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Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Mark 12

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "And He began to speak unto them by parables." (kai erksato autois en parabolais lalein) "And He then began to speak to (the Jews) in parables," in numerous parables, Matthew 13:10-15. The main one a this point was the rejected stone, Mark 12:10-11.

2) "A certain man planted a vineyard," (ampelona anthropos ephuteusen) "Once a man planted a vineyard;­That man was God; Israel was His vineyard that brought forth wild grapes only, Isaiah 5:1-7.

3) "And set an hedge about it," (kai perietheken phragmon) "And he put a hedge around it," fenced it in with a stone wall to keep out wild boars, jackles, and foxes, Numbers 22:24; Nehemiah 4:3, or a planted hedgerow, restricted its conduct and activities, in and by the law, John 1:17; Luke 16:16.

4) "And digged a place for the winefat," (kai ourksen hupolenion) "And he dug a winepress," an under-vat of a winepress, a tank into which the juice trampled out in the upper-vat flowed, Matthew 21:33; Matthew 13:2.

5) "And built a tower," (kai okodomesen purgon) "And built a tower," a watch-tower, an organized program of worship and Divine Service and order of civil law, Ezekiel 3:7-12.

6) "And let it out to husbandmen," (kai eksedoto auton georgois) "And then let it out to husbandmen," to trustees, who represented Israel, to whom were committed the oracles of God," Romans 3:1-2.

7) "And went into a far country." (kai apeclemesen) "And went away for some time and a distance," back into a better country, to his own abode, Luke 20:9.

Verse 2

1) "And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant," (kai apesteilen pros tous georgous to kairo doulon) "And he sent at the season for collection a slave," a servant, prophet after prophet, with John the Baptist as the final one, Mark 12:2-5, at the fruit season, John 15:18.

2) "That he might receive from the husbandmen," (hina para ton georgon labe apo) "in order that he might receive from the husbandmen, as trustees or stewards," in Israel, from His chosen people, the seed of Abraham, Luke 20:10.

3) "Of the fruit of the vineyard." (ton karpon tou ampelonos) "A share of the fruits of the vineyard," as agreed on between the landowner and the husbandmen, a share of the crop, rent paid in kind, of a part of the fruit, Matthew 21:34.

Verse 3

1) "And they caught him, and beat him," (kai labontes auton ideiran) "And they took him and beat him brutally, ungratefully;" Matthew 21:35 describes the treatment of three servants who were sent for the rental collection, from the renter, at the time of harvest, then a larger number, then the son.

2) "And sent him away empty." (kai apesteilan kenon) "And they sent him away, ordered him away from the

-vineyard empty-handed," without the husbandman’s due rent or share of the crop, for the use of the land, Luke 20:10. They not only broke their contract, paid nothing, but also ill-treated (beat up) his servant, sent him away without any pay for the landholder.

Verse 4

1) "And again he sent unto them another servant;”- (kai palin apesteilen pros autous allon doulon) "And he commissioned again to them (the husbandmen) another slave-servant," for collection of what was due him.

2) "And at him they cast stones," (kakeinon) "And at that one," (they threw stones)!

3) "And wounded him in the head," (ekephalaiosan) "That wounded him in the head," or smote him on the head. This second servant was treated worse by the husbandman than the first, as he sought to collect a share of the fruit of the land for the vineyard owner.

4) "And sent him away shamefully handled." (kai etimasan) "And sent him away insulted, and shamefully treated," Luke 20:11. Sin embraced grows worse and worse, Ecclesiastes 8:11.

Verse 5

1) "And again he sent another; and him they killed," (kai allon apesteilen kakeinon apekteinan) "And he commissioned yet another to receive his share of fruit from the vineyard," for the year - - - "And that (third) one they killed."

2) "And many others;”- (kai pollus allous) "And many others," he sent, or whom he sent, they treated cruelly, Luke 20:11-12; Matthew 5:12.

a) "Beating some," (hous men derontes) "Some they repeatedly beat," maltreated, Nehemiah 9:30; Jeremiah 7:25-28.

b) "And killing some." (ous de apoktennontes) "Then others these husbandmen killed," Matthew 21:35-36.

Verse 6

1) "Having yet therefore one son," (eti hena eichen huion agapeton) "Still he had one, he had not sent, a beloved son, or heir," his only begotten, John 3:16; Galatians 4:4-5. When he had sent all his other servants, and exhausted all messengers, he sent his son, John 20:31.

2) "He sent him also last unto them, saying," (apesteilen auton eschaton pros autous legon) "He sent him to them last, saying," Hebrews 1:1-3.

3) "They will reverence my son." (hoti entrapesontai ton huion mou) "They will (surely) reverence my son," regard with veneration my heir or only begotten Son, John 1:14; John 3:17. He went not armed with vengeance, but with an offer of mercy, John 3:17. To take away life is the work of the vile and the wicked, to give life is an act of God.

Verse 7

1) "But those husbandmen said among themselves," (ekeinoi de hoi geotgoi peos heautous eipan) "Then those husbandmen collaborated with one another, among themselves," as the scribes, priests, and elders of Israel had done regarding Jesus, taking counsel against Him, Psalms 2:2-3.

