Lu 7:36-50. See on ¯Mt 26:6-13 for discussion of details. {Spikenard} (nardou pistikes). this use of pistikos with nardos occurs only here and in #Joh 12:3. The adjective is common enough in the older Greek and appears in the papyri also in the sense of genuine, unadulterated, and that is probably the idea here. The word spikenard is from the Vulgate _nardi spicati_, probably from the Old Latin _nardi pistici_. {Brake} (suntriyousa). Only in Mark. She probably broke the narrow neck of the vase holding the ointment.

    14:5 {Above three hundred pence} (epanw denariwn triakosiwn). Matthew has "for much" while #Joh 12:5 has "for three hundred pence." The use of "far above" may be a detail from Peter's memory of Judas' objection whose name in this connection is preserved in #Joh 12:4. {And they murmured against her} (kai enebrimwnto autei). Imperfect tense of this striking word used of the snorting of horses and seen already in #Mr 1:43; 11:38. It occurs in the LXX in the sense of anger as here (#Da 11:30). Judas made the complaint against Mary of Bethany, but all the apostles joined in the chorus of criticism of the wasteful extravagance.

    14:8 {She hath done what she could} (ho escen epoiesen). this alone in Mark. Two aorists. Literally, "what she had she did." Mary could not comprehend the Lord's death, but she at least showed her sympathy with him and some understanding of the coming tragedy, a thing that not one of her critics had done. {She hath anointed my body aforehand for the burying} (proelaben murisai to swma mou eis ton entafiasmon). Literally, "she took beforehand to anoint my body for the burial." She anticipated the event. this is Christ's justification of her noble deed. #Mt 26:12 also speaks of the burial preparation by Mary, using the verb entafiasai.

    14:9 {For a memorial of her} (eis mnemosunon autes). So in #Mt 26:13. There are many mausoleums that crumble to decay. But this monument to Jesus fills the whole world still with its fragrance. What a hint there is here for those who wish to leave permanent memorials.

    14:10 {He that was one of the twelve} (ho heis twn dwdeka). Note the article here, "the one of the twelve," Matthew has only heis, "one." Some have held that Mark here calls Judas the primate among the twelve. Rather he means to call attention to the idea that he was the one of the twelve who did this deed.

    14:11 {And they, when they heard it, were glad} (hoi de akousantes ecaresan). No doubt the rabbis looked on the treachery of Judas as a veritable dispensation of Providence amply justifying their plots against Jesus. {Conveniently} (eukairws). this was the whole point of the offer of Judas. He claimed that he knew enough of the habits of Jesus to enable them to catch him "in the absence of the multitude" (#Lu 22:6) without waiting for the passover to be over, when the crowds would leave. For discussion of the motives of Judas, see on ¯Mt 26:15. Mark merely notes the promise of "money" while Matthew mentions "thirty pieces of silver" (#Zec 11:12), the price of a slave.

    14:12 {When they sacrificed the passover} (hote to pasca equon). Imperfect indicative, customary practice. The passover lamb (note pasca) was slain at 6 P.M., beginning of the fifteenth of the month (#Ex 12:6), but the preparations were made beforehand on the fourteenth (Thursday). See on ¯Mt 26:17 for discussion of "eat the passover."

    14:13 {Two of his disciples} (duo twn maqetwn autou). #Lu 22:8 names them, Peter and John. {Bearing a pitcher of water} (keramion hudatos bastazwn). this item also in Luke, but not in Matthew.

    14:14 {The goodman of the house} (twi oikodespotei). A non-classical word, but in late papyri. It means master (despot) of the house, householder. The usual Greek has two separate words, oikou despotes (master of the house). {My guest-chamber} (to kataluma mou). In LXX, papyri, and modern Greek for lodging-place (inn, as in #Lu 2:7 or guest-chamber as here). It was used for khan or caravanserai. {I shall eat} (fagw). Futuristic aorist subjunctive with hopou.

