Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Mark 10







Verse 1

Mark 10:1. The departure from Galilee (Matthew 19:1).— , as in Mark 7:24, q.v.; there, of a departure from Galilee which was followed by a return (Mark 9:33), here, of a final departure, so far as we know. Beza finds in the expression a Hebraism—to sit is to remain in a place, to rise is to depart from it. Kypke renders, et inde discedens, and gives classic examples of the usage.— . . , etc., into the borders of Judaea and of Peraea; how reached not indicated. The reading of T. R. . . gives the route. Vide on Mt., ad loc., where the (of [85] [86] [87] [88]) is omitted.— , crowds again gather.— , plural; here only, with reference to the different places passed through.— , as He was wont; remarked on, because the habit had been suspended for a season during which the whole attention of Jesus had been devoted to the Twelve. That continues to be the case mainly still. In every incident the Master has an eye to the lesson for the disciples. And the evangelist takes pains to make the lesson prominent. Possibly his incidents are selected and grouped with that in view: marriage, children, money, etc. (so Weiss in Meyer).— , He continued teaching, so also in Mark 6:34. In both places Mt. (Matthew 14:14, Matthew 19:2) speaks of healing. Yet Mk.’s Gospel is a gospel of acts, Mt.’s of words. Each is careful to make prominent, in general notices, what he comparatively neglects in detail.

[85] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[86] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[87] Codex Ephraemi

[88] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with and B.



Verses 2-12

Mark 10:2-12. The question of divorce (Matthew 19:3-12).— : the question is put absolutely, the qualifying clause in Mt. being omitted. Thus put the question presupposes knowledge of Christ’s high doctrine as to marriage, and is an attempt to bring Him into collision with the Mosaic law, as absolutely interdicting what it allowed.



Verse 3

Mark 10:3. .: here Jesus has in view not what Moses allowed in Deuteronomy 24:1, but what he in Genesis enjoined as the ideal state of things (Moses from the Jewish point of view author of the Pentateuch and all its legislation). They naturally supposed He had in view the former (Mark 10:4).



Verse 5

Mark 10:5 Both evangelists, while varying considerably in their reports, carefully preserve this important logion as to legislation conditioned by the sklerokardia.— : at the end, with emphasis; this particular command in contradiction to the great original one.



Verse 6




Verses 10-12

Mark 10:10-12 report as spoken to the Twelve in the house (as opposed to the way in which the Pharisees are supposed to have encountered Jesus) what in Mt.’s version appears as the last word to the interrogants (Mark 10:9). Two variations are noticeable: (1) the absence of the qualifying clause , and (2) the addition of a clause (Mark 10:12) stating the law in its bearing on the woman = if she put away her husband and marry another, she is an adulteress. In the former case Mk. probably reports correctly what Christ said, in the latter he has added a gloss so as to make Christ’s teaching a guide for his Gentile readers. Jewish women could not divorce their husbands. The at the end of Mark 10:11 may mean either against, to the prejudice of, her (the first wife), or with her (the second). The former view is taken by the leading modern exegetes, the latter by Victor Ant., Euthy., Theophy., and, among moderns, Ewald and Bleek.



Verse 13

Mark 10:13. as in Mt. Lk. has = infants carried in arms. Note the use of the compound ; elsewhere the simple verb. The word is commonly used of sacrifices, and suggests here the idea of dedication.— , touch, merely, as if that alone were enough to bless; prayer mentioned in Mt.— (T. R.), probably interprets the (W.H[90]) after .

[90] Westcott and Hort.



Verses 13-16

Mark 10:13-16. Suffer the children (Matthew 19:13-15, Luke 18:15-17).



Verse 14

Mark 10:14. , “was moved with indignation” (R. V[91]) is too strong, “was much displeased” (A. V[92]) is better, “was annoyed” is better still (“ward unwillig,” Weizsäcker).— , of T. R. before is much better left out: suffer them to come; do not hinder them; an expressive asyndeton. This saying is the main point in the story for the evangelist, hence the imperfects in Mark 10:13. It is another lesson for the still spiritually crude disciples.

[91] Revised Version.

[92] Authorised Version.



Verse 15

Mark 10:15 answers to Matthew 18:3. As Jesus gave several lessons on humility and kindred virtues, in Capernaum, here, and on the way to Jericho (Mark 10:35 f.), it is not to be wondered at if the sayings spoken in the several lessons got somewhat mixed in the tradition. It does not greatly matter when they were uttered. The thing to be thankful for is their preservation.



Verse 16

Mark 10:16. , as in Mark 9:36. Jesus took each child in His arms, one by one, and blessed it: , imperfect. The process would last a while, but Jesus would not soon weary in such work. The compound verb ([93] [94] [95] [96], etc.), here only, has intensive force like in Matthew 26:49 (vide notes there and Maclear in C. G. T.).