2) "This is the heir; come, let us kill him," (hoti houtos estin ho kleronomos deute apokteinomen auton) "That this one is the (only) heir; come, let us join hands and kill him," let us liquidate or assassinate him, Acts 2:22-23.

3) "And the inheritance shall be ours." (kai hemon estai he kleronomia) "And the inheritance (the vineyard) or estate will be ours," because we occupy the vineyard, don’t we? This was a premeditated, covetous, murder-for-profit or gain plot, Matthew 21:38; 1 Timothy 6:9-10.

Verse 8

1) "And they took him, and killed him," (kai labontes apekteinan auton) "And taking him, of their own covetous volition, they killed him," the keepers of the vineyard, the trustees or husbandmen laid hold on him and killed him," Matthew 21:39. Jesus often predicted His coming death but never despaired of His coming church and kingdom work, Galatians 6:9.

2) "And cast him out of the vineyard." (kai eksebalon auton ekso tou ampelonos) "And they cast him out, outside and away from the vineyard," as if he had been slain by a thug or a bandit, as an intruder, they cast his dead body outside, not to be identified with or as having any part in the vineyard, Luke 20:15; Hebrews 13:12.

Verse 9

1) "What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do,’’ (ti poiesei ho jurios tou ampelonos) "What in response will the lord of the vineyard do? "the one to whom the vineyard belongs? 1 Corinthians 4:2. Jesus appealed to their natural sense of justice.

2) "He will come and destroy the husbandmen," (eleusetai kai apolesei tous georgous) "He will come and will destroy (bring to just judgement) those husbandmen," those trustees, cut them off from their administration of his ground and vineyard, Mark 12:1; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; 2 Samuel 12:6-9, perhaps fulfilled nationally at the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem and the dispersion, AD 70. Luke 21:20-24; Proverbs 1:24-31.

3) "And give the vineyard unto others." (kai dosei to ampelona allois) "And he will give over (entrust the vineyard to others,’’ to others more trustworthy for a time, to the Gentiles in general, and the church in particular, called from among the Gentiles (in Galilee), as a people for His name’s sake, Daniel 9:26; Proverbs 1:24-31; Acts 15:14; John 15:16; John 15:27; Ephesians 3:3-11; Ephesians 3:21; Romans 11:11; Romans 11:25; John 20:21.

Verse 10

1) "And have ye not read this scripture;" (oude ten scripture?" you who are custodians, keepers, administrators, and interpreters of the scriptures, John 5:39.

2) "The stone which the builders rejected," (lithon hon apeclokimasan hoi oikodomountes) "A stone which those who were building rejected," aforetold prophetically, Psalms 118:22-23; Declared to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 2:6-8; Christ crucified is the Rock, 1 Corinthians 10:4; Exodus 17:6; Acts 4:11.

3) "Is become the head of the corner:- (houtos egenethe eis kephalen gonias) "This one became (exists for) the head of the corner," Luke 20:17; 1 Peter 2:7; Acts 4:11-12, Prophetic Davidic Psalm that foretold the Messianic Hosannas to Him, just fulfilled, Psalms 118:22; Psalms 118:26.

Verse 11

1)"This was the Lord’s doing," (para kuriou egeneto aute) "This one was from the Lord," Matthew 26:31; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11.

2) "And it is marvellous in our eyes?" (kai estin thaumaste en opthalmois hemon) "And it is marvellous in our eyes, is it not?" Ephesians 2:20. Thru the rejected stone, the smitten one, "who planted a vineyard," the foundation stone was established among men, Acts 4:11-12.

Verse 12

1) "And they sought to lay hold on Him," (kai ezetoun auton kratesai) "And they sought opportunity to seize (grab Him)," even publicly, Matthew 11:18, but His "hour was not yet," John 7:30; Matthew 21:46.

2) "But feared the people:”- (kai ephobethesan ton ochlon) "And they feared the crowd," and were themselves as religious leaders tormented, 1 John 4:18; They tried to act as if they did not know the parable applied to them, though they did.

3) "For they knew," (egnosan gar) "For they all knew," realized, were made to understand, by their conscience and the conviction of God’s spirit that was "poured out upon them," Proverbs 1:22-23.

4) "That He had spoken the parable against them:" (hoti pros autous ten parabolen eipen) "That He had told the parable to them," to apply to them, as husbandmen of Israel’s vineyard, committed to them of the Lord, Matthew 21:45.

5) "And they left Him," (kai aphentes auton) "And they went away from Him," leaving Him, though they wanted to kill Him, Mark 11:18.

6) "And went their way." (apelthon) "They went away, wherever they chose, as chief priests, scribes, and elders of Israel who had met, encountered, and rejected Jesus Christ the Savior, the best friend they ever had, Mark 11:27. They went their way as secret conspirators.

Verse 13


1) "And they send unto Him," (kai apostellousin pros auton) "And next they send to Him," for devious purposes. The "they" referred to were the chief priests, scribes, and elders, of the Sanhedrin, Mark 11:27, a motley religious gang.