    14:15 {And he} (kai autos). Emphatic, and he himself. {A large upper room} (anagaion mega). Anything above ground (ge), and particularly upstairs as here. Here and in #Lu 22:12. Example in Xenophon. Jesus wishes to observe this last feast with his disciples alone, not with others as was often done. Evidently this friend of Jesus was a man who would understand. {Furnished} (estrwmenon). Perfect passive participle of strwnnumi, state of readiness. "Strewed with carpets, and with couches properly spread" (Vincent).

    14:17 {He cometh} (ercetai). Dramatic historical present. It is assumed here that Jesus is observing the passover meal at the regular time and hour, at 6 P.M. at the beginning of the fifteenth (evening of our Thursday, beginning of Jewish Friday). Mark and Matthew note the time as evening and state it as the regular passover meal.

    14:18 {As they sat} (anakeimenwn autwn). Reclined, of course. It is a pity that these verbs are not translated properly in English. Even Leonardo da Vinci in his immortal painting of the Last Supper has Jesus and his apostles sitting, not reclining. Probably he took an artist's license for effect. {Even he that eateth with me} (ho esqiwn met' emou). See #Ps 4:9. To this day the Arabs will not violate hospitality by mistreating one who breaks bread with them in the tent.

    14:20 {One of the twelve} (heis twn dwdeka). It is as bad as that. The sign that Jesus gave, {the one dipping in the dish with me} (ho embaptomenos met' emou eis to trublion), escaped the notice of all. Jesus gave the sop to Judas who understood perfectly that Jesus knew his purpose. See on ¯Mt 26:21-24 for further details.

    14:23 {A cup} (poterion). Probably the ordinary wine of the country mixed with two-thirds water, though the word for wine (oinos) is not used here in the Gospels, but "the fruit of the vine" (ek tou genematos tes ampelou). See #Mt 26:26-29 for discussion of important details. Mark and Matthew give substantially the same account of the institution of the Supper by Jesus, while #Lu 22:17-20 agrees closely with #1Co 11:23-26 where Paul claims to have obtained his account by direct revelation from the Lord Jesus.

    14:26 {Sung a hymn} (humnesantes). See #Mt 26:30 for discussion.

    14:29 {Yet will not I} (all' ouk egw). Mark records here Peter's boast of loyalty even though all desert him. All the Gospels tell it. See discussion on ¯Mt 26:33.

    14:30 {Twice} (dis). this detail only in Mark. One crowing is always the signal for more. The Fayum papyrus agrees with Mark in having dis. The cock-crowing marks the third watch of the night (#Mr 13:35).

    14:31 {Exceeding vehemently} (ekperissws). this strong compounded adverb only in Mark and probably preserves Peter's own statement of the remark. About the boast of Peter see on ¯Mt 26:35.

    14:32 {Which was named} (hou to onoma). Literally, "whose name was." On Gethsemane see on ¯Mt 26:36. {While I pray} (hews proseuxwmai). Aorist subjunctive with hews really with purpose involved, a common idiom. Matthew adds "go yonder" (apelqwn ekei).

    14:33 {Greatly amazed and sore troubled} (ekqambeisqai kai ademonein). #Mt 26:37 has "sorrowful and sore troubled." See on Matt. about ademonein. Mark alone uses exqambeisqai (here and in #9:15). There is a papyrus example given by Moulton and Milligan's _Vocabulary_. The verb qambew occurs in #Mr 10:32 for the amazement of the disciples at the look of Jesus as he went toward Jerusalem. Now Jesus himself feels amazement as he directly faces the struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane. He wins the victory over himself in Gethsemane and qen he can endure the loss, despising the shame. For the moment he is rather amazed and homesick for heaven. "Long as He had foreseen the Passion, when it came clearly into view its terror exceeded His anticipations" (Swete). "He learned from what he suffered," (#Heb 5:8) and this new experience enriched the human soul of Jesus.

    14:35 {Fell on the ground} (epipten epi tes ges). Descriptive imperfect. See him falling. Matthew has the aorist epesen. {Prayed} (proseuceto). Imperfect, prayed repeatedly or inchoative, began to pray. Either makes good sense. {The hour} (he hwra). Jesus had long looked forward to this "hour" and had often mentioned it (#Joh 7:30; 8:20; 12:23,27; 13:1). See again in #Mr 14:41. Now he dreads it, surely a human trait that all can understand.

