After two days (μετα δυο ημερας meta duo hēmeras). This was Tuesday evening as we count time (beginning of the Jewish Wednesday). In Matthew 26:2 Jesus is reported as naming this same date which would put it our Thursday evening, beginning of the Jewish Friday. The Gospel of John mentions five items that superficially considered seem to contradict this definite date in Mark and Matthew, but which are really in harmony with them. See discussion on Matthew 26:17 and my Harmony of the Gospels, pp. 279 to 284. Mark calls it here the feast of “the passover and the unleavened bread,” both names covering the eight days. Sometimes “passover” is applied to only the first day, sometimes to the whole period. No sharp distinction in usage was observed.Sought (εζητουν ezētoun). Imperfect tense. They were still at it, though prevented so far.
Not during the feast (Μη εν τηι εορτηι Mē en tēi heortēi). They had first planned to kill him at the feast (John 11:57), but the Triumphal Entry and great Tuesday debate (this very morning) in the temple had made them decide to wait till after the feast was over. It was plain that Jesus had too large and powerful a following. See note on Matthew 26:47.
As he sat at meat (κατακειμενου αυτου katakeimenou autou). Matthew 26:7 uses ανακειμενου anakeimenou both words meaning reclining (leaning down or up or back) and in the genitive absolute. See note on Matthew 26:6 in proof that this is a different incident from that recorded in Luke 7:36-50. See Matthew 26:6-13 for discussion of details.Spikenard (nardou pistikēs). This use of pistikos with nardos occurs only here and in John 12:3. The adjective is common enough in the older Greek and appears in the papyri also in the sense of genuine, unadulterated, and that is probably the idea here. The word spikenard is from the Vulgate nardi spicati, probably from the Old Latin nardi pistici. Brake (suntripsousa). Only in Mark. She probably broke the narrow neck of the vase holding the ointment.
Above three hundred pence (επανω δηναριων τριακοσιων epanō dēnariōn triakosiōn). Matthew has “for much” while John 12:5 has “for three hundred pence.” The use of “far above” may be a detail from Peter‘s memory of Judas‘ objection whose name in this connection is preserved in John 12:4.And they murmured against her (και ενεβριμωντο αυτηι kai enebrimōnto autēi). Imperfect tense of this striking word used of the snorting of horses and seen already in Mark 1:43; John 11:38. It occurs in the lxx in the sense of anger as here (Daniel 11:30). Judas made the complaint against Mary of Bethany, but all the apostles joined in the chorus of criticism of the wasteful extravagance.
She hath done what she could (ο εσχεν εποιησεν ho eschen epoiēsen). This alone in Mark. Two aorists. Literally, “what she had she did.” Mary could not comprehend the Lord‘s death, but she at least showed her sympathy with him and some understanding of the coming tragedy, a thing that not one of her critics had done.She hath anointed my body aforehand for the burying (προελαβεν μυρισαι το σωμα μου εις τον ενταπιασμον proelaben murisai to sōma mou eis ton entaphiasmon). Literally, “she took beforehand to anoint my body for the burial.” She anticipated the event. This is Christ‘s justification of her noble deed. Matthew 26:12 also speaks of the burial preparation by Mary, using the verb ενταπιασαι entaphiasai f0).
For a memorial of her (εις μνημοσυνον αυτης eis mnēmosunon autēs). So in Matthew 26:13. There are many mausoleums that crumble to decay. But this monument to Jesus fills the whole world still with its fragrance. What a hint there is here for those who wish to leave permanent memorials.
He that was one of the twelve (ο εις των δωδεκα ho heis tōn dōdeka). Note the article here, “the one of the twelve,” Matthew has only εις heis “one.” Some have held that Mark here calls Judas the primate among the twelve. Rather he means to call attention to the idea that he was the one of the twelve who did this deed.