[93] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[94] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[95] Codex Ephraemi

[96] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with and B.



Verse 17

Mark 10:17. . : the incident to be related happens as Jesus is coming out from some house into the highway, at what precise point on the journey Mk. neither knows nor cares. The didactic significance of the story alone concerns him.— : that the epithet was really used by the man is highly probable. Vide on Mt.



Verses 17-27

Mark 10:17-27. Quest after eternal life (Matthew 19:16-30, Luke 18:18-30).



Verse 18

Mark 10:18. : on the import of this question vide notes on Mt.



Verse 19

Mark 10:19. The commandments of the second table enumerated are expressed by subjunctives with , instead of future indicatives with . While Mt. has the supernumerary, “love thy neighbour,” Mk. has , which probably has in view the humane law in Deuteronomy 24:14-15, against oppressing or withholding wages from a hired servant; a more specific form of the precept: love thy neighbour as thyself, and a most apposite reminder of duty as addressed to a wealthy man, doubtless an extensive employer of labour. It should be rung in the ears of all would-be Christians, in similar social position, in our time: defraud not, underpay not.



Verse 21

Mark 10:21. .: on the import of the statement in reference to the man vide on Mt. Jesus loved this man. Grotius remarks: Jesus loved not virtues only, but seeds of virtues (“et semina virtutum”). Field (Otium Nor.) renders “caressed”. Bengel takes as a , and renders, amanter aspexit = lovingly regarded him— . In Mk. Jesus, not the inquirer, remarks on the lack; in Mt. the reverse is the fact: the man is conscious of his defect, an important point in his spiritual condition.— , etc.: from the invitation to join the disciple band Weiss (Meyer) infers that the incident must have happened before the circle of the Twelve was complete. He may have been meant to take the place of the traitor. The last clause in T. R. about the cross is an obvious gloss by a scribe dominated by religious commonplaces.



Verse 22

Mark 10:22. : in Matthew 16:3, of the sky, here, of the face, , following, referring to the mind: with sad face and heavy heart.



Verses 23-27

Mark 10:23-27. The moral of the story given for the benefit of the disciples, (Mark 3:5; Mark 3:34), looking around, to see what impression the incident had made on the Twelve.— = , Euthy.— ., with what difficulty!— , wealth collectively held by the rich class (Meyer).



Verse 24

Mark 10:24. , were confounded.— prepares us for repetition with unmitigated severity, rather than toning down, which is what we have in T. R., through the added words, , suggesting an idea more worthy of a scribe than of Jesus; for it is not merely difficult but impossible for one trusting in riches to enter the Kingdom. Yet this is one of the places where the Sin. Syriac agrees with the T. R.



Verse 25

Mark 10:25. In this proverbial saying the evangelists vary in expression in reference to the needle and the needle-eye, though one might have looked for stereotyped phraseology in a proverb. The fact points to different Greek renderings of a saying originally given in a Semitic tongue.— , from , to rub through, so as to make a hole. According to Furrer, proverbs about the camel and the needle-eye, to express the impossible, are still current among the Arabs. e.g., “hypocrites go into paradise as easily as a camel through a needle-eye”; “He asks of people that they conduct a camel through a needle-eye” (Wanderungen, p. 339).



Verse 26

Mark 10:26. The disciples, amazed, ask: ; , etc., in Mt. The resumes what has been said, and draws from it an inference meant to call its truth in question (Holtz., H. C.) = who, in that case, can be saved?



Verse 27

Mark 10:27. This saying is given diversely in the three parallels; most pithily in Mt., and perhaps nearest to the original. For the meaning vide on Mt.



Verse 28

Mark 10:28 introduces the episode without any connecting word such as in Mt. betrays self-consciousness, also the following . Yet, with all his self-consciousness, Peter, in Mk.’s account, has not courage to finish his question, stopping short with the statement of fact on which it is based = behold! we have left all and followed Thee?— , aorist, refers to an act done once for all, , to an abiding condition.



Verses 28-31

Mark 10:28-31. Peter’s question (Matthew 19:27-30, Luke 18:28-30).



Verse 29

Mark 10:29. Jesus, seeing Peter’s meaning, proceeds to give, first, a generous answer, then a word of warning. In the enumeration of persons and things forsaken, “wife” is omitted in important MSS. (W.H[97]). The omission is true to the delicate feeling of Jesus. It may have to be done, but He would rather not say it.— : a gloss to suit apostolic times and circumstances.

[97] Westcott and Hort.



Verse 30

Mark 10:30. : the present time the sphere of compensation; (Luke 8:8): the measure characteristically liberal; : the natural qualification, seeing it is in this world that the moral compensation takes place, yet not diminishing the value of the compensation, rather enhancing it, as a relish; a foreshadowing this, perhaps a transcript, of apostolic experience.