    14:36 {Abba, Father} (Abba ho pater). Both Aramaic and Greek and the article with each. this is not a case of translation, but the use of both terms as is #Ga 4:6, a probable memory of Paul's childhood prayers. About "the cup" see on ¯Mt 26:39. It is not possible to take the language of Jesus as fear that he might die before he came to the Cross. He was heard (#Heb 5:7f.) and helped to submit to the Father's will as he does instantly. {Not what I will} (ou ti egw qelw). Matthew has "as" (hws). We see the humanity of Jesus in its fulness both in the Temptations and in Gethsemane, but without Sin each time. And this was the severest of all the temptations, to draw back from the Cross. The victory over self brought surrender to the Father's will.

    14:37 {Simon, sleepest thou?} (simwn, kaqeudeis;). The old name, not the new name, Peter. Already his boasted loyalty was failing in the hour of crisis. Jesus fully knows the weakness of human flesh (see on ¯Mt 26:41).

    14:40 {Very heavy} (katabarunomenoi). Perfective use of kata- with the participle. Matthew has the simple verb. Mark's word is only here in the N.T. and is rare in Greek writers. Mark has the vivid present passive participle, while Matthew has the perfect passive bebaremenoi. {And they wist not what to answer him} (kai ouk eideisan ti apokriqwsin autwi). Deliberative subjunctive retained in the indirect question. Alone in Mark and reminds one of the like embarrassment of these same three disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (#Mr 9:6). On both occasions weakness of the flesh prevented their real sympathy with Jesus in his highest and deepest experiences. "Both their shame and their drowsiness would make them dumb" (Gould).

    14:41 {It is enough} (apecei). Alone in Mark. this impersonal use is rare and has puzzled expositors no little. The papyri (Deissmann's _Light from the Ancient East_ and Moulton and Milligan's _Vocabulary_) furnish many examples of it as a receipt for payment in full. See also #Mt 6:2ff.; Lu 6:24; Php 4:18 for the notion of paying in full. It is used here by Jesus in an ironical sense, probably meaning that there was no need of further reproof of the disciples for their failure to watch with him. " this is no time for a lengthened exposure of the faults of friends; the enemy is at the gate" (Swete). See further on ¯Mt 26:45 for the approach of Judas.

    14:43 {And the scribes} (kai twn grammatewn). Mark adds this item while #Joh 18:3 mentions "Pharisees." It was evidently a committee of the Sanhedrin for Judas had made his bargain with the Sanhedrin (#Mr 14:1; Mt 26:3; Lu 22:2). See discussion of the betrayal and arrest on ¯Mt 26:47-56 for details.

    14:44 {Token} (sussemon). A common word in the ancient Greek for a concerted signal according to agreement. It is here only in the New Testament. #Mt 26:48 has semeion, sign. The signal was the kiss by Judas, a contemptible desecration of a friendly salutation. {And lead him away safely} (kai apagete asfalws). Only in Mark. Judas wished no slip to occur. Mark and Matthew do not tell of the falling back upon the ground when Jesus challenged the crowd with Judas. It is given by John alone (#Joh 18:4-9).

    14:47 {A certain one} (heis tis). Mark does not tell that it was Peter. Only #Joh 18:10 does that after Peter's death. He really tried to kill the man, Malchus by name, as John again tells (#Joh 18:10). Mark does not give the rebuke to Peter by Jesus in #Mt 26:52ff.

    14:48 {Against a robber} (epi leisten). Highway robbers like barabbas were common and were often regarded as heroes. Jesus will be crucified between two robbers in the very place that barabbas would have occupied.

    14:51 {A certain young man} (neaniskos tis). this incident alone in Mark. It is usually supposed that Mark himself, son of Mary (#Ac 12:12) in whose house they probably had observed the passover meal, had followed Jesus and the apostles to the Garden. It is a lifelike touch quite in keeping with such a situation. Here after the arrest he was following with Jesus (sunekolouqei autwi, imperfect tense). Note the vivid dramatic present kratousin (they seize him).