And they, when they heard it, were glad (οι δε ακουσαντες εχαρησαν hoi de akousantes echarēsan). No doubt the rabbis looked on the treachery of Judas as a veritable dispensation of Providence amply justifying their plots against Jesus.Conveniently (ευκαιρως eukairōs). This was the whole point of the offer of Judas. He claimed that he knew enough of the habits of Jesus to enable them to catch him “in the absence of the multitude” (Luke 22:6) without waiting for the passover to be over, when the crowds would leave. For discussion of the motives of Judas, see note on Matthew 26:15. Mark merely notes the promise of “money” while Matthew mentions “thirty pieces of silver” (Zechariah 11:12), the price of a slave.
When they sacrificed the passover (οτε το πασχα ετυον hote to pascha ethuon). Imperfect indicative, customary practice. The paschal lamb (note πασχα pascha) was slain at 6 p.m., beginning of the fifteenth of the month (Exodus 12:6), but the preparations were made beforehand on the fourteenth (Thursday). See note on Matthew 26:17 for discussion of “eat the passover.”
Two of his disciples (δυο των ματητων αυτου duo tōn mathētōn autou). Luke 22:8 names them, Peter and John.Bearing a pitcher of water (κεραμιον υδατος βασταζων keramion hudatos bastazōn). This item also in Luke, but not in Matthew.
The goodman of the house (τωι οικοδεσποτηι tōi oikodespotēi). A non-classical word, but in late papyri. It means master (δεσποτ despot) of the house, householder. The usual Greek has two separate words, οικου δεσποτης oikou despotēs (master of the house).My guest-chamber (το καταλυμα μου to kataluma mou). In lxx, papyri, and modern Greek for lodging-place (inn, as in Luke 2:7 or guest-chamber as here). It was used for καν khan or χαραςανσεραι caravanserai shall eat (παγω phagō). Futuristic aorist subjunctive with οπου hopou f0).
And he (και αυτος kai autos). Emphatic, and he himself.A large upper room (αναγαιον μεγα anagaion mega). Anything above ground (γη gē), and particularly upstairs as here. Here and in Luke 22:12. Example in Xenophon. Jesus wishes to observe this last feast with his disciples alone, not with others as was often done. Evidently this friend of Jesus was a man who would understand. Furnished (εστρωμενον estrōmenon). Perfect passive participle of στρωννυμι strōnnumi state of readiness. “Strewed with carpets, and with couches properly spread” (Vincent).
He cometh (ερχεται erchetai). Dramatic historical present. It is assumed here that Jesus is observing the passover meal at the regular time and hour, at 6 p.m. at the beginning of the fifteenth (evening of our Thursday, beginning of Jewish Friday). Mark and Matthew note the time as evening and state it as the regular passover meal.
As they sat (ανακειμενων αυτων anakeimenōn autōn). Reclined, of course. It is a pity that these verbs are not translated properly in English. Even Leonardo da Vinci in his immortal painting of the Last Supper has Jesus and his apostles sitting, not reclining. Probably he took an artist‘s license for effect.Even he that eateth with me (ο εστιων μετ εμου ho esthiōn met' emou). See Psalm 4:9. To this day the Arabs will not violate hospitality by mistreating one who breaks bread with them in the tent.
One of the twelve (εις των δωδεκα heis tōn dōdeka). It is as bad as that. The sign that Jesus gave, the one dipping in the dish with me (ο εμβαπτομενος μετ εμου εις το τρυβλιον ho embaptomenos met' emou eis to trublion), escaped the notice of all. Jesus gave the sop to Judas who understood perfectly that Jesus knew his purpose. See Matthew 26:21-24 for further details.
A cup (ποτηριον potērion). Probably the ordinary wine of the country mixed with two-thirds water, though the word for wine (οινος oinos) is not used here in the Gospels, but “the fruit of the vine” (εκ του γενηματος της αμπελου ek tou genēmatos tēs ampelou). See notes on Matthew 26:26-29 for discussion of important details. Mark and Matthew give substantially the same account of the institution of the Supper by Jesus, while Luke 22:17-20 agrees closely with 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 where Paul claims to have obtained his account by direct revelation from the Lord Jesus.
