The Jews conspire against Christ, Mark 14:1, Mark 14:2. He is anointed in the house of Simon the Leper, Mark 14:3-9. Judas Iscariot sells him to the chief priests for thirty pieces of money, Mark 14:10, Mark 14:11. He orders his disciples to prepare the passover, Mark 14:12-16. Predicts his approaching death, Mark 14:17-21. Institutes the holy eucharist, Mark 14:22-26. Foretells the unfaithfulness of his disciples in general, Mark 14:27, Mark 14:28, and Peter's denial, Mark 14:29-31. His agony in the garden, Mark 14:32-36. The disciples overcome by sleep, Mark 14:37-42. Judas comes with a mob from the chief priests, and betrays him with a kiss; they seize him, Mark 14:43-49. The disciples flee, Mark 14:50. A young man following, and about to be apprehended, makes his escape, Mark 14:51, Mark 14:52. Jesus is brought before the chief priests, and Peter follows at a distance, Mark 14:53, Mark 14:54. He is examined, insulted, and abused, and condemned on false evidence, Mark 14:55-65. Peter thrice denies him, reflects on his wickedness, and repents of his sin, Mark 14:66-72.
After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.Unleavened bread - After they began to eat unleavened bread: see on Matthew 26:2 (note).
But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.
And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.Alabaster box - Among critics and learned men there are various conjectures concerning the alabaster mentioned by the evangelists: some think it means a glass phial; others, that it signifies a small vessel without a handle, from α negative and λαβη, a handle; and others imagine that it merely signifies a perfume or essence bottle. There are several species of the soft calcareous stone called alabaster, which are enumerated and described in different chemical works.
Spikenard - Or nard. An Indian plant, whose root is very small and slender. It puts forth a long and small stalk, and has several ears or spikes even with the ground, which has given it the name of spikenard: the taste is bitter, acrid, and aromatic, and the smell agreeable. Calmet.
Very precious - Or rather, unadulterated: this I think is the proper meaning of πιστικης. Theophylact gives this interpretation of the passage: "Unadulterated hard, and prepared with fidelity." Some think that πιστικη is a contraction of the Latin spicatae, and that it signifies the spicated nard, or what we commonly call the spikenard. But Dr. Lightfoot gives a different interpretation. Πιστικη he supposes to come from the Syriac פיסתקא pistike, which signifies the acorn: he would therefore have it to signify an aromatic confection of nard, maste, or myrobalane. See his Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations; and see Scheuchzer's Physica Sacra.
She brake the box - Rather, she broke the seal. This is the best translation I can give of the place; and I give it for these reasons:
1. That it is not likely that a box exceedingly precious in itself should be broken to get out its contents.
2. That the broken pieces would be very inconvenient if not injurious to the head of our Lord, and to the hands of the woman.
3. That it would not be easy effectually to separate the oil from the broken pieces. And,
4. That it was a custom in the eastern countries to seal the bottles with wax that held the perfumes; so that to come at their contents no more was necessary than to break the seal, which this woman appears to have done; and when the seal was thus broken, she had no more to do than to pour out the liquid ointment, which she could not have done had she broken the bottle.
The bottles which contain the gul i attyr, or attyr of roses, which come from the east, are sealed in this manner. See a number of proofs relative to this point in Harmer's Observations, vol. iv. 469. Pouring sweet-scented oil on the head is common in Bengal. At the close of the festival of the goddess Doorga, the Hindoos worship the unmarried daughters of Brahmins: and, among other ceremonies, pour sweet-scented oil on their heads. Ward's Customs.
And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.It might have been sold - το μυρον, This ointment, is added by ABCDKL, thirty-five others, Ethiopic, Armenian, Gothic, all the Itala except one. Griesbach has received it into the text. The sum mentioned here would amount to nearly 10 sterling.
And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.To anoint my body to the burying - Εις τον ενταφιασμον, against, or in reference to, its embalmment, thus pointing out my death and the embalmment of my body, for the bodies of persons of distinction were wrapped up in aromatics to preserve them from putrefaction. See on Matthew 26:12 (note).
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.For a memorial of her - See on Matthew 26:13 (note).
And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.
And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.They were glad - The joy that arises from the opportunity of murdering an innocent person must be completely infernal.
And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?
And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.Bearing a pitcher of water - How correct is the foreknowledge of Jesus Christ! Even the minutest circumstances are comprehended by it! An honest employment, howsoever mean, is worthy the attention of God; and even a man bearing a pitcher of water is marked in all his steps, and is an object of the merciful regards of the Most High. This man was employed in carrying home the water which was to be used for baking the unleavened bread on the following day; for on that day it was not lawful to carry any: hence they were obliged to fetch it on the preceding evening.
And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?Say ye to the good man of the house - ειπατε τῳ οικοδεσποτῃ - Say ye to the master of the house. The good man and the good woman mean, among us, the master and mistress of the house. A Hindoo woman never calls her husband by his name; but simply, the man of the house.
Where is the guest chamber? - Respectable householders, says Mr. Ward, have a room which they call the strangers' room, (utit' hu-shala), which is especially set apart for the use of guests. This appears to have been the custom in Judea also.