    14:52 {Linen cloth} (sindona). An old Greek word of unknown origin. It was fine linen cloth used often for wrapping the dead (#Mt 27:59; Mr 15:46; Lu 23:53). In this instance it could have been a fine sheet or even a shirt.

    14:54 {Peter had followed him afar off} (ho petros apo makroqen ekolouqesen autwi). Here Mark uses the constative aorist (ekolouqesen) where #Mt 26:58, and #Lu 22:54 have the picturesque imperfect (ekolouqei), was following. Possibly Mark did not care to dwell on the picture of Peter furtively following at a distance, not bold enough to take an open stand with Christ as the Beloved Disciple did, and yet unable to remain away with the other disciples. {Was sitting with} (en sunkaqemenos). Periphrastic imperfect middle, picturing Peter making himself at home with the officers (huperetwn), under rowers, literally, qen servants of any kind. #Joh 18:25 describes Peter as standing (hestws). Probably he did now one, now the other, in his restless weary mood. {Warming himself in the light} (qermainomenos prws to fws). Direct middle. Fire has light as well as heat and it shone in Peter's face. He was not hidden as much as he supposed he was.

    14:56 {Their witness agreed not together} (isai hai marturiai ouk esan). Literally, the testimonies were not equal. They did not correspond with each other on essential points. {Many were bearing false witness} (eyeudomarturoun, imperfect, repeated action) {against him}. No two witnesses bore joint testimony to justify a capital sentence according to the law (#De 19:15). Note imperfects in these verses (#55-57) to indicate repeated failures.

    14:57 {bare false witness} (eyeudomarturoun). In desperation some attempted once more (conative imperfect).

    14:58 {Made with hands} (ceiropoieton). In Mark alone. An old Greek word. The negative form aceiropoieton here occurs elsewhere only in #2Co 5:1; Col 2:11. In #Heb 9:11 the negative ou is used with the positive form. It is possible that a real logion of Jesus underlies the perversion of it here. Mark and Matthew do not quote the witnesses precisely alike. Perhaps they quoted Jesus differently and therein is shown part of the disagreement, for Mark adds verse #59 (not in Matthew). "And not even so did their witness agree together," repeating the point of verse #57. Swete observes that Jesus, as a matter of fact, did do what he is quoted as saying in Mark: "He said what the event has proved to be true; His death destroyed the old order, and His resurrection created the new." But these witnesses did not mean that by what they said. The only saying of Jesus at all like this preserved to us is that in #Joh 2:19, when he referred not to the temple in Jerusalem, but to the temple of his body, though no one understood it at the time.

    14:60 {Stood up in the midst} (anastas eis meson). Second aorist active participle. For greater solemnity he arose to make up by bluster the lack of evidence. The high priest stepped out into the midst as if to attack Jesus by vehement questions. See on ¯Mt 26:59-68 for details here.

    14:61 {And answered nothing} (kai ouk apekrinato ouden). Mark adds the negative statement to the positive "kept silent" (esiwpa), imperfect, also in Matthew. Mark does not give the solemn oath in Matthew under which Jesus had to answer. See on Matthew.

    14:62 {I am} (ego eimi). Matthew has it, "Thou hast said," which is the equivalent of the affirmative. But Mark's statement is definite beyond controversy. See on ¯Mt 26:64-68 for the claims of Jesus and the conduct of Caiaphas.

    14:64 {They all} (hoi de pantes). this would mean that Joseph of Arimathea was not present since he did not consent to the death of Jesus (#Lu 23:51). Nicodemus was apparently absent also, probably not invited because of previous sympathy with Jesus (#Joh 7:50). But all who were present voted for the death of Jesus.

