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Bible Commentaries

Gann's Commentary on the Bible

Mark 11

Verse 1

Mark 11:1

Bethphage ... Sunday in Bethphage; v.12 = Monday;

sends two disciples ...

Verse 2

Mark 11:2

colt ... Zechariah 9:9;

1 Samuel 6:7

Verse 3

Mark 11:3

send him hither ... "he will bring the colt back straightway"

Verse 9

Mark 11:9

Hosanna ... "save now" Psalms 118:25

Apparently the disciples did not understand, they were still expecting an earthly kingdom. But, the kingdom WAS coming! (Mark 9:1; Acts 1:8; Revelation 1:9)

Verse 12

Mark 11:12

the morrow ... Monday

Sat = home of Simon

Sun = triumphant entry

Mon = cleansing of the temple

Tues = Day of questions

Verse 13

Mark 11:13

// Matthew 21:19

Not the season for figs -- The time of year is March/April, but figs (in the U.S.) do no ripen until August. Why would Jesus expect fruit this early in the season? Jesus uses the tree with promising leaves as a parable.

It is said that "Fig trees in Bible lands produced an early edible fruit before the leaves appeared. It was a harbinger of the regular crop, here described as the season for figs. If no early figs appeared, it was a sign that there would be no regular crop later on." BBC.

Gann It was not the time for figs yet, and apparently also too early for leaves, yet this tree was promising fruit by an early appearance of such leaves. Jesus uses the incident as a parable.

McGarvey says, "Two varieties of figs are common in Palestine. The bicura or boccore, an early fig with large green leaves and with fruit which ripens in May or June, and sometimes earlier near Jerusalem. Thomson found ripe fruit of this variety as early as May in the mountains of Lebanon, a hundred fifty miles north of Jerusalem, and Professor Post, of Beyrut, states that fig-trees there have fruit formed as early as February, which is fully ripe in April. The second variety is the summer fig or kermus. This ripens its main crop in August, but its later fruitage often hangs on all winter when the weather is mild, dropping off when the new spring leaves come. As the fruit usually appears before the leaves, the leaves were a promise that fruit might be found, and the fruit, though not perfectly ripe, is considered edible when the leaves are developed. Though it was too early for fruit, it was also too early for leaves. The tree evidently had an unusually favorable position. It seemed to vaunt itself by being in advance of the other trees, and to challenge the wayfarer to come and refresh himself."

Verse 15

Mark 11:15

Temple cleansing

cf Matthew 3:1-4

Verse 17

Mark 11:17

written -- Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11;

Verse 23

Mark 11:23

mountain ... figurative for one’s troubles and obstacles. Zechariah 4:7;

Is Jesus speaking literally and miraculously, or figuratively?

Remember that Herod was noted for making mountains out of hills. (Three such fortresses as the Herodium.) Is Jesus saying that if Herod could with persistence and patience, great determination, and heard work, create a mountain, with the same persistence, determination, and work, you can move one into the sea?

Verse 27

Mark 11:27

Questions of Authority

Sat = home of Simon

Sun = triumphant entry

Mon = cleansing of the temple

Tues = Day of questions

Verse 28

Mark 11:28

authority ... To claim to be Messiah, or King, would be treason to Rome. To claim "divine authority" the leaders considered blasphemy. To disclaim authority would prove him an imposter.

Authority ... A good question for us and for what we do religiously. What is our Authority for what we do?

these things ... cleansing the temple; they refer to what Jesus had done the day before in the temple.

Verse 31

Mark 11:31

believe him ... For John testified that Jesus was the Messiah, Mark 1:8-11; John 1:15; John 1:29-33;

Verse 33

Mark 11:33

We cannot tell ... They pleaded ignorance to a matter of great magnitude and forfeited leadership as religous teachers.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Mark 11". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/mark-11.html. 2021.