Mark 12:29
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

New Living Translation
Jesus replied, "The most important commandment is this: 'Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD.

English Standard Version
Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

New American Standard Bible
Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;

King James Bible
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"This is the most important," Jesus answered: Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One.

International Standard Version
Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord,

NET Bible
Jesus answered, "The most important is: 'Listen, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Yeshua said to him, “The first of all the commandments: 'Hear Israel, THE LORD JEHOVAH your God, THE LORD JEHOVAH, he is One.' “

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Jesus responded unto him, The principal of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is one;

King James 2000 Bible
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

American King James Version
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

American Standard Version
Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jesus answered him, [The] first commandment of all [is], Hear, Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord;

English Revised Version
Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one:

Webster's Bible Translation
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.

Weymouth New Testament
"The chief Commandment," replied Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord;

World English Bible
Jesus answered, "The greatest is, 'Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one:

Young's Literal Translation
and Jesus answered him -- 'The first of all the commands is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:28-34 Those who sincerely desire to be taught their duty, Christ will guide in judgment, and teach his way. He tells the scribe that the great commandment, which indeed includes all, is, that of loving God with all our hearts. Wherever this is the ruling principle in the soul, there is a disposition to every other duty. Loving God with all our heart, will engage us to every thing by which he will be pleased. The sacrifices only represented the atonements for men's transgressions of the moral law; they were of no power except as they expressed repentance and faith in the promised Saviour, and as they led to moral obedience. And because we have not thus loved God and man, but the very reverse, therefore we are condemned sinners; we need repentance, and we need mercy. Christ approved what the scribe said, and encouraged him. He stood fair for further advance; for this knowledge of the law leads to conviction of sin, to repentance, to discovery of our need of mercy, and understanding the way of justification by Christ.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Jesus answered him, the first of all the commandments is,.... Christ replied at once, without taking any time to consider of it, that the chief and principal of all the commands of the law, and what is of the greatest importance is,

hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. The Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions read, "one God"; but the Syriac, and Ethiopic render it, "one Lord"; and that rightly, agreeably to the Greek text, and to Deuteronomy 6:4, from whence this is taken. This passage of Scripture, to the end of the ninth verse, is the first of the sections which were put into their phylacteries; See Gill on Matthew 23:5; and was repeated twice every day, morning and evening; which is by the Jews called from the first word , "the reading of the Shema": concerning the exact time of the reciting of this, morning and evening, and of the posture in which they do it, reclining in the evening, and standing in the morning, and of the prayers before and after it, various rules are given in their Misna (p), or oral law; it is a precept of great esteem and veneration with them, and attended to with much solemnity. The account Maimonides (q) gives of it is this:

"twice every day they read Keriath Shema; (i.e. "hear, O Israel", &c.) in the evening and in morning, as it is said, Deuteronomy 6:7. "When thou liest down, and when thou risest up"; in the hour it is the custom of men to lie down, and this is night; and in the hour it is the custom of men to stand, and this is day: and what does he read? three sections; and they are these, "hear", &c. Deuteronomy 6:4, and it shall come to pass, "if ye shall hearken", &c. Deuteronomy 11:13, "and Moses said", &c. Exodus 13:3, and they read the section, "hear, O Israel", first, because there is in it the unity of God, and the love of him and his doctrine; for it is, , "the great root", or "foundation", on which all hangs or depends.''

And it is observable, that the last letter of the word "hear", and the last of the word "one", are both written in very large characters in the Hebrew Bible, to denote the greatness of the command, and to cause attention to it. The Jews seek for mysteries in these letters, and think the unusual size of them, points at some very great things: they observe, that the first of these letters is numerically "seventy", and directs to the seventy names of the law, and the seventy ways in which it may be interpreted, and the seventy nations of the world, from whom the Israelites are distinguished, by their belief of the one God (r); and that the latter stands for the number "four", and shows that the Lord is the one God, in heaven and in earth, in all the world, and in the four parts of it; and that both these letters put together, make a word, which signifies "a witness"; showing that this passage is a glorious testimony of the unity of God, and that the Israelites are witnesses of it, by believing and professing it; and that should they depart from the faith of it, God would be a witness against them: and now, though there is no solid foundation for such interpretations, yet this shows what an opinion they had of the greatness of this command; to which, may be added, they ask (s),

"why does, "hear, O Israel", &c. go before that passage in Deuteronomy 11:13. "And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments", &c. but because a man must take upon him, first the yoke of the kingdom of heaven, and after that he must take upon him the yoke of the commandments.''

The sense is, that he must first make a confession of his faith in God, which is contained in Deuteronomy 6:4 and then he must obey his commands; so that they plainly considered this, as the first and greatest of all. These words are frequent in the mouths of the modern Jews, in proof of the unity of God, and against a plurality in the Deity; but the ancient ones, not only consider them as a good and sufficient proof, that there is but one God, but as expressive of a Trinity in the Godhead: with a view to this text they observe (t), that

"Jehovah, "our God, Jehovah"; these are, , "three degrees" (or persons) with respect to this sublime mystery, "in the beginning, God", or "Elohim, created", &c.''

And again (u),

"there is an unity which is called Jehovah the first, our God, Jehovah; behold! they are all one, and therefore called one: lo! these three names are as one; and although we call them one, and they are one; but by the revelation of the Holy Ghost it is made known, and they are by the sight of the eye to be known, that "these three are one", (see 1 John 5:7,) and this is the mystery of the voice that is heard; the voice is one; and there are three things, fire, and wind, and water, and they are all one, in the mystery of the voice, and they are not but one: so here, Jehovah, our God, Jehovah, these, , "three modes, forms", or "things", are one.''

Once more they (w) say,

"there are two, and one is joined to them, and they are three; and when they are three, they are one: these are the two names of hear, O Israel, which are Jehovah, Jehovah, and Elohenu, or our God, is joined unto them; and it is the seal of the ring of truth.''

To which I shall subjoin one passage more, where R. Eliezer is asking his father R. Simeon ben Jochai, why Jehovah is sometimes called Elohim, he replies (x), among other things;

"come see, there are "three degrees", (or persons,) and every degree is by itself; although they are all one, and bound together in one, and one is not separated from another.''

To believe this, is the first and chief commandment in the law, and is the principal article of the Christian faith; namely, to believe that there is one God, and that there are three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, in the Godhead.

continued...

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

29. And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is—The readings here vary considerably. Tischendorf and Tregelles read simply, "the first is"; and they are followed by Meyer and Alford. But though the authority for the precise form of the received text is slender, a form almost identical with it seems to have most weight of authority. Our Lord here gives His explicit sanction to the distinction between commandments of a more fundamental and primary character, and commandments of a more dependent and subordinate nature; a distinction of which it is confidently asserted by a certain class of critics that the Jews knew nothing, that our Lord and His apostles nowhere lay down, and which has been invented by Christian divines. (Compare Mt 23:23).

Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord—This every devout Jew recited twice every day, and the Jews do it to this day; thus keeping up the great ancient national protest against the polytheisms and pantheisms of the heathen world: it is the great utterance of the national faith in One Living and Personal God—"One Jehovah!"

Mark 12:29 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Greatest Commandment
28One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?" 29Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; 30AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.'…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 6:4
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

Psalm 86:10
For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.

James 2:19
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.
Treasury of Scripture

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

Hear.

Mark 12:32,33 And the scribe said to him, Well, Master, you have said the truth: …

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but …

Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of …

Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.

Matthew 10:37 He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: …

Luke 10:27 And he answering said, You shall love the Lord your God with all …

1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and …

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