    14:65 {Cover his face} (perikaluptein autou to proswpon). Put a veil around his face. Not in Matthew, but in #Lu 22:64 where Revised Version translates perikaluyantes by "blind-folded." All three Gospels give the jeering demand of the Sanhedrin: "Prophesy" (profeteuson), meaning, as Matthew and Luke add, thereby telling who struck him while he was blindfolded. Mark adds "the officers" (same as in verse #54) of the Sanhedrin, Roman lictors or sergeants-at-arms who had arrested Jesus in Gethsemane and who still held Jesus (hoi sunecontes auton, #Lu 22:63). #Mt 26:67 alludes to their treatment of Jesus without clearly indicating who they were. {With blows of their hands} (rapismasin). The verb rapizw in #Mt 26:67 originally meant to smite with a rod. In late writers it comes to mean to slap the face with the palm of the hands. The same thing is true of the substantive rapisma used here. A papyrus of the sixth century A.D. uses it in the sense of a scar on the face as the result of a blow. It is in the instrumental case here. "They caught him with blows," Swete suggests for the unusual elabon in this sense. "With rods" is, of course, possible as the lictors carried rods. At any rate it was a gross indignity.

    14:66 {Beneath in the court} (katw en tei aulei). this implies that Jesus was upstairs when the Sanhedrin met. #Mt 22:69 has it {without in the court} (exw en tei aulei). Both are true. The open court was outside of the rooms and also below.

    14:67 {Warming himself} (qermainomenon). Mark mentions this fact about Peter twice (#14:54,67) as does John (#Joh 18:18,25). He was twice beside the fire. It is quite difficult to relate clearly the three denials as told in the Four Gospels. Each time several may have joined in, both maids and men. {The Nazarene} (tou nazarenou). In #Mt 26:69 it is "the Galilean." A number were probably speaking, one saying one thing, another another.

    14:68 {I neither know nor understand} (oute oida oute epistamai). this denial is fuller in Mark, briefest in John. {What thou sayest} (su ti legeis). Can be understood as a direct question. Note position of {thou} (su), proleptical. {Into the porch} (eis to proaulion). Only here in the New Testament. Plato uses it of a prelude on a flute. It occurs also in the plural for preparations the day before the wedding. Here it means the vestibule to the court. #Mt 26:71 has pulwna, a common word for gate or front porch. {And the cock crew} (kai alektwr efwnesen). Omitted by Aleph B L Sinaitic Syriac. It is genuine in verse #72 where "the second time" (ek deuterou) occurs also. It is possible that because of verse #72 it crept into verse #68. Mark alone alludes to the cock crowing twice, originally (#Mr 14:30), and twice in verse #72, besides verse #68 which is hardly genuine.

    14:69 {To them that stood by} (tois parestwsin). this talk about Peter was overheard by him. " this fellow (houtos) is one of them." So in verse #70 the talk is directly to Peter as in #Mt 26:73, but in #Lu 22:59 it is about him. Soon the bystanders (hoi parestwtes) will join in the accusation to Peter (verse #70; Mt 26:73), with the specially pungent question in #Joh 18:26 which was the climax. See on ¯Mt 26:69-75 for discussion of similar details.

    14:71 {Curse} (anaqematizein). Our word _anathema_ (ana, qema, an offering, qen something devoted or a curse). Finally the two meanings were distinguished by anaqema for offering and anaqema for curse. Deissmann has found examples at Megara of anaqema in the sense of curse. Hence the distinction observed in the N.T. was already in the _Koin‚_. #Mt 26:74 has kataqematizein, which is a hapax legomenon in the N.T., though common in the LXX. this word has the notion of calling down curses on one's self if the thing is not true.

    14:72 {Called to mind} (anemnesqe). First aorist passive indicative. #Mt 26:75 has the uncompounded verb emnesqe while #Lu 22:61 has another compound hupemnesqe, was reminded. {When he thought thereon} (epibalwn). Second aorist active participle of epiballw. It is used absolutely here, though there is a reference to to rhema above, the word of Jesus, and the idiom involves ton noun so that the meaning is to put the mind upon something. In #Lu 15:12 there is another absolute use with a different sense. Moulton (_Prolegomena_, p. 131) quotes a Ptolemaic papyrus Tb P 50 where epibalwn probably means "set to," put his mind on. {Wept} (eklaien). Inchoative imperfect, began to weep. #Mt 26:75 has the ingressive aorist eklausen, burst into tears.

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