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Bible Commentaries
Mark 12

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

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Verses 1-44

Mark 12:1 . A certain man planted a vineyard. See on Matthew 20:1. The idea conveys an enlarged view of its magnitude, conformably to what is said in Psalms 80:0. and Isaiah 5:0.

Mark 12:2 . He sent to the husbandmen a servant. Matthew has the plural, servants. The harmony is, that the steward had servants with him. Those innocent variations tend to strengthen the gospel history: the evangelists did not write in concert.

Mark 12:6 . Having yet therefore one son, his well-beloved. Our best lexicons construe the Greek phrase, to designate the only-begotten Son. Some Greek copies on this mission have ισως οτι , perhaps; others have that, and because they will, or may reverence my Son. Though, as St. Peter admits, the jews did not precisely know that Christ was the Lord of glory; yet it appears from the highpriest’s speech to the council, John 11:49; John 11:53, that many knew that he was the Christ. By consequence, the magnitude of their punishment corresponded with the magnitude of their crime.

Mark 12:10 . The stone which the builders rejected. Matthew 22:42.

Mark 12:15 . Bring me a penny. A denarion, of which the assarion was one tenth, as stated on Luke 12:6.

Mark 12:16 . Whose is this image and superscription? They said unto him, Cæsar’s. Few coins before the times of the Cæsars had the head of the reigning prince stamped upon them. The Hebrew shekel had the golden pot of manna on one side, and on the obverse, the rod of Aaron which budded, as described in Exodus 30:13. See the map of Jerusalem. The budding of the dry rod, as the branches of the palmtree on the doors of the temple, was regarded as flattery to the priesthood, and an omen of national prosperity.

Mark 12:17 . Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s. Campbell’s translation is better: “Render to Cæsar that which is Cæsar’s, and to God that which is God’s.” Thus the reproach which the Herodians intended for the Saviour recoiled on their own heads. These words imply a command, that all men enjoying protection from the state, must act their part with fidelity in its support.

Mark 12:18-19 . Then came the sadducees saying, Master, Moses wrote to us, If a man’s brother die his brother should take his wife. These infidels affected to believe the five books of Moses, but considered the other scriptures as apochryphal. See on Matthew 22:23.

Mark 12:29 . The Lord our God is one Lord, as stated in Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

Mark 12:30 . Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. He is the sole happiness of man, and the joy of all living beings upon the earth. Beauty and perfection with the creatures fade away; with God they are permanent, unchangeable, and infinitely adorable. What are the fond pleadings of misguided nature for the creatures? Look again: they are gone! The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; all flesh is grass, and its beauties are as the flower of the field. This supreme love then, is the love that never faileth; the true religion, better understood by the heart than by the head. Calamitous indeed were the learned disputations of the rabbins about the first and great command, while in great darkness as to the spirit of the law. God is love, and his law is like himself.

Mark 12:42 . A certain poor widow threw in two mites, which make a farthing. Λεπτα is called mite, because it was the smallest coin in circulation. The French Mons testament have liard, the eighth of a penny, but kodrantes is here the fourth of some coin then in use. This widow surpassed them all in charity, because she emptied her pocket, while the rich gave only their superfluities. Most churches and chapels follow the example of the temple in having a box at the door to receive the willing offerings of the worshippers. This widow had her treasure in heaven, while Crœsus and Nebuchadnezzar had theirs on earth, a booty of temptation for the Persian armies.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Mark 12". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/mark-12.html. 1835.
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