Verse 31

Mark 10:31. On this apothegm vide on Mt.



Verse 32

Mark 10:32. , to Jerusalem! The fact that they were at last on the march for the Holy City is mentioned to explain the mood and manner of Jesus.— : Jesus in advance, all the rest following at a respectful distance.— : the astonishment of the Twelve and the fear of others ( . ) were not due to the fact that Jesus had, against their wish, chosen to go to Jerusalem in spite of apprehended danger (Weiss). These feelings must have been awakened by the manner of Jesus, as of one labouring under strong emotion. Only so can we account for the fear of the crowd, who were not, like the Twelve, acquainted with Christ’s forebodings of death. Memory and expectation were both active at that moment, producing together a high-strung state of mind: Peraea, John, baptism in the Jordan, at the beginning; Jerusalem, the priests, the cross, at the end! Filled with the varied feelings excited by these sacred recollections and tragic anticipations, He walks alone by preference, step and gesture revealing what is working within and inspiring awe—“muthig und entschlossen,” Schanz; with “majesty and heroism,” Morison; “tanto animo tantâque alacritate,” Elsner; “more intrepidi ducis,” Grotius. This picture of Jesus in advance on the way to Jerusalem is one of Mk.’s realisms.



Verses 32-34

Mark 10:32-34. Third prediction of the Passion (Matthew 20:17-19, Luke 18:31-34).



Verse 33

Mark 10:33. , etc.: the third prediction has for its specialties delivery to the Gentiles ( ). and an exact specification of the indignities to be endured: mocking, spitting, scourging. Jesus had been thinking of these things before He spoke of them; hence the excitement of His manner.



Verse 35

Mark 10:35. In Mk., James and John speak for themselves: , etc. In Mt. the mother speaks for them.



Verses 35-45

Mark 10:35-45. The sons of Zebedee (Matthew 20:20-28), showing the comic side of the drama.



Verse 36

Mark 10:36. : this reading of [98] is accredited by its very grammatical peculiarity, two constructions being confused together; an accusative ( ) followed, not as we expect by the infinitive, (T. R.), but by the subj. delib., .

[98] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.



Verse 38

Mark 10:38. : in Mk. there is a double symbolism for the Passion, a cup and a baptism; in Mt.’s true text only the former. The cup is an Old Testament emblem; the baptism not so obviously, yet it may rest on Psalms 42:7; Psalms 59:2; Psalms 124:4-5. The conception of Christian baptism as baptism into death is Pauline (Romans 6).



Verse 40

Mark 10:40. stands alone in Mk. without the reference to the Father, which is in Mt.



Verse 42

Mark 10:42. , those who pass for, are esteemed as, rulers: “quos gentes habent et agnoscunt” (Beza); “qui honorem habent imperandi” (Grotius). Some, e.g., Palairet, regard as redundant, and take the phrase in Mk. as = Mt.’s . Kypke resolves it into = “qui constituti sunt ut imperent”.



Verse 43

Mark 10:43. (W.H[99]), is; the “is” not of actual fact, but of the ideal state of things.

[99] Westcott and Hort.



Verse 45

Mark 10:45. Vide on Mt.



Verse 46

Mark 10:46. , historical present for effect. Jericho an important place, and of more interest to the narrator; the last stage on the journey before arriving at Jerusalem (Weiss in Meyer).— .: Jesus mentioned apart as the principal person, or as still going before, the disciples and the crowd mentioned also, as they have their part to play in the sequel, understood.— . : not implying that the crowd was of very moderate dimensions, but = a large crowd, as we say colloquially “pretty good” when we mean “very good”. This use of probably belonged to the colloquial Greek of the period. vide Kennedy, Sources of N. T. Greek, p. 79.— T. B. Mk. knows the name, and gives both name, Bartimaeus, and interpretation, son of Timaeus.



Verses 46-52

Mark 10:46-52. Bartimaeus (Matthew 20:29-34, Luke 18:35-43).



Verse 47

Mark 10:47. : this in all three narratives, the popular name for Messiah.



Verse 49

Mark 10:49. , , : no attempt to avoid monotony out of regard to style. It is the appropriate word all through, to call in a loud voice, audible at a distance, in the open air (videMark 9:35).— , , , courage, rise, He calls you; pithy, no superfluous words, just how they would speak.



Verse 50

Mark 10:50. Graphic description of the beggar’s eager response—mantle thrown off, jumping to his feet, he comes, runs, to Jesus. Though blind he needs no guide (Lk. provides him with one); led by his ear.



Verse 51

Mark 10:51. , etc.: what do you want: alms or sight?— : more respectful than Rabbi (here and in John 20:16).— : sight, of course, who would think of asking an alms of One who could open blind eyes!



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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Mark 10". The Expositor's Greek Testament. 1897-1910.