Sung a hymn (υμνησαντες humnēsantes). See note on Matthew 26:30 for discussion.
Yet will not I (αλλ ουκ εγω all' ouk egō). Mark records here Peter‘s boast of loyalty even though all desert him. All the Gospels tell it. See discussion on Matthew 26:33.
Twice (δις dis). This detail only in Mark. One crowing is always the signal for more. The Fayum papyrus agrees with Mark in having δις dis The cock-crowing marks the third watch of the night (Mark 13:35).
Exceeding vehemently (εκπερισσως ekperissōs). This strong compounded adverb only in Mark and probably preserves Peter‘s own statement of the remark. About the boast of Peter see Matthew 26:35.
Which was named (ου το ονομα hou to onoma). Literally, “whose name was.” On Gethsemane see note on Matthew 26:36.While I pray (εως προσευχωμαι heōs proseuxōmai). Aorist subjunctive with εως heōs really with purpose involved, a common idiom. Matthew adds “go yonder” (απελτων εκει apelthōn ekei).
Greatly amazed and sore troubled (εκταμβεισται και αδημονειν ekthambeisthai kai adēmonein). Matthew 26:37 has “sorrowful and sore troubled.” See note on Matt. about αδημονειν adēmonein Mark alone uses εχταμβεισται exthambeisthai (here and in Mark 9:15). There is a papyrus example given by Moulton and Milligan‘s Vocabulary. The verb ταμβεω thambeō occurs in Mark 10:32 for the amazement of the disciples at the look of Jesus as he went toward Jerusalem. Now Jesus himself feels amazement as he directly faces the struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane. He wins the victory over himself in Gethsemane and then he can endure the loss, despising the shame. For the moment he is rather amazed and homesick for heaven. “Long as He had foreseen the Passion, when it came clearly into view its terror exceeded His anticipations” (Swete). “He learned from what he suffered,” (Hebrews 5:8) and this new experience enriched the human soul of Jesus.
Fell on the ground (επιπτεν επι της γης epipten epi tēs gēs). Descriptive imperfect. See him falling. Matthew has the aorist επεσεν epesen (προσηυχετο prosēucheto). Imperfect, prayed repeatedly or inchoative, began to pray. Either makes good sense.The hour (η ωρα hē hōra). Jesus had long looked forward to this “hour” and had often mentioned it (John 7:30; John 8:20; John 12:23, John 12:27; John 13:1). See again in Mark 14:41. Now he dreads it, surely a human trait that all can understand.
Abba, Father (Αββα ο πατηρ Abba ho patēr). Both Aramaic and Greek and the article with each. This is not a case of translation, but the use of both terms as is Galatians 4:6, a probable memory of Paul‘s childhood prayers. About “the cup” see note on Matthew 26:39. It is not possible to take the language of Jesus as fear that he might die before he came to the Cross. He was heard (Hebrews 5:7.) and helped to submit to the Father‘s will as he does instantly.Not what I will (ου τι εγω τελω ou ti egō thelō). Matthew has “as” (ως hōs). We see the humanity of Jesus in its fulness both in the Temptations and in Gethsemane, but without sin each time. And this was the severest of all the temptations, to draw back from the Cross. The victory over self brought surrender to the Father‘s will.
Simon, sleepest thou? (Σιμων κατευδεισ Simōn katheudeis̱). The old name, not the new name, Peter. Already his boasted loyalty was failing in the hour of crisis. Jesus fully knows the weakness of human flesh (see Matthew 26:41).
Very heavy (καταβαρυνομενοι katabarunomenoi). Perfective use of κατα katȧ with the participle. Matthew has the simple verb. Mark‘s word is only here in the N.T. and is rare in Greek writers. Mark has the vivid present passive participle, while Matthew has the perfect passive βεβαρημενοι bebarēmenoi they wist not what to answer him (και ουκ ηιδεισαν τι αποκριτωσιν αυτωι kai ouk ēideisan ti apokrithōsin autōi). Deliberative subjunctive retained in the indirect question. Alone in Mark and reminds one of the like embarrassment of these same three disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:6). On both occasions weakness of the flesh prevented their real sympathy with Jesus in his highest and deepest experiences. “Both their shame and their drowsiness would make them dumb” (Gould).