2) "Certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians," (tinas ton Pharisaion kai ton Herodianon) "Certain ones (or select ones) of the Pharisees, young scholars, and of the Herodians, Matthew 22:15-16.

3) "To catch Him in H is words." (hina auton agreusosin logo) "In order that they might entrap Him in (some) word," in some conversational expression, or entangle Him into some contradiction, or snare Him like a wild animal, Luke 20:20.

Verse 14

1) "And when they were come," (kai elthontes) "And as soon as they arrived," in their opening remarks, without delay, these certain (selected) Pharisees and Herodians who were astute, given to successful entrapment.

2) "They say unto Him, Master," (legousin auto didaskale) "In collusion they said to Him, Master," or "teacher." They came as forked tongued deceivers with flattery, Mark 12:13; Psalms 78:36; Ezekiel 33:31.

3) "We know that thou art true," (oidamin hoti alethes ei) "We are perceptive to know that you are true," genuine, not a fake, even as Nicodemus affirmed, John 3:2.

4) "And carest for no man:" (kai ou melei soi peri oudenos) "And it matters not to you about (what) anyone thinks," you are not moved to change your position, just because of what men think.

5) "For thou regardest not the person of men," (ou gar blepeis eis prosopon anthropon) "For you do not just look at the face of men," their reputation, their status in society, etc., Matthew 22:16.

6) "But teachest the way of God in truth:”- (all’ ep’ aletheias ten hodon tou theou didaskeis) "But instead you teach the way of God on (the basis of) truth:" If only they had recognized that He was the truth, John 14:6.

7) "Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar, or not?" (eksestin dounai kenson Kaisari e ou) "Is it lawful to dole out pay, or give over tribute to Caesar, or not?" Luke 23:2; Jesus taught that it was, Mark 12:17; Matthew 17:24-27. They came with "hollow flattery," as if the Lord could not see through their deceitful purpose.

Verse 15

1) "Shall we give, or shall we not give?" (domen e me domen) "May we give or may we not give?" A simple negative would constitute a capital civil offense against the Roman government and a simple affirmative reply would offend the Jewish people.

2) "But He, knowing their hypocrisy," (ho de eidos auton ten hupokristin) "Then He knowing their uniform hypocrisy," the joint-hypocrisy of both the Pharisees and the Herodians, Mark 12:13, their wickedness, as He knows what is in man, Psalms 94:11; Matthew 22:18. Luke calls it "their craftiness," Luke 20:23.

3) "Said unto them, why tempt ye me?" (eipen autois ti me peirazete) "Chided them, why do you all tempt me?" Matthew 22:19.

4) "Bring me a penny," (pherete moi denarion) "Just gently bring me the penny," without any fanfare, bring me the "denarius," as in Matthew 18:28; Matthew 22:19. The Roman penny was of about fifteen cents value. It was a coin of silver, smaller than a quarter of a dollar, the usual pay for a day’s wages.

5) "That I may see it." (hina ido) "in order that I may see it," inspect it and comment regarding it and your "tribute" question. It is almost a touch of humor, as if He needed to study it.

Verse 16

1) "And they brought it." (hoi de enegkan) "And they brought it to Him," furnished Him a penny.

2) "And He saith unto them," (kai legei autois) "And He inquired to them," asked them directly, to receive a specific acknowledgment of its authentic seal, what government it represented, who issued or authorized it.

3) "Whose is this image and superscription?" (tinos he eikon aute kai he epigraphe) "Whose icon-likeness is this and whose superscription?" Whose imprint or seal is on this penny or denarius? As if He did not know, yet to get a public commitment from them.

4) "And they said unto Him, Caesar’s." (hoi de eipan auto Kaisaros) "Then they affirmed to Him, It is that of Caesar." Luke 20:24.

Verse 17

1) "And Jesus answering said unto them," (ho de lesous eipen autois) "Then Jesus replied to them," to their tribute inquiry, its legality.

2) "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s" (ta Kaisaros apodoet Kaisari) "The things of Caesar give over (render) or deliver to Caesar," for his services and protection over you, Matthew 22:21; 1 Peter 2:13-17.

3) "And to God the things that are God’s," (kai ta tou theou to theo) "And the things of God (give over, render, or deliver) to God," 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Luke 20:25-26.

4) "And they marvelled at Him." (kai eksethaumazon ap’ auto) "And they marvelled or were astonished at Him," Matthew 22:22; Colossians 4:6; 2 Peter 3:9.

Verse 18


1) "Then come unto Him the Sadducees," (kai erchontai Saddoukaioi pros auton) "And (next in order) of tempting Him, come the Sadducees," of their own volition, following the parade of 1) the priests, 2) the scribes, 3) the elders, 4) the Pharisees, and 5) the Herodians, Mark 11:27; Mark 12:13.

2) "Which say there is no resurrection;" (oitines legousin anastasin me einai) "Who say (hold or affirm) that there is (exists) or is to be (never to be) any resurrection," Acts 23:6; Acts 23:8. It was a distinct feature in their teaching.

3) "And they asked Him, saying," (kai eperoton auton legontes) "And they repeatedly quizzed Him, saying, "as if they were open-minded about the question, though it was a "fixed" part of their religious order, Acts 23:8.