And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.Furnished - Spread with carpets - εστρωμενον - so this word is often used. See Wakefield. But it may also signify the couches on which the guests reclined when eating. It does not appear that the Jews ate the passover now, as their fathers did formerly, standing, with their shoes on, and their staves in their hands.
And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.
And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.
And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?And another said, Is it I? - This clause is wanting in BCLP, seventeen others, Syriac, Persic, Arabic, Coptic, Ethiopic, Vulgate, and four of the Itala. Griesbach leaves it doubtful: others leave it out.
And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.That dippeth with me in the dish - In the east, persons never eat together from one dish, except when a strong attachment subsists between two or more persons of the same caste; in such a case one invites another to come and sit by him and eat from the same dish. This custom seems to have existed among the Jews; and the sacred historian mentions this notice of our Lord's, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish, to mark more strongly the perfidy of the character of Judas.
The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.Goeth - That is, to die. See on Matthew 26:24 (note).
And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.Eat - This is omitted by many MSS. and versions, but I think without reason. It is found in the parallel places, Matthew 26:26; 1 Corinthians 11:24. See the subject of the Lord's Supper largely explained on Matthew 26:26 (note), etc.
And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.
But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.
But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.
And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.That Thou - Συ is added by ABEGHKLMS - V, eighty-eight others, Syriac, Arabic, Persic, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Slavonic, Vulgate, Saxon, Theophylact, and Euthymsus. It adds much to the energy of the passage, every word of which is deeply emphatical. Verily, I say unto thee, that Thou, This Day, in This Very Night, before the cock shall crow Twice, Thou wilt deny Me.
But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.
And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.
And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;
And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.
And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.Abba, Father - This Syriac word, which intimates filial affection and respect, and parental tenderness, seems to have been used by our blessed Lord merely considered as man, to show his complete submission to his Father's will, and the tender affection which he was conscious his Father had for him, Abba, Syriac, is here joined to ὁ πατηρ, Greek, both signifying father; so St. Paul, Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6. The reason is, that from the time in which the Jews became conversant with the Greek language, by means of the Septuagint version and their commerce with the Roman and Greek provinces, they often intermingled Greek and Roman words with their own language. There is the fullest evidence of this fact in the earliest writings of the Jews; and they often add a word of the same meaning in Greek to their own term; such as מרי קירי, Mori, κυριε my Lord, Lord; פילי שער, pili, πυλη, shuar, gate, gate: and above, אבא, πατηρ, father, father: see several examples in Schoettgen. The words אבי and אבא appear to have been differently used among the Hebrews; the first Abbi, was a term of civil respect; the second, Abba, a term of filial affection. Hence, Abba, Abbi, as in the Syriac version in this place, may be considered as expressing, My Lord, my Father. And in this sense St. Paul is to be understood in the places referred to above. See Lightfoot.
And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?Saith unto Peter - See on Matthew 26:40 (note).
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.
And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.
And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.
And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.
And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.
And they laid their hands on him, and took him.
And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?
I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.
And they all forsook him, and fled.
And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:A certain young man - Probably raised from his sleep by the noise which the rabble made who came to apprehend Jesus, having wrapped the sheet or some of the bed-clothing about him, became thereby the more conspicuous: on his appearing, he was seized; but as they had no way of holding him, but only by the cloth which was wrapped round him, he disengaged himself from that, and so escaped out of their hands. This circumstance is not related by any other of the evangelists.
And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked - It has often been intimated, by the inhabitants of India, that a European in strait clothes must be in great danger when his clothes take fire. From their loose clothing they can suddenly disengage themselves. When two Hindoos are engaged in a violent quarrel, and one seizes the clothing of the other, often the latter will leave his clothes in the hands of his opponent, and flee away naked. This seems to have been the case with the person mentioned above. See Ward's Customs.
And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.Peter followed - On Peter's denial, see Matthew 26:57, etc.
At the fire - Προς το φως, literally, at the light, i.e. a fire that cast considerable light, in consequence of which, the maid servant was the better able to distinguish him: see Mark 14:67.
And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.
For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.
And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,
We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.
But neither so did their witness agree together.
And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?Of the Blessed? - Θεου του ευλογητου, Or, of God the blessed one. Θεου, is added here by AK, ten others, Vulgate, and one of the Itala. It might be introduced into the text, put in Italics, if the authority of the MSS. and versions be not deemed sufficient. It appears necessary for the better understanding of the text. The adjective, however, conveys a good sense by itself, and is according to a frequent Hebrew form of speech.
And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?
Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:
And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.
But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.
And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.
And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.
And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.And when he thought thereon, he wept - Or, he fell a weeping. This Mr. Wakefield thinks comes nearest to the original, επιβαλων εκλαιε. Others think it means the wrapping of his head in the skirts of his garment, through shame and anguish. Others think that επιβαλων rather refers to the violence, or hurry, with which he left the place, being impelled thereto by the terrors and remorse of his guilty conscience. Our own translation is as good as any.
Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke .
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.