It is enough (απεχει apechei). Alone in Mark. This impersonal use is rare and has puzzled expositors no little. The papyri (Deissmann‘s Light from the Ancient East and Moulton and Milligan‘s Vocabulary) furnish many examples of it as a receipt for payment in full. See also Matthew 6:2.; Luke 6:24; Philippians 4:18 for the notion of paying in full. It is used here by Jesus in an ironical sense, probably meaning that there was no need of further reproof of the disciples for their failure to watch with him. “This is no time for a lengthened exposure of the faults of friends; the enemy is at the gate” (Swete). See further Matthew 26:45 for the approach of Judas.
And the scribes (και των γραμματεων kai tōn grammateōn). Mark adds this item while John 18:3 mentions “Pharisees.” It was evidently a committee of the Sanhedrin for Judas had made his bargain with the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:1; Matthew 26:3; Luke 22:2). See discussion of the betrayal and arrest on Matthew 26:47-56 for details.
Token (συσσημον sussēmon). A common word in the ancient Greek for a concerted signal according to agreement. It is here only in the New Testament. Matthew 26:48 has σημειον sēmeion sign. The signal was the kiss by Judas, a contemptible desecration of a friendly salutation.And lead him away safely (και απαγετε ασπαλως kai apagete asphalōs). Only in Mark. Judas wished no slip to occur. Mark and Matthew do not tell of the falling back upon the ground when Jesus challenged the crowd with Judas. It is given by John alone (John 18:4-9).
A certain one (εις τις heis tis). Mark does not tell that it was Peter. Only John 18:10 does that after Peter‘s death. He really tried to kill the man, Malchus by name, as John again tells (John 18:10). Mark does not give the rebuke to Peter by Jesus in Matthew 26:52.
Against a robber (επι ληιστην epi lēistēn). Highway robbers like Barabbas were common and were often regarded as heroes. Jesus will be crucified between two robbers in the very place that Barabbas would have occupied.
A certain young man (νεανισκος τις neaniskos tis). This incident alone in Mark. It is usually supposed that Mark himself, son of Mary (Acts 12:12) in whose house they probably had observed the passover meal, had followed Jesus and the apostles to the Garden. It is a lifelike touch quite in keeping with such a situation. Here after the arrest he was following with Jesus (συνηκολουτει αυτωι sunēkolouthei autōi imperfect tense). Note the vivid dramatic present κρατουσιν kratousin (they seize him).
Linen cloth (σινδονα sindona). An old Greek word of unknown origin. It was fine linen cloth used often for wrapping the dead (Matthew 27:59; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53). In this instance it could have been a fine sheet or even a shirt.
Peter had followed him afar off (ο Πετρος απο μακροτεν ηκολουτησεν αυτωι Ho Petros apo makrothen ēkolouthēsen autōi). Here Mark uses the constative aorist (ηκολουτησεν ēkolouthēsen) where Matthew 26:58, and Luke 22:54 have the picturesque imperfect (ηκολουτει ēkolouthei), was following. Possibly Mark did not care to dwell on the picture of Peter furtively following at a distance, not bold enough to take an open stand with Christ as the Beloved Disciple did, and yet unable to remain away with the other disciples.Was sitting with (ην συνκατημενος ēn sunkathēmenos). Periphrastic imperfect middle, picturing Peter making himself at home with the officers (υπηρετων hupēretōn), under rowers, literally, then servants of any kind. John 18:25 describes Peter as standing (εστως hestōs). Probably he did now one, now the other, in his restless weary mood. Warming himself in the light (τερμαινομενος πρως το πως thermainomenos prōs to phōs). Direct middle. Fire has light as well as heat and it shone in Peter‘s face. He was not hidden as much as he supposed he was.