Verse 19

1) "Master, Moses wrote unto us," (didaskale Mouses apothane hemin) "Teacher Moses (in the law) wrote directly to us," the keepers of the Mosaic law, Deuteronomy 25:5­-10.

2) "If a man’s brother die," (hoti ean tinos adelphos apothane) "That should anyone’s (any man’s) brother die," among the Israelites, Luke 20:28.

3) "And leave his wife behind him and leave no children," (kai katalipe gunaika kai me apheteknon) "And leave behind a wife and leave no child," to bear his family name, Matthew 22:24.

4) "That his brother should take his wife,"(hina labeho adelphos autou ten gunaika) "He provided that the living brother left should take his brother’s widow." Deuteronomy 25:5; Ruth 1:11-12.

5) "And raise up seed unto his brother." (kai eksanastese aperma to adelpho autou) "And may raise up seed to his brother," Deuteronomy 25:6; The Divine order had been given, even before the law, so that when Onan refused to bear a seed for the name of his deceased brother Er, the Lord killed him, Genesis 38:7-10. It is shocking that these teachers of Moses’ Law had so thoughtlessly passed over so many passages that both affirmed and inferred a bodily resurrection and life hereafter for all men, Job 19:23-27; Daniel 12:2.

Verse 20

1) "Now there were seven brethren:" (hepta adelphoi esan) "Once there were seven brothers,’’ the number of numerical perfection. It was an assumed presumption of the Sadducees, (simple presumption), that future life would have its present social aspects.

2) "And the first took a wife," (kai ho protos elaben gunaika) "And the first (of the seven) took a wife," to establish a family name and an household, to raise up children, who are "an heritage of the Lord," Psalms 127:3.

3) "And dying left no seed." (kai apothneskon ouk apheken sperma) "And upon dying left no seed," no children; This is believed to have been, and was likely a fabricated story, a supposed event, that was invented as pretendedly real, by the Sadducees.

Verse 21

1) "And the second took her, and died," (kai ho deuteros elabern auten kai apethanen) "And the second (of the seven brothers) took her (as a wife) and he too died," as in the instance of Onan, Genesis 38:7-10.

2) "Neither left he any seed:”- (me katalipon sperma) ’’Not leaving behind any seed," any children, Luke 20:30.

3) "And the third likewise." (kai ho tritos hosautos) "And the third similarly," after the same manner, took her as a wife, lived with her that she might bear children, but she bare no child to him, either," Matthew 22:26.

Verse 22

1) "And ’the seven had her," (kai hoi hepta) "And all seven of the brothers, one by one, took her as a wife, until all had her," until the death of the last of the seven brothers.

2)"And left no seed:”- (ouk aphekan sperma) "And they left from her no seed (no child)," to bear the family heritage, or family name, Luke 20:31.

3) "Last of all the woman died also." (eschaton panton kai he gune apethanen) "After all (last) the brothers had died, she too died,’’ Matthew 22:27; as such in passed upon all, Romans 5:12; Hebrews 9:27.

Verse 23

1) "In the resurrection therefore," (en te anastasei) "Now in the resurrection," which you claim will take place for every man, which we do not believe in, Acts 23:8.

2) "When they shall rise," (hotan anastosin) "When she and they all rise," are caused to come forth out of and from the dead, as you allege or teach, John 5:28-29; John 6:39-40; 1 Corinthians 15:52.

3) "Whose wife shall she be of them?" (tinos auton estai gune) "Which of them will have her as a wife in the resurrection?" It is a common quirk of a wicked mind to fabricate or invent an excuse for embracing a moral, ethical, or doctrinal error, John 3:19-20.

4) "For the seven had her to wife." (hoi gar hepta eschon auten gunaika) "Because all the seven had her as a wife," while she was living? Matthew 22:28; Luke 20:33. In their conniving effort of fabrication and general collusion to trap Jesus as a breaker of Moses’ Law, these Sadducees really set a net for themselves.

Verse 24

1) "And Jesus answering said unto them," (ephe autois holesous)"Then Jesus replied to them all," to the gnostic and skeptical Sadducees, to the Messiah-rejecting religious order that denied existence in bodily form after death, the existence of angels, or spirits, Acts 23:8.

2) "Do ye not therefore err," (ou dia touto planasthe) "Do you all not (realize that) about this you err," hold or embrace error, regarding this matter, regarding the resurrection? Do you not see how you are openly showing ignorance of your own law?

3) "Because ye know not the scriptures," (me eidotes tas graphas) "Not knowing or perceiving the scriptures," the very Pentateuch, the root, basis of all Mosaic laws, that part only that they believed to be inspired, John 5:39. They neither understood the purpose for which nor the meaning of what was written.

4) "Neither the power of God?" (mede ten dunamen tou theou) "Nor even the power of God?" regarding such matters, matters that involve (not natural) but supernatural law, which the natural man does not comprehend or grasp, 1 Corinthians 2:14. He is able to raise the dead and adjust the future relationship of all people.

