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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Mark 11

Verse 1

Mark 11:1 . Εἰς Βηθφαγὴ καὶ Βηθανίαν , unto Bethphage and Bethany ) See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. [23] Bethany was already, by the time that the Lord commenced these things [His directions as to preparing for His triumphal entry], in His rear: Bethphage was before His eyes; therefore the latter is placed first, not according to the geographical order, but as being of superior consideration; and at Jerusalem, as it appears, they were wont thus to name the two places, which were most closely joined, Bethphage and Bethany .

[23] Lachm. reads καὶ εἰς Βηθανίαν , omitting Βηθφαγὴ , with D abc Vulg., Origen 3,743 a expressly ( ἴδωμεν δὲ περὶ τῆς Βηθφαγὴ μὲν κατὰ Ματθαῖον , Βηθανίας δὲ κατὰ τὸν Μάρκον , Βηθφαγὴ δὲ καὶ Βηθανίας κατὰ τὸν Λουκᾶν ), making it likely the Βηθφαγὴ was interpolated in Mark from Luke by Harmonists of the Ev. But Tisch. reads Βηθφαγὴ , on the weighty authority of AB Orig. 4,181 d . ED. and TRANSL. In the Vers. Germ. Beng. altogether omits Bethphage, in accordance with his Appar. on this passage. E. B.

Verse 2

Mark 11:2 . Κώμην , village ) Bethphage. ἐφʼ ὃν οὐδεὶς , [24] upon which no man ) Not readily would there be found such a colt at one and the same time and place; this one, therefore, was reserved for the Lord. Those creatures or things which are to serve Christ, must be free from all pollutions of sinful bodies; see Matthew 27:60 . This colt, though untamed, yet bare Him as a sitter.

[24] The reading οὔπω οὐδεὶς , which had been deemed not worthy of approval in the marg. of the larger Ed. , is judged equal to that of the text in Exodus 2:0; Exodus 2:0 , and is even approved by Vers. Germ . E. B. Lachm. also so reads with BL Δ , Orig., and after ἀνθρώπων C, πώποτε A, b Vulg. “nemo ad huc.” Tisch. omits οὔπω with D ac . πωποτε evidently is an interpolation of Harmonists from Luke 19:30 . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 4

Mark 11:4 . Ἀμφόδυ ) Ἄμφοδον , a way, a broad street [Eng. Vers. where two ways meet ].

Verse 10

Mark 11:10 . Τοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν Δαυὶδ , of our father David ) Construe with the kingdom [ For many acknowledge that the words ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου have been repeated from the preceding verse . Not. Crit . [*] They call David their father, as being the king, the father of their nation. Yet, however, we may suppose that the posterity also of David were mixed up with them. The throne of David has been assigned to the Messiah , Luke 1:32 . V. g.]

[*] A supports the ἑν ὀνόματι Κυρίου of the Rec. Text. But BCD abc Vulg., Orig. 3,744, 4,182 a , omit these words. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 11

Mark 11:11 . Περιβλεψάμενος , having looked round about ) His visitation. [ Which, on the following day, He followed up with a most weighty reproof. For if His expulsion of the money-changers had been repeated on each of the two days, Mark would use the verb ἤρξατο with less propriety in Mark 11:15 . In like manner, Luke assigns the plucking of the ears of corn and the healing of the withered hand to two distinct Sabbaths, though in Matthew and Mark that distinctness of the Sabbaths is less plainly marked. So Matthew sets forth at the same time, and together, all that happened in the case of the fig-tree; Mark divides the incidents respecting it between two days: so Matthew and Mark join the transfiguration with the account of the lunatic boy; Luke (ch. Luk 9:37 ) represents the lunatic as healed on the following day after the Saviour’s transfiguration . Harm., p. 447, 448.] πάντα , all things ) What holy meditations He had respecting the sacrifices, and the types about to be so soon fulfilled in Himself.

