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Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Mark 2

Introduction

Chapter Summary

Mark 2:1-2 Christ, followed by multitudes,

Mark 2:3-12 healeth one sick of the palsy,

Mark 2:13-14 calleth Matthew from the receipt of custom,

Mark 2:15-17 justifieth himself for eating with publicans and sinners,

Mark 2:18-22 excuses his disciples for not fasting,

Mark 2:23-28 and vindicates them for plucking the ears of corn on the sabbath day.

Verses 1-12

We read the history of this miracle in Matthew nine. See Poole on "Matthew 9:1", and following verses to Matthew 9:8, having there taken in those passages in this evangelist’s relation which Matthew had not, I shall only take notice of some few things not there touched upon.

He preached the word unto them; the word of God, the gospel. There are other words, but that is the word, Matthew 13:20; Mark 8:32; Mark 16:20; Luke 1:2; Acts 17:11; the most excellent word, and the only word to be preached.

Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God? So as it was on all hands then received, that none but the creditor could discharge the debt, none but God could forgive sins. But how spite cankers things! Our Saviour did not say till afterward that he forgave him his sins. What blasphemy was there in this saying, Thy sins be forgiven thee? But what if none but God could forgive sins? Could also any but God tell unto men their thoughts? 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 6:30; Psalms 7:9; Jeremiah 17:10. That Christ could tell their thoughts was matter of demonstration to them, Mark 2:6,Mark 2:8; why might they not also have allowed him a power to forgive sins? But they could not for this charge him with blasphemy, which was their malicious design.

Verse 13

Still it is said he taught them, thereby letting his ministers know what is their great work; and therefore they should be persons apt to teach, as Paul directeth Timothy, 1 Timothy 3:2.

Verses 14-17

We had this piece of history with some addition in Matthew 9:9-13, where he was called Matthew: Mark and Luke both call him Levi: it was ordinary with the Jews to have two names. See Poole on "Matthew 9:9".

Verses 18-22

See Poole on "Matthew 9:14", and following verses to Matthew 9:17. The sum of all teacheth us:

1. That fasting is an exercise suited to afflictive dispensations of Providence, and ought to be proportioned to its season.

2. That new converts are not to be discouraged by too severe exercises of religion, but to be trained up to them by degrees.

Verses 23-28

We had also this history in Matthew 12:1-8, in our notes upon which we considered all those passages relating to it which this evangelist hath, for the explication of which I refer my reader thither. See Poole on "Matthew 12:1", and following verses to Matthew 12:8. It refers to a story, 1 Samuel 21:1, where Ahimelech is said to have been the high priest. Abiathar was his son, as appeareth by 1 Samuel 22:20, who escaped the slaughter of his father’s family upon the information of Doeg the Edomite, and followed David. It was in the latter end of the priesthood of Ahimelech, and probably Abiathar assisted his father in the execution of the office, and so suddenly succeeded, that Mark calls it the time of his priesthood. Besides that those words, επι ’Aβιαθαρ, do not necessarily signify in the days of Abiathar, as we translate it, no more than επι μετοιχεσιας signifies in the carrying into captivity, but about the time, or near the time; which it was, for Ahimelech was presently after it (possibly within a few days) cut off, as we read, 1 Samuel 22:17,1 Samuel 22:18; and Abiathar was a more noted man than his father Ahimelech, enjoying the priesthood more than forty years, and being the person who was made famous by carrying the ephod to David.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Mark 2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/mark-2.html. 1685.