Their witness agreed not together (ισαι αι μαρτυριαι ουκ ησαν isai hai marturiai ouk ēsan). Literally, the testimonies were not equal. They did not correspond with each other on essential points.Many were bearing false witness (επσευδομαρτυρουν epseudomarturoun imperfect, repeated action) against him. No two witnesses bore joint testimony to justify a capital sentence according to the law (Deuteronomy 19:15). Note imperfects in these verses (Mark 14:55-57) to indicate repeated failures.
Bare false witness (επσευδομαρτυρουν epseudomarturoun). In desperation some attempted once more (conative imperfect).
Made with hands (χειροποιητον cheiropoiēton). In Mark alone. An old Greek word. The negative form αχειροποιητον acheiropoiēton here occurs elsewhere only in 2 Corinthians 5:1; Colossians 2:11. In Hebrews 9:11 the negative ου ou is used with the positive form. It is possible that a real λογιον logion of Jesus underlies the perversion of it here. Mark and Matthew do not quote the witnesses precisely alike. Perhaps they quoted Jesus differently and therein is shown part of the disagreement, for Mark adds Mark 14:59 (not in Matthew). “And not even so did their witness agree together,” repeating the point of Mark 14:57. Swete observes that Jesus, as a matter of fact, did do what he is quoted as saying in Mark: “He said what the event has proved to be true; His death destroyed the old order, and His resurrection created the new.” But these witnesses did not mean that by what they said. The only saying of Jesus at all like this preserved to us is that in John 2:19, when he referred not to the temple in Jerusalem, but to the temple of his body, though no one understood it at the time.
Stood up in the midst (αναστας εις μεσον anastas eis meson). Second aorist active participle. For greater solemnity he arose to make up by bluster the lack of evidence. The high priest stepped out into the midst as if to attack Jesus by vehement questions. See notes on Matthew 26:59-68 for details here.
And answered nothing (και ουκ απεκρινατο ουδεν kai ouk apekrinato ouden). Mark adds the negative statement to the positive “kept silent” (εσιωπα esiōpā), imperfect, also in Matthew. Mark does not give the solemn oath in Matthew under which Jesus had to answer. See note on Matthew.
I am (εγο ειμι ego eimi). Matthew has it, “Thou hast said,” which is the equivalent of the affirmative. But Mark‘s statement is definite beyond controversy. See notes on Matthew 26:64-68 for the claims of Jesus and the conduct of Caiaphas.
They all (οι δε παντες hoi de pantes). This would mean that Joseph of Arimathea was not present since he did not consent to the death of Jesus (Luke 23:51). Nicodemus was apparently absent also, probably not invited because of previous sympathy with Jesus (John 7:50). But all who were present voted for the death of Jesus.
Cover his face (περικαλυπτειν αυτου το προσωπον perikaluptein autou to prosōpon). Put a veil around his face. Not in Matthew, but in Luke 22:64 where Revised Version translates περικαλυπσαντες perikalupsantes by “blind-folded.” All three Gospels give the jeering demand of the Sanhedrin: “Prophesy” (προπητευσον prophēteuson), meaning, as Matthew and Luke add, thereby telling who struck him while he was blindfolded. Mark adds “the officers” (same as in Mark 14:54) of the Sanhedrin, Roman lictors or sergeants-at-arms who had arrested Jesus in Gethsemane and who still held Jesus (οι συνεχοντες αυτον hoi sunechontes auton Luke 22:63). Matthew 26:67 alludes to their treatment of Jesus without clearly indicating who they were.With blows of their hands (ραπισμασιν rapismasin). The verb ραπιζω rapizō in Matthew 26:67 originally meant to smite with a rod. In late writers it comes to mean to slap the face with the palm of the hands. The same thing is true of the substantive ραπισμα rapisma used here. A papyrus of the sixth century a.d. uses it in the sense of a scar on the face as the result of a blow. It is in the instrumental case here. “They caught him with blows,” Swete suggests for the unusual ελαβον elabon in this sense. “With rods” is, of course, possible as the lictors carried rods. At any rate it was a gross indignity.