Verse 13

Mark 11:13 . Ἔχουσαν φύλλα , having leaves ) And on this account promising fruit. εἰ ἄρα , whether accordingly [if haply] The whole question as to the kinds of fig-trees may be set aside [dispensed with]. The leaves, which were on it, gave promise ostensibly of an abundance of fruit: accordingly the Lord approached to see, whether He would find anything more than leaves; but He found nothing but leaves, and not also figs: for it was not the time of figs. A nearer view of the tree showed that the tree was not such, as the leaves peculiarly [extraordinarily] promised it would be; but just such as was to be expected from the ordinary season, which was not the time of figs (comp. Mat 24:32 ); that time either refers to the part of the year, a very few days after the vernal equinox, ch. Mark 13:28 , or, independently of the time of year, it is denoted that trees of that kind were not then fruit-bearing. Therefore every fig-tree ought either to have not even leaves; or else, having leaves, to have had fruit also. Other fig-trees, which were clad neither with leaves nor fruits, were exempted from blame: this fig-tree, laden as it was with leaves, though promising, yet in fact refused the fruit which it promised. Therefore it was made to suffer the penalty. γὰρ , for ) This particle intimates the reason for which, both on a tree, though laden with leaves, yet the Lord sought fruit in particular , namely, because it was not the time of fruits: and why He found on it nothing save leaves. [It had seemed likely that at least unripe fruits would be found on it: what use these would have been made to serve by our Lord, it is needless to inquire. He may have been impelled, by the promptings of hunger, to seek for fruits, even though not wishing to eat such food. Nay, even unripe eatables relieve at times, when hunger is pressing. And He who had turned the water into wine, and a very few loaves into a banquet, sufficient for thousands of men, with what ease may we suppose that HE would have been likely to impart instantaneous ripeness to the fruit. Harm. , p. 453]. This clause [ for the time of figs was not yet ] applies [is intended] for the explanation of the whole period, as the γὰρ , for , ch. Mark 16:4 , where see note.

Verse 14

Mark 11:14 . Ἀποκριθεὶς , answering ) To the tree which refused food. μηδεὶς , no man ) Whatever does not serve Jesus Christ, is unworthy to serve any one of mortals. [ Therefore the tree was doomed to the curse for the honour of the Son of GOD. V. g.]

Verse 15

Mark 11:15 . Ἤρξατο , began ) Men ought to have been wise [ the day before ], whilst the Lord was still sparing and warning by mere gestures [In the temple, “He looked round about upon all things,”] Mark 11:11 .

Verse 16

Mark 11:16 . Διὰ τοῦ ἱεροῦ , through the temple ) As if through a street.

Verse 17

Mark 11:17 . Ἐδίδασκε , He taught ) The addition of teaching makes punishment salutary in its effect. πᾶσι τοῖς ἔθνεσι , to all nations ) Construe with the house of prayer . Comp. the accents, Isaiah 56:7 [My house shall be called an house of prayer for all people .]

Verse 18

Mark 11:18 . Καὶ , and ) They either had approved of that traffic as lawful, or as a source of gain: or else they thought that it ought to have been done away with rather by their agency than by His.- ἐφοβοῦντο , they feared ) Therefore they sought for artifices.

Verse 19

[19. Ὅτε ὀψὲ ἐγένετο , when evening was come ) Mark has given with peculiar and extraordinary distinctness, the description of these last walks of the Saviour. Harm. , p. 457.]

Verse 22

Mark 11:22 . Ἔχετε , have ) Hold fast. πίστιν θεοῦ , faith ) Such as it is right that they should have, who have God [as their God]: faith great and sincere, which believes in God, and believes in there being no foundation save God in all the things of the natural world. So ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ τοῦ θεοῦ in prayer of God, i.e. to God in solitude, Luke 6:12 . So the kindness of God is used of the kindness, which is bestowed on the orphan [of Jonathan] from a regard to God alone, 2 Samuel 9:3 , with which comp. Mark 11:1 . So the cedars of God are trees not planted by human hands. The mountains [hills] of God , those which human culture does not reach.

Verse 25

Mark 11:25 . Καὶ ὅταν , and when ) The connection is, We must pray “without doubting and wrath,” 1 Timothy 2:8 . στήκητε , stand ) When in respect to the very attitude of your body you have laid yourselves out for prayer: com. Jeremiah 18:20 . To stand is the attitude of one praying with confidence [Luke 18:11 ; Luk 18:13 ]: to lie prostrate is that of one praying so as to deprecate vengeance. στήκω , from ἕστηκα , signifies I am he [one] who have betaken myself to standing ; a signification which admirably suits the other passages also, where στήκω is read. When standing we touch the earth with as small a part of us as possible; for which reason it is an apt posture for those who pray; in which the ascetics forbid ‘ appodiare ’ [1] ἀφίετε , forgive ) [Thus an especial hinderance ( Mar 11:26 ) to believing (faithful) prayer is removed. Sin not yet forgiven hinders all things else. V. g.] Jesus cursed the fig-tree: the believer ought not to curse his brother.

[1] Lit. ad podium stare, podioque inniti , “to lean upon some prop.” ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 27

Mark 11:27 . Περιπατοῦντος , walking about ) As in his own house. ἔρχονται , come ) A weighty and solemn interrogation this was, made by men of different ranks.

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Mark 11". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.