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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Mark 13

 

 

Verses 1-37

Mark 13:2. There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. When the Chaldeans burned the temple, that part called Solomon’s porch escaped demolition; this favour however, small as it was, did not extend to the second temple. A Turkish mosque now succeeds the sanctuary; and the hill of Zion, once the repose of the ark, is now a fortress.

Mark 13:3. Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately. This is an addition to Matthew 24. The stones alluded to were of white and other marbles, prodigiously massive and exquisitely beautiful. The augurs of its total destruction were therefore words of thunder in the ears of men who had been taught, that the temple must abide for ever.

Mark 13:8. Nation shall rise against nation. From the rebellion of the Jews against the Romans, to the dissolution of the empire, wars arose in succession like the swells of the ocean; and the jews themselves, being an expatriated race, became seditious, and were slaughtered in numberless cities. But before the expulsion of the jews, our Saviour adds,

Mark 13:10. The gospel must first be published among all nations, for a witness and a testimony. The gentile nations must be illuminated by its glory, so as to compare the prophecies with the correspondent events; and those respecting the jews especially are so striking as to carry direct conviction of the inspiration of Moses and the prophets beyond all disputation. Deuteronomy 28:49. Daniel 9:24-27. The predictions of our Saviour respecting the jews and Jerusalem were so impressive, that the wit of Porphyry could only say that the predictions were written after the events. Proof sufficient to us, that the truth of prophecy is the pillar on which the church is built, a rock which remains when the heavens shall be no more. — See more on Acts 8:4. Psalms 19. Romans 10:18.

Mark 13:14. When ye shall see the abomination of desolation [spoken of by the prophet Daniel.] Some think, that the expletive was copied from Matthew’s gospel, because it is not in the Latin version. The sense is, when the Roman armies, with their eagles and idols, shall enter the holy land to suppress the rebellion, then know that the Hebrew sun shall be darkened. Let those eagles be a signal to the church for general flight to the eastern hills, and deserts of Arabia.

Mark 13:32. Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, nor the angels which are in heaven. The note of Poole in the Synopsis is, that certain fathers understand these words of the fall of Jerusalem, as it would seem from the question of the disciples, — when shall those things be?

Neither the Son, but the Father. St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, and St. Jerome are of opinion, that these words were foisted into the text from the Arian copies; because St. Matthew, whom St. Mark closely follows, has not these words, though he treats of some things more fully, and in others intersperses several occurrences.

But though most of the modern versions admit this adjection as genuine, the substance of what the critics teach is, that it is one thing to speak of the Son, as to his divine Essence, and another to speak of him as the Messiah by office. The word Father regards the divinity or godhead, and the word Son, still keeping the Messiah in view, regards his humanity, in which he grew in wisdom, and in favour both with God and men. Considering then the word Son as Messiah, the passage in John 5:19-26 pertinently applies here, as it regards the illumination and endowments of his humanity. “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do — The Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things — for as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man.”

In these views the Saviour considers himself as a servant, come to do the will of the Father, receiving all his instructions from him, and acting in perfect obedience to his will in all things. The argument then is simply this, — that the day and hour of the future judgment is in the sealed book of the deity, and must not be declared, that men may freely pursue the path of duty, till the day of final scrutiny burst on the world at once. The enquiry is foreign to the deity of Christ, who, as God, has declared in doctrine and in parables the glories of his future advent. He reigns till all his enemies shall become his footstool; and who in his times, καιροις ιδιοις, his own times, shall show who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords. 1 Timothy 6:15.

Mark 13:35. Watch ye therefore. See on Luke 12:35-40, where the narration is more copious.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Mark 13:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/mark-13.html. 1835.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, May 28th, 2020
the Seventh Week after Easter
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