Beneath in the court (κατω εν τηι αυληι katō en tēi aulēi). This implies that Jesus was upstairs when the Sanhedrin met. Matthew 26:69 has it without in the court (εχω εν τηι αυληι exō en tēi aulēi). Both are true. The open court was outside of the rooms and also below.
Warming himself (τερμαινομενον thermainomenon). Mark mentions this fact about Peter twice (Mark 14:54, Mark 14:67) as does John (John 18:18, John 18:25). He was twice beside the fire. It is quite difficult to relate clearly the three denials as told in the Four Gospels. Each time several may have joined in, both maids and men.The Nazarene (του Ναζαρηνου tou Nazarēnou). In Matthew 26:69 it is “the Galilean.” A number were probably speaking, one saying one thing, another another.
I neither know nor understand (ουτε οιδα ουτε επισταμαι oute oida oute epistamai). This denial is fuller in Mark, briefest in John.What thou sayest (συ τι λεγεις su ti legeis). Can be understood as a direct question. Note position of thou (συ su), proleptical. Into the porch (εις το προαυλιον eis to proaulion). Only here in the New Testament. Plato uses it of a prelude on a flute. It occurs also in the plural for preparations the day before the wedding. Here it means the vestibule to the court. Matthew 26:71 has πυλωνα pulōna a common word for gate or front porch. And the cock crew (και αλεκτωρ επωνησεν kai alektōr ephōnēsen). Omitted by Aleph B L Sinaitic Syriac. It is genuine in Mark 14:72 where “the second time” (εκ δευτερου ek deuterou) occurs also. It is possible that because of Mark 14:72 it crept into Mark 14:68. Mark alone alludes to the cock crowing twice, originally (Mark 14:30), and twice in Mark 14:72, besides Mark 14:68 which is hardly genuine.
To them that stood by (τοις παρεστωσιν tois parestōsin). This talk about Peter was overheard by him. “This fellow (ουτος houtos) is one of them.” So in Mark 14:70 the talk is directly to Peter as in Matthew 26:73, but in Luke 22:59 it is about him. Soon the bystanders (οι παρεστωτες hoi parestōtes) will join in the accusation to Peter (Mark 14:70; Matthew 26:73), with the specially pungent question in John 18:26 which was the climax. See notes on Matthew 26:69-75 for discussion of similar details.
Curse (ανατεματιζειν anathematizein). Our word anathema (ανα τεμα ana ανατημα thema an offering, then something devoted or a curse). Finally the two meanings were distinguished by ανατεμα anathēma for offering and ανατεμα anathema for curse. Deissmann has found examples at Megara of κατατεματιζειν anathema in the sense of curse. Hence the distinction observed in the N.T. was already in the Koiné. Matthew 26:74 has απαχ λεγομενον katathematizein which is a hapax legomenon in the N.T., though common in the lxx. This word has the notion of calling down curses on one‘s self if the thing is not true.
Called to mind (ανεμνηστη anemnēsthē). First aorist passive indicative. Matthew 26:75 has the uncompounded verb εμνηστη emnēsthē while Luke 22:61 has another compound υπεμνηστη hupemnēsthē was reminded.When he thought thereon (επιβαλων epibalōn). Second aorist active participle of επιβαλλω epiballō It is used absolutely here, though there is a reference to το ρημα to rhēma above, the word of Jesus, and the idiom involves τον νουν ton noun so that the meaning is to put the mind upon something. In Luke 15:12 there is another absolute use with a different sense. Moulton (Prolegomena, p. 131) quotes a Ptolemaic papyrus Tb P 50 where επιβαλων epibalōn probably means “set to,” put his mind on. Wept (εκλαιεν eklaien). Inchoative imperfect, began to weep. Matthew 26:75 has the ingressive aorist εκλαυσεν eklausen burst into tears.
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Mark 14". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany