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Bible Commentaries

Alford's Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

Mark 13

CHAP. 13. ] JESUS PROPHESIES OF HIS COMING, AND OF THE TIMES OF THE END. Matthew 24:0 .Luke 21:5-36; Luke 21:5-36 . The accounts are apparently distinct, and each contains some fragments which have escaped the others. On the matter of the prophecy, I have fully commented in Matt., where see notes: also those on Luke.

Verse 1

1. ποταποὶ λίθοι ] Josephus, B. J. ver. 5. 2, 3, says, πέτραι δὲ τεσσαράκοντα πήχεις τὸ μέγεθος ἧσαν τοῦ δομήματος. And again, vi. 4. 1, ἓ ξ ἡμέραις ἀδιαλείπτωςστεῤῥοτάτη πασῶν ἑλέπολις τύπτουσα τὸν τοῖχον οὐδὲν ἤνυσεν· ἀλλὰ καὶ ταύτης καὶ τῶν ἄλλων τὸ μέγεθος καὶἁρμονία τῶν λίθων ἦν ἀμείνων . See also Antt. xv. 11. 3.

Verse 3

3. ] Πέτ. κ. Ἰάκ.… = οἱ μαθηταἰ Matt., = τινές Luke.

Verse 4

4. ] ταῦτα π . implies that they viewed the destruction of the temple as part of a great series of events, which had now by frequent prophecy become familiar to them. ‘ All these things about which thou so often speakest .’

Verse 5

5. ] ἤρξατο λέγειν with this begins our Lord’s full explanation on the matter. See reff.

Verse 8

8. ἔσονται ἔσονται ] By these repetitions majesty is given to the discourse.

Verse 9

9. ] ἀρχαί is put forward for emphasis the mere beginnings.

ὑμεῖς likewise has the emphasis let your care be …

εἰς συναγ ., a pregnant construction ‘ ye shall be taken into the synagogues and beaten there .’ So also in Mark 13:16 . Bp. Wordsw. explains the εἰς , “Ye will be exposed before the eyes of congregations in synagogues, for their pleasure:” and ἐν συν . would mean, “in the buildings, without any reference to the people in them.” But how will this apply to ὁ εἰς τὸν ἀγρὸν ὤν Mar 13:16 ? Meyer, with Lachmann alli [41] ., would punctuate after συναγωγάς , and take δαρήσεσθε by itself. This is most improbable, especially when we remember that the synagogues were the places where the scourging was inflicted (see Act 22:19 ), not to mention the objection to taking the verb thus by itself, which seems to me (against Meyer) alien from the character of the discourse.

[41] alli= some cursive mss.

Verse 11

11. ] Mark ( Mar 13:10-11 ) is peculiar to himself. Luke ( Luk 21:14-15 ) has something very like them Matt. nothing: but they occur Matthew 10:19 , where see note.

Meyer remarks that μελετᾶτε is the regular technical word for premeditating a discourse in contrast to extempore speaking.

Observe the emphasis on ἐστε it is not you at all , but another.

Verse 12

12. ] = καὶ ἀλλήλους παραδώσουσιν καὶ μισήσουσιν ἀλλήλους Matt.

Verse 13

13. ὑπομείνας ] Scil. in the confession implied by διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου preceding.

Verse 14

14. ὅπου οὐ δεῖ ] See note on Matthew 24:15 . This is a less definite description of the place than we find there. In connexion with the reading ἑστηκότα in the text, the Oxf. Catena explains τὸ βδέλ . τῆς ἐρημ . by τὸν ἀνδριάντα τοῦ τότε τὴν πόλιν ἑλόντος .

Verse 18

18. ] Matt. adds μηδὲ ἐν σαββάτῳ . Mark wrote mostly for Gentile readers, and thus perhaps was not likely to report this.

Verses 19-20

19, 20. ] κτίσεως ἧς ἔκτισεν and ἐκλεκτοὺς οὓς ἐξελέξατο , peculiarities of Mark’s style for greater solemnity. [John 17:26 ; John 5:16 , cited strangely by Mr. Elliott to disprove this, are no cases in point. In both those, the expression is necessary to the sense: here, and usually in St. Mark, it is merely idiomatic.]

Meyer remarks that the first ι in θλιψις , being long by nature, and not by position only, ought to be circumflexed.

Verse 24

24. ] ἀλλά is to be noticed. It is more than the simple ‘ but :’ and is best rendered by nevertheless: qu. d., though I have forewarned you of all things, yet some of those shall be so terrible as to astound even the best prepared among you.

ἐν ἐκ . τ . ἡμ . μετὰ τ . θλ . ἐκ . then those days come after that tribulation: see note on Matthew 24:29 .

Verse 25

25. ] ἔσονται π . (= πεσοῦνται Matt.), Mark’s usage. Our Evangelist omits the mourning of the tribes of the earth, and the seeing the sign of the Son of Man.

Verse 27

27. ] ἀπ ʼ ἀκροῦ γῆς , from the extremity of the visible plane of the earth, shall the collecting begin: and shall proceed ἕως ἀκροῦ οὐρανοῦ , to the point where the sky touches that plane on the other side.

Verse 28

28. ] αὐτῆς , emphatic, when her branch … conveying an a fortiori in the application. If in so humble an example as the fig-tree you discern the nearness of a season, much rather should you in these sure and awful signs discern the approach of the end.

Verse 30

30. γενεὰ αὕτη ] See on Matthew 24:34 . Meyer, who is strongly for the literal and exact γενεά , states in a note that γενεά never absolutely means ‘nation,’ but that it may by the context acquire this sense accidentally from its meaning as race, ‘progenies .’ This is exactly what is here wanted. Never were a nation so completely one γενεά , in all accuracy of meaning, as the Jewish people.

Verse 32

32. ] This is one of those things which the Father hath put in his own power , Acts 1:7 , and with which the Son , in his mediatorial office, is not acquainted: see on Matt. We must not deal unfaithfully with a plain and solemn assertion of our Lord (and what can be more so than οὐδὲυἱός , in which by the οὐδέ He is not below but above the angels?) by such evasions as “He does not know it so as to reveal it to us,” Wordsw. (“non ita sciebat ut tunc discipulis indicaret.” Aug [42] de Trin. xii. 3 (it should be i. 12 (23), vol. viii.)). Of such a sense there is not a hint in the context: nay, it is altogether alien from it. The account given by the orthodox Lutherans, as represented by Meyer, that our Lord knew this κατὰ κτῆσιν , but not κατὰ χρῆσιν , is right enough if at the same time it is carefully remembered, that it was this κτῆσις of which He emptied Himself when He became man for us, and which it belongs to the very essence of His mediatorial kingdom to hold in subjection to the Father.

[42] Augustine, Bp. of Hippo , 395 430

Verses 33-37

33 37. ] Peculiar to Mark, and containing the condensed matter of Matthew 24:43-47 , and perhaps an allusion to the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:0 .

The θυρωρ . is the door-porter, whose office it would be to look out for approaching travellers, answering especially to the ministers of the word, who are (Ezekiel 33:0 ) watchmen to God’s church.

The construction of Mar 13:34 is remarkable; the participial clauses being in subordination to ἀφείς , and constituting part of the householder’s arrangements of departure, and the direct tense being assumed at ἐνετείλατο , as signifying what took place at his very going out of the door, where the porter would be stationed: as if it had been ἀφεὶς τ . οἰκ . αὐτοῦ ( καί , &c.) ἐνετείλατο κ . τ . λ .

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Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Mark 13". Alford's Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. 1863-1878.