These Sadducees had: 1) Ignorant pre-suppositions about the future state of men; They were self-deceived, Romans 1:21-22; Romans 2) Ignorant of the Spiritual contents of the Scriptures, blinded by the god of this world, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Acts 13:17; Acts , 3) Disbelief in the intervention of Divine power to raise dead bodies, Romans 8:11; 2 Peter 1:5-9; John 5:28-29; John 6:39-40.

Verse 25

1) "For when they shall rise from the dead," (hotan gar ek nekron anastosin) "For when they rise out of and from the dead," Philippians 3:11; from among dead corpses, from the graves, as affirmed in both the Old and New Testaments, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Matthew 27:52-53.

2) "They neither marry," (oute gamousin) "They neither marry at all,," are joined in marital affinity of one body or one flesh.

3) "Nor are given in marriage;”- (oute gamizontai) "Nor are they given in marriage," they do not longer exist in a tie of marital estate, with marital ties, restrictions, former conscious marital relations, or marital identities.

4) "But are as the angels which are in heaven." (all’ eisin hos angeloi en tois ouranois) "But instead they are (exist) as, like, or similar to the angels which are in heaven," good, unfallen angels; They are celibates, asexual, that is neither male or female, in their existent being, Matthew 22:30. The word angels, meaning "messengers," is always used in the masculine gender in the Scriptures, though sex is never ascribed to them, in the human sense. It is to be understood that as messengers, ministers, and servants of God in heaven and eternity, the redeemed are to exist, liberated from the restraints of marital sex in every area of the existence, happy and rejoicing with all the redeemed, and with the angels in heaven.

Verse 26

1) "And as touching the dead, that they rise:”- (peri de ton nekron hoti egeirontai) "Then (also) concerning the dead, that the dead bodies (of men) are raised up," Matthew 22:31; Daniel 12:2. Future relations in the new bodies are left to God - - that all shall rise is the main truth of the Scriptures, John 5:28-29.

2) "Have ye not read in the book of Moses," (ouk anegnote en te biblion Mouseos) "Did you all not read in the roll (of the Law) of Moses," can’t you even recall what Moses wrote, in the very Pentateuch, which you claim to believe, can you be ignorant of it, or not even believe it at all?

3) "How in the bush God spake unto Him," (epi) "How God said to him at the bush," when He spoke to him out of the burning bush, when He spoke, Exodus 3:1-6. Long dead to the world the following yet lived with God:

4) "Saying, I am " (legon ego) "Saying, I am," or exist as:

a) "The God of Abraham," (ho theos Abraam) "The (one) God of Abrahari)," the "elohim" one trinitarian powerful God.

b) "And the God of Isaac," (kai theos Isaak) "And of Isaac," I am, exist as, the one God.

c) "And the God of Jacob?" (kai theos lakob) "And (I am, exist as) the one God of Jacob?" Do you all not recall this reading as learned Sadducees? Matthew 22:32.

Verse 27

1) "He is not the God of the dead," (ouk estin theos nekron) "He is not (does not exist as) a God of the dead," dead persons, dead human bodies, unable to do anything about them. He is not that kind of a God, such as heathen worship, whose skepticism you all ignorantly embrace, Psalms 115:1-9.

2) "But the God of the living:”- (alla zonton) "But of living (ones)," Matthew 22:32; in whom, by whom, and through whom all men live, La 3:22, 23; Acts 17:28; Luke 20:38. This simply affirms that after the redeemed die here on earth they continue to live before and with God.

3) "Ye therefore do greatly err." (polu planasthe) "You all err very much," ignorantly err, regarding the matter, your teaching about the resurrection, Acts 23:8. Jesus was severe, impressive, but kind, in His firm rebuke of those who had come to help trap Him, as a Mosaic, religious, law-breaker, for the purpose of putting Him to death, Mark 12:15; Mark 12:23.

Verse 28


1) "And one of the scribes came," (kai proselthon eis ton grammateon) "And one of the scribes approached Him," Matthew 22:34, one of those who wrote and indexed the law, served as librarian and archives guardian of the law.

2) "And having heard them reasoning together," (akousas auton suzetoun ton) "Having heard them (Jesus and the Sadducees) debating," the resurrection issue, with our Lord leading in a distinguished, defensive and offensive manner.

3) "And perceiving that He had answered them well," (eidos hoti kalos apekrithe autois) "Knowing that He had answered them well," accurately, thoroughly, as He was a lawyer, Matthew 22:35; Luke 10:25; Luke 10:27. He meant that Jesus had answered well for His side of the issue.

4) "Asked Him," (eperotesen auton) "He inquired (of) Him," of Jesus he inquired for a personal judgement and commitment regarding the commandments of God.

5) "Which is the first commandment of all?" (pois estin entole prote panton) "What is or which commandment is the first (in priority) or rank of importance, of all the commandments?" Matthew 22:35-36. Matthew presents the lawyer as coming to Jesus with ulterior motives. The question as viewed by Mark seems to inquire relating to ethical and moral values of the commandments, as they relate to one’s neighbor. All commandments of God are great or important. None is to be considered as unimportant.

Verse 29

1) "And Jesus answered him," (apekrithe ho lesous) "Then Jesus replied," or responded, as follows:

2) "The first of all the commandments is," (hoti prote estin) "That the first in rank or priority of all the commandments is," expressed by Matthew as first, love for God "with all the heart," and second, a quality of love for one’s neighbor, as for himself, Matthew 22:37-40.

3) "Hear, 0 Israel," (akoue Israel) "Hear ye, 0 Israel," chosen people of God, custodians of His laws and commandments, Romans 3:1-2.

4) "The Lord our God is one Lord:”- (kurios ho theos hemon kurios eis estin) "The Lord (who is) our God is one Lord:" or exists as one God, in contrast with many lords and many gods of heathens and Gentiles, Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalms 115:1-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:5.

Verse 30

1) "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God," (kai agapeseis kurion ton theon sou) "And (each of) you shall love your Lord God," Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37. This one Lord (monotheism) contrasts with heathen many gods (poly theism)

a) "With all thy heart," (eks holes tes kardias soul "Out of and from all your affections, without divided affections.

b) "And with all thy soul," (kai eks holes tes psuches sou) "And out of and from all your soul," with your all.

c) "And with all thy mind," (kai eks holes tes dianoias sou) "And out of and from all your mind," heart, soul, and mind means with all the strength of control within you.

d) "And with all thy strength," (kai eks holes tes ischuos sou) "And out of and from all (the source of) all your strength, Luke 10:27.

2) "This is the first commandment." (an interpolation) though the idea is in the word of truth, Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18. To love God in this high standard of Holy sense requires a life of practical, honorable morals and ethics toward God and one’s fellowman.

Verse 31

1) "And the second is like, namely this," (deutera aute) "Then this is (exists as) the second," in rank or priority of the Divinely given commandments, Exodus 6:4-5. About it the lawyer did not inquire, but needed enlightenment.

2) "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (agapeseis ton plesion sou hos seauton) "You shall love your neighbor similar to yourself," Leviticus 19:18. The first four commandments show man’s duty to his God first, then second, the last six commandments show one’s duty to his fellow-man. When one is right in every respect with God he will have little problem with his neighbor.

3) "There is none other commandment greater than these." (meizon touton alle entole ouk estin) "There is (exists) not one commandment that is greater than these (two)," the two He had just named or identified. The first regards one’s relation to the one true God, and the second regards one’s relation to his fellow-man, as expressed in the ten commandments, Exodus 20:1-17.

Verse 32

1) "And the scribes said unto Him”- (kai eipen auto ho grammateus) "And the scribe responded to Him," the scribe who was also a lawyer, Mark 12:28; Matthew 22:35; Luke 10:25. He spoke as if condescending to come down to the level of Jesus.

2) "Master, thou hast said the truth:”- (kalos didaskale sp’ aletheis eipes) "Well (very well, ably) correctly, teacher, you conclude this, based on the truth." You are correct.

3) "For there is one God;”- (hoti eis estin) "That there is (or exists) one God," one true God, expressed as the view or concept of monotheism, in contrast with polytheism, meaning many gods, Exodus 20:1-2; 1 Corinthians 8:6.

4) "And there is none other but He:" (kai ouk estin allos plen autou) "And there exists not another (true God) at all besides Him," Deuteronomy 4:32-33; Psalms 115:1-9; Ephesians 4:5-6.

Verse 33

1) "And to love Him with all the heart," (kai to agapan auton eks holes tes kardias) "And to love Him (God) with (out of) all the heart," with all one’s affections, as mandated in the law, is to obey Him, Deuteronomy 6:4.

2) "And with all the understanding," (kai eks holes tes suneseos) "And out of and from all one’s senses,’’ of understanding.

3) "And with all the soul," the essence of one’s entire being.

4) "And with all the strength " (kai eks holes tes ischous) "And out of and from all the strength," that one has, expressed in the power of choice to obey Him, John 15:14; John 14:15; John 1:11-12.

5) "And to love his neighbor as himself," (kai to agapan ton plesion has heauton) "And to love one’s neighbor even as himself," as also prescribed in the law, Leviticus 19:18.

6) "Is more than all," (perissoteron estin panton) "Exists as more than all," all else, such as the entire Levitical ritual that could not take away or remit sin, Hebrews 10:4.

7) "Whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices." (ton holokartomaton kai thurion) "The burnt offerings and sacrifices,’’ that only acknowledge sin, and point to the true sacrifice which takes away sin, See also 1 Samuel 15:22; Hosea 6:5; Micah 6:6-8.

Verse 34

1) ’’And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly," (kai ho iesous idon auton hoti nounechos apekrithe) "And when Jesus saw him, that he had answered intelligently, sensibly," with an apparent sense of sincerity and honesty, with discrimination as a scribe and a lawyer, 2 Corinthians 8:12.

2) "He said unto him," (eipen auton) "He said to him," personally, directly, as an accountable, responsible soul, Romans 14:11-12.

3) "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God." (ou makaran ei apo tes basilesis tou theou) "You are not far away from the kingdom of God," Acts 17:27, from being saved, being a spiritual man, Personal understanding, conviction, and knowledge of sin and salvation involve one in the matter of accountability to obey the voice of God, Proverbs 1:20-23; Luke 16:31; John 8:24.

4) "And no man after that," (kai oudeis ouketi) "And no one at all, any more," after that, after that encounter of Jesus with the scribe lawyer.

5) "Durst ask Him any question." (etloma auton eperotesai) "Dared to question, quiz, or entrap Him," because they were convinced any further intellectual encounter with Jesus would find them on the dumb side of the issue, on any matter of difference with Him, Luke 20:39-40. His enemies were confounded.

Verse 35


V. 35-40

1) "And Jesus answered and said," (kai apokritheis ho lesous elegan) "And Jesus responding said," as He was questioned while later teaching in the temple in Jerusalem.

2) "While He taught in the temple," (didaskon en to heiro) "As He taught (while teaching) in the temple, with a large audience present," including His now disheartened Jewish opponents in controversy,

3) "How say the scribes," (pos legousin hoi grammateis) "How do the scribes say," or in what sense do the scribes understand this? the writers, archives keepers, index-file, librarian keepers of the law-directed to the Pharisees, Matthew 22:41.

4) "That Christ is the son of David?" (hoti ho Christos huios David estin) "That the Christ (the anointed one, the Messiah) is (exists as) a son or heir of David?" A son of David only, no more than that? Romans 1:3-4.

When Jesus was liberated from the entrapping questions, He became a questioner Himself. He wanted them to explain how and why David referred to Him as Lord.

Verse 36

1) "For David himself said by the Holy Ghost," (autos David eipen en to pneumati to hagio) "Because David himself affirmed or asserted in (by) the Holy Spirit," by inspiration, Psalms 110:1; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

2) "The Lord said unto my Lord," (eipen kurios to kurio mou) "The Lord Jehovah said (instructed, directed) my Lord," the adonia, the Lord of the trinitarian Elohim, Matthew 22:43-44.

3) "Sit thou on my right hand," (kathou ek deksion mou) "You sit at (out at, by) my right hand," Luke 20:42-43.

4) "Till I make thine enemies thy footstool." (heos an though tous echthrous sou hupokato ton podon sou) "Until the time that I put, set, or place your enemies under your feet," Matthew 22:44.

Jesus stated the position of David regarding this matter of the resurrection power and Deity of Jesus Christ as being in conflict with that view espoused by both the Sadducees and Scribes, since the Scribes claimed to believe in the inspiration of David’s writings.

Verse 37

1) "David therefore himself calleth Him Lord;" (autos David legei auton kurion) "David himself calls or addresses Him (as) Lord," David, the man "after God’s own heart," who ought to, and did know, 1 Samuel 13:14.

2) "And whence is He then his son?" (kai pothen autou estin huios) "And from what source does He exist as his son?" How can one call his own son Lord? Simple was the answer, that Jesus was both human and Divine; yet it silenced them, Matthew 22:46.

3) "And the common people heard Him gladly." (kai ho polus oclus ekousen autou hedeos) "And the masses(the common people of the crowd) heard Him gladly;- seemed elated that His wisdom dumbfounded His critics, the designing scribes, chief priests, Sadducees, etc.

Verse 38

1) "And He said unto them in His doctrine," (kai en te didache autou eiegen) "And in His teaching He said to them," as in Mark 4:12. He warned the masses of common, simple people, not hypocritical elite, Mark 12:37.

2) "Beware of the scribes," (blepete apo ton grammateon) "Beware (stay away from) or avoid the scribes," Matthew 23:1-3.

a) "Which love to go in long clothing " (ton thelonton en stolais peripatein) "Those who just love to parade around continually in long stoles, or clothes," like children in pretence of show, Luke 20:46; Matthew 23:5.

b) "And love salutations," (kai aspasmous) "And whose first love is to be piously greeted or saluted,"

c) "In the market places,’ I (en tais agorais) "in the market places," the places of open trade and commerce, where they may be seen of many people, Matthew 23:7.

Verse 39

1) "And the chief seats in the synagogues," (kai protoklisias en tois deipnois) "And who just love the first rank (highest, elevated) seats in the synagogues," as members of committees, in exalted positions of honor, Matthew 23:6; Luke 14:7-8.

2) "And the upper most rooms at feasts:”- (kai protoklisias en tois deipnois) "And whose first love is for the head tables in the dinners," feasts on special occasions, Luke 20:46. This is a description of Pharisee piety, vanity, greed, and hypocrisy.

Verse 40

1) "Which devour widows’ houses," (hoi katesthontes tas oikias ton cheron) "Those who are repeatedly devouring (living off of) the houses of widows," as administrators of their estates, or who foreclose on unpaid debts or taxes, and seize their homes, Matthew 23:14; Luke 20:47.

2) "And for a pretence make long prayers:”- (kai prophasei’ makra proseuvhomenoi) "And under long cloaks of false pretence are praying long prayers," desiring to be heard by, means of long and wordy prayers, often prayed on the street corners, Matthew 6:5; Matthew 23:14.

3) "These shall receive greater damnation." (houtoi lempsontai perissonteron krima) "These will receive the greater (degree of) condemnation," The greater degree of understanding, the greater degree of punishment, among unbelievers, Matthew 5:20; Luke 10:12-14; Luke 20:47.

It may be that some of these conniving Scribe and Pharisee demagogues went to widows’ homes and after long prayers enticed them to assign properties to them, as alluded to in "leading captive silly (simple) women," 2 Timothy 3:6; Paul avoided such, 1 Thessalonians 2:5.

Verse 41


1) "And Jesus sat over against the treasury," (kai kathisas katenanto tou gozophulakeiou) "And as He, Jesus sat (in the temple) opposite (but near) the treasury."

2) "And beheld how the people," (etheorei pos ho ochlos) "He closely observed how the crowd," how the masses who passed by; He was a keen observer of what went on that day.

3) "Cast money into the treasury:”- (ballei chalkon eisto gazophulakeion) "Tossed copper money (coins) into the treasury," received into brazen trumpet shaped receptacles, designated for sacrifices, temple tribute, incense money, wood, things necessary to carry on the temple service program.

4) "And many that were rich cast in much." (kai polloi plousioi eballon polla) "And many rich men (wealthy plutocratic men) threw much," much copper into the treasury, to impress the poorer of their pretended piety, Luke 6:24; Luke 21:1.

Verse 42

1) "And there came a certain poor widow," (kai elthousa mia chera ptoche) "And there came of her own volition, her own choice, one certain impoverished (very poor) widow," who had perhaps had her house devoured or confiscated by scribes. Our Lord beheld her too, and commended what He saw coming from her soul, as she made her offering.

2) "And she threw in two mites," (ebalen lepta duo) "Who threw in two coppers," or two mites, two of the smallest of copper coins, of Gk. coins now used in Athens, Luke 21:2. A mighty little, yet all that she had! Had she been held by avarice and greed she might have held back one of them, but she did not, Luke 21:4.

3) "Which make a farthing." (ho estin kodrantes) "Which is a farthing," a quadrans, or about one fourth of one cent. Yet, she gave, cast in, with a "willing heart," which counts, 2 Corinthians 8:12; 2 Corinthians 9:7.

She was alone, She was a widow. And she was poor, perhaps the kind of widow whose estate one of the scribes had already devoured, Mark 12:40. She gave out a) love for God, b) obedience to His commands, and c) faith in His future provisions for her, Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:19.

Verse 43

1) "And He called unto Him His disciples," (kai proskalesamenos tous mathetas autou) "And calling together (to Him) His disciples," while yet near the treasury, to teach them a lesson by means of contrasting greed and unselfishness, humility and sacrifice, in the light of empty public religious show and sham, as evidenced in the Scribes, Pharisees, and rich givers.

2) "And saith unto them," (eipen autois) "He said to them all," instructed them by example of what had just happened.

3) "Verily I say unto you," (amen lego humin) "Truly I assure you all," I certify as a valid conclusion of what has happened in temple giving today, before your eyes.

4) "That this poor widow," (hoti he chera he ptoche) "That this particular impoverished widow," who has cast in, cut herself loose from, the two mites, Mark 12:42.

5) "Hath cast in more than," (pleion panton ebalen) "Has cast in or put in (into the holy treasury) more than all they," or any who passed by, according to her ability to give, and because of her motive.

6) "All they which have cast into the treasury:" (ton ballonton eis to gagophulakeion) "Than all others, those others repeatedly putting into the treasury," handful after handful of coppers, Luke 21:3. For what she did was of a willing mind, 2 Corinthians 8:12.

Verse 44

1) "For all they did cast in of their abundance:" (pantes gar ek tou perisseuontos autois ebalon) "Because all of the others out of and from a source of their abundance tossed into the treasury," Luke 21:4. They had much left for themselves, much more in proportion to what they gave.

2) "But she of her want," (aute de ek tes hustereseos autes) "Yet she (this impoverished widow) out of and from her condition of want," punery, or poverty, which was perhaps evident from shabby clothes she wore, but was surely known by the Lord, 1 Samuel 16:7.

3) "Did cast in all that she had," (panta hosa eichen ebalen) "Did cast in all things (of value) of exchange, that she possessed," not merely a tithe of all that she had, as the hypocritical Pharisee did, Luke 18:12.

4) "Even all her living." (holon ton bion autes) "That is, all her living," livelihood, of monetary or exchange value at the moment, Luke 21:4 She was constrained by love, motivated by Divine Love in her giving that day, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. She believed God would care for her, Luke 6:38.

After Jesus denounced the Scribes, who devoured widow’s houses, and denounced the Pharisees, who prayed long prayers of pretence, and gloated in sitting in exalted places at feasts, He paid this glowing tribute of unselfish giving to the poor widow, then left the temple, never returning to enter again.


There is a vast meaning in this advice. It is by this principle that churches are founded, and Gospel institutions sustained in cities, It is by this principle that many rural churches have made noble responses to the claims of benevolence. And if this rule could be applied everywhere, there would hardly be a feeble church in our land; or a church in debt; or a sanctuary out of repair; or a minister half-sustained; or a true cause of charity without all needful resources. "He who soweth bountifully, shall reap bountifully."

-J. Ross

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Mark 12". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/mark-12.html. 1985.
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