ICC New Testament Commentary
And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.JUDÆA. MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
10:1-12. Jesus departs from Galilee, and comes to Judœa and Perœa. The Pharisees try him with one of their test-questions, in regard to divorce. Jesus’ answer.
Jesus’ ministry in Galilee is at an end, and he goes into the region of Southern Palestine. Between this beginning and the controversy about divorce which Mk. introduces immediately, there is a gap, which Lk. fills in with his most characteristic matter. This question of divorce was one of the puzzles of the schools, arising from the ambiguity of the law. Jesus, in his answer, interprets the law in accordance with the liberal school, which allowed laxness of divorce; but says that this license was due to their spiritual dulness. From the beginning, i.e., originally and essentially, marriage, being based on the sexual distinction and act, and therefore a Divine institution, is indissoluble, and divorce involves adultery.
1. Καὶ ἐκεῖθεν—And from this place. The place meant is Capernaum. See 9:33. καὶ πέραν τ. Ἰορδάνου—and across the Jordan. The general district, τὰ ὄρια, into which he came was Southern Palestine, including the region on both sides of the river. πάλιν ὄχλοι—multitudes again. During the last part of the time in Galilee, he was alone with his disciples. See 9:30-32 But now, in Judæa, he is entering on a new phase of his general mission, the multitudes gather around him again, and he is teaching them as usual. The Impf. ἐδίδασκεν denotes not a single act, but a course of action, and should be translated, was teaching.
Καὶ, instead of διὰ τοῦ, before πέραν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC* L Memph.
2. Καὶ προσελθόντες Φαρισαῖοι ἐπηρώτων αὐτόν—And Pharisees came to him and asked him. πειράζοντες αὐτόν—testing him. This was a test, not a temptation. He claimed to be a Rabbi, and they proposed to put him to a test by propounding to him one of their puzzles. The law of divorce itself allowed it in case of the wife’s coming into disfavor with her husband because of his finding something unseemly in her. The school of Shammai, which was in general the stricter school, interpreted this to apply only to cases of adultery, while the opposite school of Hillel licensed divorce under it for any cause. See Deuteronomy 24:1. The ambiguity of the passage, and the disputes of the Rabbis, made it a cause célébre, fitted to test, and possibly to discredit, the superior wisdom claimed by Jesus.
Omit οἱ, the, before Φαρισαῖοι, Treg. WH. RV. ABL ΓΔΠ, two mss. Lat. Vet. ἐπηρώτων, instead of ἐπηρώτησαν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDLM Δ.
3. Τίὑμῖν ἐνετείλατο Μωϋσῆς;—What did Moses command you? Jesus recognizes that this is to them primarily a question of the Mosaic Law, and so, in order to get the matter properly before them, he asks for the law.
4. βίβλιον1—means a roll, the form in which all written documents were prepared at the time. ἀποστασίου2—of divorce. This reply does not contain the condition of the divorce in the original, which made the subject of dispute between the two schools, viz., that the wife had come into disfavor because the husband found something unseemly in her (Deuteronomy 24:1). This is an indication that Jesus’ questioners belonged to the school of Hillel, which found in it practically no barrier to absolute freedom of divorce, so that in citing the law, they would ignore this as having no bearing on the case. Matthew 19:3-7 gives a different version of the affair, which, however, defines their position still more distinctly as the liberal position. According to that, their question is, whether it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife for every cause. Jesus answers this by defining his own position forbidding divorce, when they ask, why Moses allowed it then. The order is unimportant, and there is nothing to choose between the two accounts.
5. ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Πρὸς τ. σκληροκαρδίαν ὑμῶν ἔγραψεν ὑμῖν τὴν ἐντολὴν ταύτην·—And Jesus said to them out of regard to the hardness of your heart,1 he wrote you this command. σκληροκαρδία2—coarseness of spirit. σκληρός means hard, in the sense of rough or coarse, rather than unimpressible. καρδία is the common word for the inner man generally, in the N.T. The whole word denotes the rude nature which belongs to a primitive civilization. This principle of accommodation to the time in Scripture is of inestimable importance, and of course limits finally the absoluteness of its authority. We find that the writers were subject to this limitation, as well as their readers. See also J. 16:12. This answer of Jesus admits the correctness of the interpretation of Hillel and his school, as far as it was a matter of interpretation.
Ὀ δὲ, instead of Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ, And answering, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ Memph.
6. ἀπὸ δὲ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως—But from the beginning of creation. Jesus goes back from the Mosaic Law to the original constitution of things, for which he cites Genesis 1:27, in connection with 2:24. This connection, instead of basing marriage on the taking of woman from man, puts it on the much broader and more rational ground of their sexual relation.
ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς—male and female he made them.3
Omit ὁ θεός, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. This conforms to the original, in which ὁ θεός belongs to the preceding part of the statement, and is omitted here.
7. ἕνεκεν τούτου—on this account, viz., because of the physical relation, pointing to an even closer union than that between parent and child. Both belong to the perpetuity of the family, but the relation of husband and wife is, in the nature of things, more intimate and compelling. With the omission of the last clause, and shall cleave to his wife, stress is laid on the separation from father and mother, and so on the superiority of the other union.
Omit καὶ προσκολληθήσεται πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV.marg. א B.
8. κ. ἔσονται οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν—and the two shall become one flesh.1 οἱ δύο is not found in the Heb., but was introduced into the Sept. It adds nothing to the meaning, though it strengthens the expression of it. ἔσονται εἰς is a Hebraism, denoting the coming into a state.2 The union pointed out is a physical one, being that to which the sexual relation points—they shall become one flesh. The sexual act unites them, makes them one, the same as the junction of two streams make one river, the union of hydrogen and oxygen in certain proportions makes one substance, water, the mechanical joining of different parts fitted to each other makes the one structure. ὥστε οὐκέτι εἰσὶ δύο, ἀλλὰ μίυ σάρξ—so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. This is our Lord’s inference from the preceding quotation. The duality no longer exists; it has been replaced by this structural unity. Before, there had been two beings structurally fitted for each other; now, their union makes this new structural unity. If they had remained two, they would be separate; but being now structurally one, they belong together.
9. ὃ οὖν ὁ Θεὸς συνέζευξεν, ἂνθρωπος μὴ χωριζέτω—what therefore God joined together, let not man separate. The act of joining together is God’s, since the constitution that underlies it is His; divorce, on the other hand, is a matter of human legislation; and the human is not to set aside the divine. God has not only created this structural unity in the original creation of man; he has made man himself to recognize this purpose of his structure, and has written this law of his physical being in his spiritual nature, so that what tends in brutes to indiscriminate intercourse, tends in man to the indissoluble and sacred bond of marriage. Jesus nowhere shows the absolute rationality and verity of his thought more than here. Spirituality is the very core of that thought, but it never misleads him so that he misses the material facts. And it is the insistence on these here, that saves him from an immoral sentimentality. Whatever may underlie marriage in the realm of the feelings, it is itself physical, and produces structural unity. And about that, for the profoundest reasons, God gathers all the holiest feelings, and by solemn sanctions, confines them within that circle. Except for that confinement, the feelings themselves lose their sacredness, and become unhallowed and profane.
10. Καὶ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν1 πάλιν, οἱ μαθηταὶ περὶ τούτου ἐπηρώτων αὐτόν—And (having come) into the house again, the disciples asked him about this.
εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν, instead of ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDL Δ. Omit αύτοῦ, his, after οἰ μαθηταὶ, the disciples, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ 28. τούτου, this, instead of τοῦ αὐτοῦ, the same, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCLMNX ΓΔ mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. ἐπηρώτων, instead of ἐπηρῶτησαν, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ.
11. Ὃς ἄν ἀπολύσῃ—Whosoever puts away his wife.
ἄν, instead of ἐὰν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDL Δ.
Jesus states now what takes place in case of a second marriage following a mere formal divorce. It is to be inferred from the previous statement of the indissolubility of the marriage bond. Any formal sundering of the tie leaves it really whole; the union being of this natural, physical kind, not accomplished by any formal procedure, but in the sexual act uniting man and woman, no formal procedure can break it, but simply leaves it as it was. And so, if any man divorces his wife and marries another, the second marriage goes for naught and the connection is an adulterous one, simply because the divorce is nil; it does nothing towards dissolving the marriage.
12. κ. ἐὰν αὐτὴ ἀπολύσασα τ. ἄνδρα αὐτῆς γαμὴσῃ ἄλλον—and if she, having put away her husband, marries another. Under the Jewish law, the wife could not put away her husband, and while Jesus goes outside of Jewish law and develops general principles in his teaching, he does not travel outside of Jewish custom in finding the occasion of that teaching. This is one of the things that point to the Gentile surroundings and destination of this Gospel. Though evidently written by a Jew, it grew up in Gentile soil, and there this appendix to Jesus’ own teaching became perfectly natural. The exception to this prohibition of divorce—except for the cause of adultery—stated in Matthew 19:9 is really implied in our Lord’s statement of principles as recounted in our Gospel, because adultery is the real dissolution of the marriage tie, as distinguished from the formal divorce. Precisely as divorce does not break the marriage tie, adultery does break it. But the statement is not full and clear without this, and in this respect the account of Mt. is to be followed.
αὐτὴ ἀπολύσασα, instead of γυνή ἀπολύσῃ … καὶ, a woman puts away … and, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ Memph. γαμήσῃ ἄλλον, instead of γαμηθῇ ἄλλῳ, is married to another, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC* DL Δ 1, 13, 28, 69, 124, 346, Latt. Memph.
LITTLE CHILDREN BLESSED
13-16. Jesus blesses little children, and rebukes his disciples for repelling those bringing them.
Jesus meets with opposition here, but also with trust. They bring to him little children, that they may receive that wonderful touch which has healed so many. The disciples, whose thoughts are busy now with the important affairs of the kingdom, which seemed to them so near, rebuke them for intruding so slight matters on the Messiah. But Jesus became very angry, and bade the children to be brought to him, as representing the very spirit to which the kingdom belongs.
Mt. and Mk. are parallel in their account from the close of the Galilean ministry to the final entry into Jerusalem. Lk. introduces, between the departure from Galilee and this point, much of his most characteristic matter. But beginning here, with the events immediately preceding the entry into Jerusalem, the three accounts become parallel. The following is a synopsis of these events:
matthew. mark. luke.
Question of Divorce. Same.
Blessing of Children. Same. Same.
Rich Young Man. Same. Same.
Parable of Householder.
Prophecy of Death. Same. Same.
Petition of James and John. Same.
Blind Men at Jericho. Same. Same.
13. ἵνα ἄψηται αὐτῶν—that he may touch them. The symbolic action accompanying the blessing was the laying on of hands. See v. 16. Touch gives the rationale of that conventional form. The mere touch of that wonderful being had cured, restored, raised. His method in conveying these blessings had been the laying on of hands, and they saw in this the effect of contact with so marvellous a man. ἐπετίμων αὐτοῖς—rebuked them. This rebuke was directed against the presumption of those persons in bringing mere children to the attention of so great and busy a person as Jesus.
αὐτοῖς, instead of τοῖς προσφέρουσιν, those bringing them, Treg. marg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ two mss. Lat. Vet. It is against this, that αὐτοῖς is the reading of Mt. and Lk.
14. ἠγανάκτησε—was indignant. Or rather, in accordance with the use of aor. to denote the entering on a state denoted by the verb, became indignant.1 The composition with ἄγαν makes this a strong word.
Ἄφετε τὰ παιδία ἔρχεσθαι πρός με· μὴ κωλύετε αὐτά—Suffer the little children to come to me; forbid them not. The omission of the conjunction between the two clauses gives abruptness and force.
Omit καὶ, and, before μὴ κωλύετε Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BM* NX ΓΔΠ Memph.
τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία, etc.—for to such belongs the kingdom of God. The gen. is possessive, which is not denoted by of such is, AV. and RV. τῶν τοιούτων denotes those possessing the childlike spirit of docility and humility. Cf. Matthew 18:4. The spirit is one that belongs to them as children, and is the result of their position of dependence and subordination, the same as the discipline which belongs to the condition of a soldier. But those who show that disposition, when it is no longer the effect of position, but a manifestation of character, belong to the kingdom of God. In children therefore, as children, appears the very quality of the kingdom, and this gives them a special distinction in the eyes of its members. They are not to be turned away as unworthy the attention of its king. The kingdom of God in the world consists of those who substitute for self-will and independence the will of God, and trust in his wisdom and goodness. And this is the attitude of childhood. What children feel towards their parents man should feel towards God.
15. ὅς ἂν μὴ δέξηται τ. βασιλείαν τ. Θεοῦ ὡς παιδίον οὐ μὴ εἰσελθῇ εἰς αὐτὴν—whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall not enter into it. The kingdom of God is in its idea, its essence, the rule and the authority of God, and then the sphere in which he bears rule, either the spirit of the individual man, or the assemblage of its subjects, the society constituted by them. When Jesus speaks of its acceptance, it is the rule itself which is meant; that is to be accepted with unquestioning obedience, as the child accepts the parental rule. And on the other hand, when he speaks of entrance into it, he means the society of its subjects, the perfect state and order which results from doing the will of God.
ἄν, instead of ἐὰν, after ὅς Tisch. Treg. WH. א BCDL Δ 1.
16. Καὶ ἐναγκαλισάμενος1 αὐτά, κατευλόγει2 τιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας επʼ αὐτά—And having taken them in his arms, he blessed them, putting his hands on them.
κατευλόγει τιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας ἐπʼ αὐτά, instead of τιθεὶς τᾶς χεῖρας ἐπʼ αὐτά, ηὐλόγει αὐτά, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ Memph.
THE STUMBLING BLOCK OF WEALTH
17-31. Jesus is asked the way to obtain life by a rich young man, and points him the way of the commandments. The young man professes to have kept these, and then Jesus shows him the way of self-renunciation. His disappointment leads Jesus to speak of the danger of wealth, and of the reward of renunciation.
The young man addresses Jesus as Good Teacher, and asks what he shall do to inherit eternal life. Jesus takes up this address first, and asks why he calls him good, when only God is good. And he points him to the commands of God for the answer to his question. The young man claims to have kept these, and as Jesus looks at him, he loves the evident feeling for righteousness that leads a man of manifestly moral life to dissatisfaction with himself, and seeing that it is his wealth that stands in the way, he bids him sell out, give to the poor, and follow him. It is evident that he has probed the difficulty, for the man has too much to give up and sadly turns away. Jesus then turns to his disciples, and shows them that riches are a stumbling block in the way of life. This excites their astonishment, as wealth and respectability go together. Whereupon, Jesus tells them that it is no easy thing to enter into the kingdom of God anyway, and for a rich man next to impossible; in fact, impossible with men, and only possible with God. Peter, conscious (perhaps a little too conscious) that this demand of self-renunciation has been complied with by the disciples, asks what their reward will be. Jesus answers, rewards in kind here, with persecution; and in the future eternal life. But, lest they should think of themselves as having any exclusive right, or even necessary preëminence in the kingdom, he warns them that many first shall be last, and last first.
17. Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ1 εἰς τὴν ὁδόν—And as he went forth into the road. See v.10, where he is said to have gone into the house. εἷς—The numeral is used sometimes, especially in late writers, in the sense of the indef. τις. The usage is so rare, however, as to warrant its rejection, except in sure cases. Here, it means that one man came by himself to consult Christ.1 γονυπετήσας2—having kneeled to him. ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω—to inherit eternal life.3 Eternal life was the term in common use among the Jews to denote the blessings of the Messianic kingdom, both here and hereafter.
18. Τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν;—Why do you call me good? με is not emphatic, as is shown by the use of the enclitic form. The reason of this question, and of the denial of goodness to any one but God which follows it, is that God alone possesses the absolute good. He is what others become. Human goodness is a growth, even when there is no imperfection. It develops, like wisdom, from childhood to youth, and then to manhood. And it was this human goodness which was possessed by Jesus. See Luke 2:52, Hebrews 2:10, Hebrews 5:8. This has a bearing, too, on the question propounded by the young man, since it was not to the good teacher as such, but to the absolutely good God, that questions in regard to the real good that brings the promised reward should be addressed. And this is the form in which question and answer are put in Matthew 19:17 as follows: “What good thing shall I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you ask me concerning the good thing? One is good, God.”
19. Τὰς ἐντολὰς οἶδας—You know the commandments. This is connected immediately with the preceding statement about God. These commands belong to the law of the one only absolutely good Being, and it is therefore in these commands that the young man is bidden to look for the answer to his question. Moreover, he is familiar with these commands, and why therefore seek any further for his answer. There is, however, an answer to this seemingly unanswerable question of Jesus. Though the commands are divine, and as divine would be a ne plus ultra, they were revealed through men, and this human element in them makes it possible for men belonging to a more spiritual time, or themselves more spiritual, to go further in revealing the ways of God to men. That is what Jesus himself did in the Sermon on the Mount, setting in contrast the imperfect commands of the ancients and his own perfect injunctions. This is one of the cases therefore, in which Jesus suggests more than appears on the surface, viz., that there is a chance that even so-called divine commands may not be ultimate. The suggestion itself is pertinent to a time of transition from one era of divine revelation to another, and the method of suggestion is not absent from the teaching of Jesus, who frequently gave men something to think of, some riddle to solve, instead of always throwing so much light himself as to save them all trouble. In this very case, Jesus proceeds to add something to what he has cited as the divine commands, showing that these do not contain the last words in the matter. The commands cited by him are those of the second table of the law, except the tenth, and with the command defraud not, added. This addition is not to be referred to a single passage like Deuteronomy 24:14, but is a reminiscence of many such passages, besides being a self-evident part of the law of righteousness.1
20. Καὶ ἔφη, ταῦτα πάντα ἐφυλαξάμην—And he said, all these I kept. This claim of innocence on the part of the young man was evidently not intended to be absolute, but was simply that this had been the general course of his life, viz., a course of observance of the divine law. The cause of his dissatisfaction with himself was not that his obedience to these commands was not perfect, a perfection which was not expected by Judaism, as their system of sacrifices showed, but a secret feeling that this was not enough. ἐφυλαξάμην—I kept.2
Omit ἀποκριθεὶς, answering, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. א B Δ Memph. ἔφη, instead of εἶπεν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC Δ Memph.
21. ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ, ἠγάπησεν αὐτὸν—the look was evidently to confirm the impression made by the words of the young man. Here was a constant observer of the law, who yet was not satisfied with himself. Would his looks bear out the impression created by this? Would sincerity, purity, and thoughtfulness appear in his face and bearing? Yes, for Jesus having looked on him, loved him. Ἕν σε ὑστερεῖ—One thing you lack.
σε, instead of σοι, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. א BCM Π* 28.
The commands of the law which had been cited were mostly negative; they forbade a man’s doing any harm to his neighbor, and in the matter of his goods, they forbade stealing and defrauding. And so far in the path of righteousness the young man had gone. The thing which was lacking in him was the positive side, to contribute to his neighbor’s good, and for this purpose, to sacrifice his own. This was not enjoined by Jesus as an extraordinary goodness, not required of other men (supererogation, counsels of perfection), nor was it intended to apply a test to him, which should reveal to him an entirely different righteousness (Pauline doctrine of faith); but it was just what it purported to be, the discovery to him of a serious defect in an otherwise lovable character. Jesus saw that he clung to his wealth in a way quite incompatible with any just estimate of the higher good; that there was hidden in that love of riches a luxurious self-love and a lack of sympathy with the want of men, that made it endanger the very roots of character. The counsel that he gives him, therefore, is adapted to his individual case. There are evidently two grounds for it: one the need of the man himself, and the other the desire of Jesus to attach this choice spirit to himself, to have him in the inner circle of his disciples attending immediately upon himself. He needed to cut away all his attachments to the world, all his temptations to luxurious, self-indulgent living, for his own good, but specially in order to follow the hard and self-denying life of Jesus. This requirement of personal discipleship was what the first disciples had met themselves of their own motion, but they did not have the temptation of wealth to overcome. See 1:16-20, 2:14. δὸς (-τοῖς) πτωχοῖς—Without the art. it means, give to poor people, individualizing it. This meets another side of the young man’s lack, his want of sympathy with the poor. ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν οὐρανῷ—This is related, first, to the question, what he should do to inherit eternal life, with which he approached Jesus; and secondly, to Jesus’ requirement; he should sell earthly possessions in order to obtain treasure in heaven. καὶ δεῦρο, ἀκολούθει μοι—and come, follow me. This means in this case, evidently, become my personal follower, attached to my person. Here was a lovely but weak character, not inured to self-sacrifice nor heroic living; and it needed, on the one hand, to be initiated into such living, and on the other, the companionship of the strong and sympathetic Master.
Omit τοῖς before πτωχοῖς, Treg. (WH.) RV. ABNX ΓΔ. Omit ἄρας τὸν σταυρόν, having taken up the cross, after ἀκολούθει μοι, follow me, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCD Δ 406, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. edd.
22. Ὁ δὲ στυγνάσας1—And his countenance fell, RV. The word denotes the outward sign of sorrow, gloom.
ἦν γὰρ ἔχων κτήματα πολλά—for he had great wealth. The grief was caused by his having to go away without obtaining his object; the going away was caused by what seemed to him the impossibility of Jesus’ conditions. It might be comparatively easy for a man having only small or moderate possessions to give them up, but it involved too great a sacrifice in his case.
23. Πῶς δυσκόλως οἱ τὰ χρήματα ἔχοντες εἰς τ. βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελεύσονται;—With what difficulty will those having wealth enter into the kingdom of God? Jesus generalizes here, and the case in hand goes far to confirm what he says, because there is nothing to complicate the conditions; we can see the working of wealth by itself. Here is a lovely character, with no other adverse conditions, and yet just the possession of wealth is enough to undermine it. He had gone along through life, choosing purity instead of lust, honesty instead of fraud, truth instead of falsehood, but in all this he had not been called upon to make the supreme choice, his wealth had not stood in the way. But now, he is confronted with a wisdom that is able to show him what is for him the supreme good, and there wealth gets in its deadly work. The lower good proves to be stronger than the higher, and the latter is set aside. There is the difficulty; the kingdom of God does not consist in the practice of this or that separate virtue, but in the choice of the highest good, which regulates individual acts; and wealth has the power, beyond most other things, of making itself appear the greatest good.
24. Οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις αὐτοῦ1—And the disciples were astonished at his words. The disciples were amazed at these words, the same as every one is amazed now; or rather, their amazement then corresponds to the entire disuse into which sayings of this class have fallen now. Then, as now, there was an established religion, in which wealth enabled its possessor to come to the front, and occupy the most prominent positions. So far from disqualifying them, it gave its possessors prestige, and always wealth leads to culture and respectability, while poverty is the parent of vice and crime. The ordinary condition of the world is that of routine morals, and it has no ear for revolutionary words like these.
25. πῶς δύσκολόν ἐστιν εἰς τ. β … εἰσελθεῖν—how difficult it is to enter into the kingdom of God. The internal evidence is quite in favor of the shorter reading, because it is short, and because it is one of those cases in which a brief and somewhat puzzling saying is a constant temptation to copyists and commentators to introduce something explanatory and alleviating. The longer reading would be intended to modify the preceding statement by showing that it was not the possession of wealth, but the trust in it, confidence in its power to procure all the necessary satisfactions and goods of life, that prevented entrance into the kingdom. The shorter reading generalizes still more the preceding statement, making the difficulty of entering the kingdom to be inherent in its nature, and so universal, instead of locating it in the class, rich men. It involves the choice of the highest good, which in various ways, and not merely on the side of wealth, interferes with what men consider the more immediate and practical good.
Omit τοὺς πεποιθότας ἐπὶ τοῖς χρήμασιν, those who trust in riches, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV.marg. א B Δ one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. ed.
εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστι κάμηλον διὰ τρυμαλίας ῥαφιδος διελθεῖν2—It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye. The proverb is an exaggerated rhetorical statement of the difficulty. In the parallel accounts in Mt. and Lk., some mss. have the reading κάμιλον, meaning a cable, which is much more apposite. Using the shorter reading in v.24, as on the whole more probable, the whole would mean, it is hard for any man to get into the kingdom of God, and for a rich man next to impossible. He is in the position of having the lower good which other men want, and this is more of an obstacle to the perception and choice of the higher good.
Omit τῆς before τρυμαλίας Treg. WH. RV. א ACDFKMNU ΓΔΠ. Before ῥαφίδος Treg. WH. RV. א ACDGKMNU ΔΠ Memph. διελθεῖν, instead of εἰσελθεῖν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BC(D)K Π, 1, 13, 124, 346, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Syrr.
26. περισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο—before, they had been astonished; now, they were excessively beside themselves with amazement. This making the difficulty of entering the kingdom universal, and increasing it in the case of rich men to almost an impossibility, fairly took away their breath. For one of the promises in regard to that kingdom had been, that prosperity and righteousness were to become common in Israel, and even to be extended to the Gentiles. And Jesus seemed to be making it more and more inaccessible than ever.
λέγοντες πρὸς ἑαυτούς (αὐτόν)—saying to themselves (him).
αὐτόν, instead of ἑαυτούς, Treg. marg. WH. RV. א BCD Memph. Tisch. urges against this the usage of Mk., who never says λέγειν πρὸς, except with ἑαυτούς or ἀλλήλους.
Καὶ τίς δύναται σωθῆναι;—Who then (And who) can be saved? καὶ, with interrogatives, makes an abrupt rejoinder to what has been said.1
27. Παρὰ ἀνθρώποις ἀδύνατον—With men it is impossible. Salvation is impossible with men; but in salvation, we are dealing not with men, but with God. The incarnation and the Holy Spirit are not within the category of human agencies, but of the Divine, and given these, even the impossibilities of human nature have to give way. πάντα γὰρ δυνατὰ. πάντα is emphatic. All things are possible with God, not because he can travel outside the ordinary agencies, and bring things to pass by a simple fiat, but because he has limitless command of all the forces in any department. In the moral and spiritual sphere, he brings things to pass, not by recourse to other than moral and spiritual agencies, but by the word, the Spirit, and the Christ, all of them agencies charged with spiritual power.
Omit δὲ, and, after ἐμβλέψας, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC* Δ 1, Memph. Omit τῷ before Θεῷ Tisch. Treg. WH. א BCNX ΓΔ. Omit ἐστι after δυνατά Tisch. Treg. (Treg. marg.) WH. א BC.
28. Ἤρξατο1 λέγειν ὁ Πέτρος αὐτῶ, Ἰδού, ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν2 πάντα, καὶ ἠκολουθήκαμέν2 σοι—Peter began to say to him, Lo, we left all, and have followed thee.
Omit Καὶ, And, before ἤρξατο, began, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCX ΓΔ. ἠκολουθήκαμεν, instead of -σαμεν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BCD.
ἡμεῖς—we is emphatic, contrasting their conduct with that of the rich young man. Mt. adds what is implied in the other accounts, τι ἄρα ἔσται ὑμῖν; what shall we have therefore? This seems to be a most incongruous and unspiritual question to ask in the religious and moral sphere. What we shall get for our self-denial, is a question which shows that the disciples were entirely unable to understand their leader’s ruling ideas. And yet from their position, the question was inevitable. Because their Scriptures and ecclesiastical writings, which they regarded as authoritative in these matters, are full of descriptions of the prosperity and bliss of the Messianic kingdom, of the temporal and material rewards of the faithful. And so far they had met with nothing in their association with the man whom they believed to be the Messianic king, but privation; instead of adding to their worldly good, this association had diminished, if not destroyed it. They had borne everything for him; what return would he, in his greatness, make them?
29. Ἔφη ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐδείς ἐστιν ὅς ἀφῆκεν οἰκίαν, ἤ ἀδελφούς, ἤ ἀδελφάς, ἤ μητέρα, ἤ πατέρα, ἤ τέκνα, ἤ ἀγρούς, ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ καὶ ἕνεκεν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου—Jesus said, Verily I say to you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or fields, for my sake, and for the sake of the glad-tidings (of the kingdom).
Ἔφη ὁ Ἰησοῦς, instead of ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν, and Jesus answering said, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. א B Δ Memph. μητέρα ἤ πατέρα, instead of the reverse order, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BC Δ 106, mss. Lat. Vet. one ms. Vulg. Memph. Omit ἤ γυναῖκα, or wife, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BD Δ 1, 66, 209, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Insert ἔνεκεν before τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Tisch. Treg. (WH.) RV. א B2 or 3 CDNS2 X ΓΔΠ mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr.
It is misleading, here as most everywhere, to translate εὐαγγελίου, gospel. It means glad-tidings, and the special message intended is that of the kingdom of God. Men who make sacrifices for the benefit of the Messianic king, and of the news of the kingdom, will receive the blessings of the kingdom. ἑκατονπλασίονα—a hundredfold; there is a reminiscence in this word of the apocalyptic character of the familiar descriptions of the blessings of the Messianic kingdom. But Jesus uses such language from the religious idiom of this time only to idealize it. To be sure, his words imply that the reward will be in kind; they will give up these things only to receive a hundredfold of the same. But, evidently, hundreds of brothers and sisters and mothers is meant to be taken ideally, and means that he will receive what will replace the lost relatives in that degree. The relationships of the kingdom take the place of natural kindred.1 And the member of the kingdom is an heir not only of heaven, but of earth.2 Jesus had nowhere to lay his head, and yet he was conscious of a lordship and possession of the earth, into which every true follower of his can enter. They have nothing, and yet possess all things.3 μετὰ διωγμῶν—with persecutions. These, Jesus had already predicted in his talks with his disciples previous to leaving Galilee. The new element introduced by him here is the other side belonging to this ideal life, the compensations and rewards even in this life, belonging to the Christian. ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τῷ ἐρχομένῳ—in the coming age. There is only one passage, Hebrews 1:2, where αἰών is used by metonymy, of space, instead of time. The reference is to the future life, in which the world, as well as the time, is new, but there is no reason why the meaning of αἰών should be changed, any more than that of καιρός, time, in the corresponding clause. ζωὴν αἰώνιον—on the use of this term among the Jews, see on v. 17. But it is evident that Jesus, in adopting, spiritualized it. Only, in this case, he found the word made ready to his use which expressed in itself just the state intended by him, though encumbered with alien meanings in common use. It is characteristic of his method, that he used the word without any explanation, leaving it to clarify itself as men got into the drift of his teaching.
31. πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι—but many first shall be last. This is a warning to the disciples that the mere fact, that they were the earliest disciples and nearest his person, does not necessarily give them preëminence, nor any exclusive right to the blessings promised by him. The parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, each of whom received his shilling without regard to the time that he had worked, is inserted by Mt. to enforce this saying.
THIRD PREDICTION OF DEATH
32-34. On the journey to Jerusalem, Jesus again foretells his death and resurrection.
They are now on their way to Jerusalem. And there is evidently some feeling of fate overhanging them. It is evident enough that they had not understood Jesus’ predictions of the violent death awaiting him in the city. But on their own construction of events, the approach to Jerusalem meant the crisis in their fate, the decision of the Messianic claim. They were a mere handful, and the authorities were against them. Would the people be with them? And if they were, what of the Roman power? It is no wonder that they were astonished as Jesus put himself at their head, and that some turned back, while others followed with fear. Then Jesus takes the twelve aside, and repeats, with some additional details, the prophecy of his death and resurrection. The prophecy is given here with clearness and particularity, describing the whole course of events. And then follows the clearly impossible request of James and John for the first places in the Messianic kingdom. It is evident that the subsequent history has been read into what must have been at the time distinctly veiled prophecy.
32. ἦν προάγων—was preceding them. The introduction of this apparently commonplace item shows that attention is drawn to it as something out of the common. And in connection with παραλαβὼν πάλιν, in the following clause, it evidently means that Jesus was not mingling with his disciples as usual, but was going before them. καὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο—and they were amazed. We are not told by what, but the very simple προάγων is evidently put forth by the writer as containing the key of the situation. Something in the manner of that invested the whole proceeding with mystery, and brought to their minds the fateful character of this progress to Jerusalem, the tremendous issues to be decided, and the odds against them. And somehow, with all their confidence in Jesus, the question might arise, whether it was confidence for such a crisis.
οἱ δὲ ἀκολοθοῦντες—and those following. Without the art., this would refer to the disciples. But with the art., it picks out some from among them, who followed Jesus, while the rest were left behind, too much perplexed to follow him. The statement is, that those who followed him did it with fear. καὶ παραλαβὼν πάλιν—and having taken to himself again. This is opposed to προάγων (v. 32), which represents him as separating himself from them. But it is only the twelve, not the multitude generally, to whom he joins himself, as the teaching that follows is esoteric. He joins himself to them again, after he sees the effect produced on them by his going on before them, and explains to them what it is that has produced the strangeness of his manner.
Οἱ δὲ, instead of καὶ, before ἀκολουθοῦντες Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC* L Δ 1, Memph.
33. ἀναβαίνομεν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα—we are going up to Jerusalem. This is what makes this journey so fateful. In Jerusalem, they will be confronted with the authorities, both Jewish and Roman. ἀρχιερεῦσι … γραμματεῦσι—the chief priests and the scribes. These two classes represented the Sanhedrim, the Great Council among the Jews, before which were tried all the more important cases coming under their own law, though the Roman government reserved to itself the right of capital punishment. καὶ παραδώσουσιν αὐτὸν τ. ἔθνεσι—This delivering him over to the Gentiles, i.e. the Roman government, has not been mentioned in the account of the preceding predictions of his death. It was rendered necessary by the determination to put him to death, a power which the Roman government reserved to itself. They could not execute him, they had to procure his execution.
τ. ἔθνεσι—the nations. The term by which the Jews designated all foreign nations. They were the nation; all others were just the nations.
34. ἐμπαίξουσιν … ἐμπτύσουσιν … μαστιγώσουσιν—they will mock… spit upon… scourge. These details correspond exactly to what we are told of the event. The scourging was an invariable accompaniment of crucifixion. The general fact of mocking was to be expected, since his supposed claim to be a king would naturally excite the ridicule of Roman soldiers. Jesus might easily, therefore, have put these into his prophecy in a general way; but the exact form which the prophecy takes, and which is reproduced for substance by the other accounts, is in all probability a reflection of the event, put in by the original narrator. κ. μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας ἀναστήσεται—and after three days he will rise. The prediction of the crucifixion would rest on something more than ordinary foresight, since the action of the Roman governor must have remained an incalculable element in any such forecast. And the resurrection, in the form in which it actually took place, and on a set day, was necessarily a revelation. This precise prediction, moreover, makes the total want of preparation for the event on the part of the disciples a curious psychological problem.
καὶ ἐμπτύσουσιν αὐτῷ, καὶ μαστιγώσουσιν αὐτόν, instead of the reverse order, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ 237, 259, 406, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Harcl. Omit αὐτόν after ἀποκτενοῦσιν Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. א BL Δ 1, 209, two mss. Lat. Vet. μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας, instead of τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDL Δ most mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Harcl. marg.
GOD’S IDEA OF GREATNESS
35-45. James and John ask for first and second places in his kingdom. Jesus assures them that they will share his lot, but that the decision of precedence does not rest with him, but with the Father. He shows that the conditions and nature of greatness in the kingdom are exactly the reverse of the earthly conditions.
The noticeable thing about this event is not only the generally extraordinary character of the request, coming from the disciples of Jesus and just after his prediction of his death, but its ignoring of the claims of Peter, who was given the precedence, so far as there was any, by Jesus himself and by the disciples. This shows a painful state of things among the disciples, who exhibit not merely a desire for the material rewards of discipleship, such as was exhibited in Peter’s question—what shall we have? but the rivalries and jealousies that spring up as the natural fruit of such desire. Our Lord’s method, on the other hand, is conspicuous, not only for the careful and consistent elimination of any such unspiritual element from his kingdom, but equally for the patience with which he dealt with the unspirituality of his disciples, until he had refined it into something like his own spirituality. In this case, he asks them first, if they know what they are asking, and shows them that to be next to him means to share the conspicuous dangers and sacrifices of his position. Then he shows them again, as in their previous dispute over the same matter, that greatness in the kingdom of God is the reverse of earthly greatness, the great one being he who serves, just as the Messianic king serves and is sacrificed.
35. λέγοντες αὐτῶ, Διδάσκαλε, θέλομεν ἵνα ὃ ἐὰν αἰτήσωμέν σε ποιήσῃς ἡμῖν.1—Saying to him, Teacher, we wish that you do for us whatever we ask you.
Insert αὐτῷ after λέγοντες Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDL Δ one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh. Insert σε after αἰτήσωμεν Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. אc ABCL Δ mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Harcl.
36. Τί θέλετε ποιήσω ὑμῖν;—What do you wish me to do for you? Literally, what do you wish, shall I do for you?1
ποιήσω, instead of ποιῆσαί με, Treg. WH. CD, 1, 13, 69, 209. Add με Tisch. WH. marg. אc B. Versions also favor the subj.
37. Οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῶ, Δὸς ἡμῖν ἵνα2 εἷς σου ἐκ δεξιῶν καὶ εἷς3 ἐξ ἀριστερῶν καθίσωμεν ἐν τῇ δόξῃ σου4—and they said to him, give us to sit, one on thy right hand, and one on thy left hand, in thy glory.
ἀριστερῶν, instead of εὐωνύμων, Tisch. Treg. WH. BL Δ. Omit σου in this place, Treg. WH. RV. BD Δ 1, mss. Lat. Vet.
ἐκ δεξιῶν … ἐξ ἀριστερῶν—these are the positions of honor next to the throne itself, the right hand having the precedence. This leaves Peter out. ἐν τῇ δόξῃ σου—in thy glory. The glory, that is, of the Messianic king.
38. Οὐκ οἴδατε τί αἰτεῖσθε—You know not what you ask. They did not know how absolutely this is a question of being first, and not of standing first, which makes it a question, not of appointment, but of achievement. Nor did they know that it meant suffering, instead of honor, and that this would increase with the advanced position attained. πιεῖν τὸ ποτήριον—drink the cup. The figurative use of the phrase to denote a man’s portion in life, his hard or easy lot, belongs to other languages than the Greek. See Isaiah 51:17, Jeremiah 49:12, Psalm 16:5, Psalm 23:5. Christ means to ask them if they are able, if they have the necessary fortitude and proper appreciation of values, to share the sacrifices of his position. Being baptized with his baptism is another figurative expression of the same thought, coming from the power of calamity to overwhelm. Can you, he asks, be immersed in that which has overwhelmed me? They have looked at only the glory of the coming kingdom. Jesus directs their attention to the sacrifices incurred in establishing that kingdom.
ἢ, or, instead of Καὶ, and, before τὸ βάπτισμα, the baptism, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC* DLN Δ 1, 13, 28, 69, 124, 346, Latt. Memph. Harcl. marg.
39. Τὸ ποτήριον … πίεσθε· καὶ τὸ βάπτισμα … βαπτισθήσεσθε—The cup … you will drink; and with the baptism … you will be baptized. Of this Jesus can assure them, that they will share his sufferings.
Omit μὲν before ποτήριον Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC* L Δ mss. Vulg. Memph. Pesh.
40. τὸ δὲ καθίσαι ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἢ ἐξ εὐωνύμων1 οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμὸν δοῦναι—But to sit on my right hand, or left hand, is not mine to give.
ἢ, instead of Καὶ, before ἐξ εὐωνύμων Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDL Δ 73. Lat. Vet. Memph. Omit μου after ἐξ εὐων. Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. and almost everything.
This statement of Jesus it is very easy to interpret superficially, as if it meant simply that the bestowment belonged not to one person, but to another—not to himself, but to the Father. But there is little doubt that Mk. has preserved for us the true form of statement in omitting mention of the Father, and so the contrast between persons. They cannot have position in his kingdom by applying to either, as if it were a matter of personal preference. Position, it is not in his power to bestow; it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared. The meaning is, that this is a matter already disposed of, and so no longer in his power. The verb expresses nearly the idea of ordained. But it adds to this the thought of the preparation of the place. Each one is to have a place prepared and adapted for him. It is not therefore a question that can be settled as they were trying to settle it, by influence used with him personally. Fitness, and not influence, decides it. This becomes especially clear, when we consider the definition of greatness that follows. It consists in service, and he who serves most is greatest, a greatness already determined by the service, and not to be changed by any personal equation.
41. οἱ δέκα ἤρξαντο ἀγανακτεῖν2—the ten began to be indignant. There was reason for this strong feeling on the part of the other disciples. The condition seems to have been, that Peter, James, and John were singled out by Jesus himself for such eminence among the twelve, as the twelve had among the other disciples. If there was any jealousy caused by this, it would be allayed by the fact that the Master selected those manifestly fit, and that it was unaccompanied by any outward advantage. But, now, there was an attempt to secure places in the coming kingdom and its glory, and Peter, the real leader of the twelve, was left out of the scheme. It was the introduction of political methods, such as invariably go with the materializing of ideas, the use of principles to secure power, and of power to advance principles in the world.
42. καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς—And Jesus having called them.
This reading, instead of ὁ δὲ Ἰησους προσκ. αὐτούς, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א* et c. BCDL Δ mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh.
οἱ δοκοῦντες ἀρχεῖν—those who seem to be chief. Jesus has in mind evidently the difference between their primacy and the ideal. ἀρχεῖν is a word that lends itself to such ideal treatment, as it contains in itself the notion of leadership, which is the only proper basis of rule. Men rule by force, by heredity, by fickle choice, by flattery, but how few are real leaders, ruling because possessing the qualities of leadership. κατακυριεύσουσιν—lord it over them (RV.). They become κύριοι, lords or masters, and the people become their servants, doing their will, and ministering to their pleasure. κατεξουσιάζουσιν1—exercise authority over them.
43, 44. οὐχ οὕτω δέ ἐστιν ἐν ὑμῖν· ἀλλʼ ὃς ἂν θέλῃ μέγας γενέσθαι ἐν ὑμῖν, ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος· καὶ ὃς ἂν θέλῃ ἐν ὑμῖν εἶναι πρῶτος, ἔσται πάντων δοῦλος—But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you, shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you, shall be bond-servant of all.
ἐστιν, is, instead of ἔσται, shall be, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC* DL Δ most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. ἂν, instead of ἐὰν, after first ὂς Tisch. Treg. WH. א BDL Δ 33, 69, 299. ἐν ὑμῖν, instead of ὑμῶν, before εἶναι πρῶτος Treg. marg. WH. RV. א BC* L Δ Latt. Memph. εἶναι πρῶτος, instead of γενέσθαι πρῶτ., Treg. WH. RV. א BC* L Δ Latt. Memph.
οὐχ οὕτω δέ ἐστιν—but so it is not. This is not the state of things that obtains, as a matter of fact, among you as members of the kingdom of God. The ideal is the essential principle of that kingdom. μέγας γενέσθαι—to become great. There is such a thing as ambition, the desire for greatness, in the kingdom of God, but it is the exact opposite of what goes by that name. διάκονος—servant. The word denotes the performer of services, without indicating his exact relation to the person served. δοῦλος—bond-servant. There is a climax in the statement. To be great requires service, to be first requires bond-service, and this δουλεία is to πάντων, all. Here is the paradox of the kingdom of God. Instead of being lords, its great ones become servants, and its chiefs the bond-servants of all. One has only to watch the progress and present condition of things, to see that this state of things is coming to pass, but that it is yet far from accomplishment; and furthermore, that in this respect at least, the field is the world, and not the church.
45. καὶ γὰρ—for also. The Son of Man himself is not exempt from this rule. His kingship is also that of service, and not that of lordship. He is the Head of humanity, and yet he serves men, and not men him. οὐ διακονήθηναι, ἀλλὰ διακονῆσαι—not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom in exchange for many. The vicarious idea is expressed here, but it is not strictly that his life takes the place of other lives that would have to be sacrificed otherwise in expiation of their sins. All that is required by the statement, not in the way of minimizing it, but to fill out its meaning, is that his life becomes the price by which men are freed from their bondage. The soldiers in the American civil war gave their lives as a λύτρον for the slaves, and every martyr’s death is a λύτρον. There may be more than this involved in the death of the Redeemer, but more than this is not involved in his words here. In this, he carries his service of men to the utmost, and becomes their Head.
HEALING OF A BLIND MAN NEAR JERICHO
46-52. In the course of his journeys in Judœa, Jesus comes to Jericho, and Bartimœus, a blind man, asks him to take pity on him. The crowd around Jesus seek to repel him, but Jesus calls him and heals him. The blind man follows him.
This is the only visit of Jesus to Jericho. The connection of the narrative makes this a stage in the journey to Jerusalem, begun v. 32, and ended in the next chapter. The cry of the blind man, Jesus, Son of David, is the first note of the Messianic acclaim with which Jesus enters the city. And his healing at this crisis brings Jesus as the wonder-worker freshly before the minds of the multitude, and raises still higher their excited Messianic hopes.
46. καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ Ἰερειχώ—and as he was coming out from Jericho. Lk. says, as he was approaching Jericho, and in the account of Zacchæus which follows, that he entered, and passed through Jericho. Mk. says that they come to Jericho, and that this happened as he was coming out from Jericho. It breaks up the continuity of both accounts to try to reconcile them in this trivial detail. καὶ ὄχλου ἱκανοῦ—and a considerable crowd. There is, probably, this deviation from the meaning great given to it in the EV.1 ὁ υἱὸς Τιμαίου, Βαρτίμαιος, τυφλὸς προσαίτης,2 ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν—the Son of Timœus, Bartimœus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the side of the road. ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ Τιμαίου, the Son of Timœus, is a translation of Bartimæus = בַר טִמְאַי; but it is evidently not introduced here for that reason. Bartimæus is the name, and Son of Timœus denotes the relation. There was probably some reason for noting this relation, as that Timæus was a disciple.
Insert ὁ before υἱὸς Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDLS Δ. Omit ὁ before τυφλὸς Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDL Δ 124, Memph. προσαίτης after τυφλὸς, instead of προσαιτῶν after ὁδὸν, a blind beggar, instead of a blind man … begging, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א B2L Δ one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph.
47. Καὶ ἀκούσας ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ναζαρηνός ἐστιν, ἤρξατο κράζειν καὶ λέγειν, υἱὲ Δαυείδ, Ἰησοῦ, ἐλέησόν με—And having heard that it is Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry, and to say, thou Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me.
Ναζαρηνός, instead of Ναζωραῖος, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BL Δ 1, 118, 209, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. υἱὲ, instead of ὁ υἱὸς, Tisch. Treg. WH. א BCLM marg. Δ.
Jesus of Nazareth, and Son of David are both unfamiliar titles, the former occurring now for the first time since 1:24, and the latter only here. Jesus of Nazareth is intended by the multitude to identify him. Son of David is a distinctly Messianic title, the use of which here, however, we must not suppose is individual and peculiar. It reflects the sentiment of the multitude, who mean to make this a triumphal progress to Jerusalem, though as yet they are preserving a policy of silence.1
48. ἵνα σιωπήσῃ—that he keep silent. It does not seem probable that they would want to prevent the miracle. Rather, they wanted to enforce silence about this premature Son of David, which they meant to reserve for the entry into Jerusalem.
49. φωνήσατε αὐτόν—call him.
φωνήσατε αὐτόν, instead of αὐτὸν φωνηθῆναι, that he be called, א BCL Δ 7, 209, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Harcl. marg.
ἔγειρε, instead of ἔγειραι, א ABCDLX ΓΠ.
50. ἀποβαλὼν τὸ ἱμάτιον—having thrown off his garment. The outer garment, or robe, is meant. ἀναπηδήσας—having leaped up.2 Both these acts are introduced to show the man’s eagerness.
ἀναπηδήσας, instead of ἀναστὰς, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDLM marg. Δ Latt. Memph. Harcl. marg.
51. Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν, τί σοι θέλεις ποιήσω;—And Jesus answering said to him, What do you wish me to do for you?3
εἶπεν, instead of λέγει, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDL Δ 115, mss. Lat. Vet. one ms. Vulg. Memph.
Ῥαββουνί,1 ἵνα ἀναβλέψω2—Rabboni, that I may recover my sight. Rabboni is apparently a more dignified title than Rabbi.
52. Καὶ εὐθὺς ἀνέβλεψε, καὶ ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ3—And immediately he recovered his sight, and followed him in the way.
αὐτῷ, instead of τῷ Ἰησοῦ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCDLM marg. Δ Latt. Memph. Harcl. marg.
WH. Westcott and Hort.
RV. Revised Version.
B Codex Vaticanus.
C Codex Bezae.
L Codex Regius.
A Codex Alexandrinus.
Lat. Vet. Vetus Latina.
D Codex Ephraemi.
M Codex Campianus.
1 βίβλιον is a diminutive from βίβλος, which denotes primarily the papyrus plant, the bark of which was prepared for writing.
2 This word is rare, and in the sense of divorce it is peculiar to the Bible.
1 On this meaning of πρός, see Win. 49 h, c). It is not common Greek usage.
2 σκληροκαρδία is a Biblical word.
marg. Revided Version marg.
2 Heb. הָיהָ לְ.
1 This use of εἰς without even any verb like sit or stand, implying previous action, or motion to a place, is to be noticed. The return to the house is implied without any verb to suggest it.
28 Codex Regius.
N Codex Purpureus.
X Codex Wolfi A.
1 .Codex Basiliensis
13 Codex Regius.
69 Codex Leicestrensis.
346 Codex Ambrosianus.
Latt. Latin Versions.
1 Burton, 41.
AV. Authorised Version.
1 See on 9:36. The word occurs only in these two passages, and in the Sept.
2 κατευλόγει is a compound found only here in the Bible, and not at all outside. On the Hebraistic meaning of εὐλογεῖν, to invoke blessings on, see on 6:41. On the augment of verbs beginning with εὐ, see Win. 12, 3.
1 On this use of the gen. abs., where the noun or pronoun belongs to the structure of the sentence, see Win. 30, 11, Note.
1 Win. 18, 9.
2 γονυπετεῖν is a later Greek word.
3 In classical Greek, this verb is restricted to the meaning, to obtain by inheritance, and it governs the gen.
1 See Malachi 3:5, Exodus 21:10 LXX.
2 This sense of keeping, by way of observing, is in classical Greek confined to the active, and is attached to the middle only in Biblical Greek.
1 στυγνάσας is a rare word, even in the Bible, and is found outside only in Polybius, 120 b.c.
1 On the use of ἐπί to denote the cause of emotion, see Win. 48 c, c).
2 εὐκοπώτερον and τρυμαλίας are both Biblical words.
K Codex Cyprius.
U Codex Nanianus.
Syrr. Syriac Versions.
1 Win. 53, 3 a. Thay.-Grm. Lex. I. 2g
1 Began to say, instead of merely said, is best explained here as a mere fashion of speech, into which the writer falls, without any special reason for it.
2 The aor. and perf. are here to be distinguished from each other, the aor., we left, as denoting simple past action, the perf., we have followed, as denoting action continuing into the present.
2 The aor. and perf. are here to be distinguished from each other, the aor., we left, as denoting simple past action, the perf., we have followed, as denoting action continuing into the present.
209 An unnamed, valuable manuscript.
S Codex Vaticanus.
1 See 3:35.
2 See Matthew 5:5.
3 See 2 Corinthians 6:10.
1 This use of ἵνα with the subj., instead of the inf., after verbs of desire and command, is common in Hellenistic Greek, but not in the classical writers. See Win. 44, 8. Burton, 304.
1 Here, we have the subj. without ἵνα, which is still more anomalous, being an elliptical combination of two constructions. See Win. 41 a, 4 b. Burton, 171. The subj. is probably in this case the deliberative subj.
2 See note 1, p. 199.
3 The Greeks use εἶς μὲν, εἶς δὲ, to express this correlation. Win. 26, 2 a.
4 δόξα is confined in Greek writers to its proper subjective meaning, opinion, praise. The meaning, glory, majesty, as an objective state, comes from the Heb.
1 εὐωνύμων is used in the taking of auguries to denote euphemistically those of evil origin, the word itself meaning just the opposite. And so it comes to denote the left hand, that being the hand of evil omen, the sinister hand.
2 See on v. 14.
1 This is a Biblical word, and is not found in the N.T. outside of this and the parallel passage in Mt., making another strong proof of the interdependence of the written accounts.
33 Codex Regius.
1 This use of ἱκανός in the sense of great, rather than sufficient, is characteristic of Lk. (Lk. and Acts). The only other instance 1 Corinthians 11:30. Matthew 28:12 is at least doubtful.
2 προσαίτης belongs to later Greek. Plutarch, Lucian.
1 See 12:35.
2 A common Greek word, but not found elsewhere in N.T.
3 See on v. 35, 36.
1 Apparently, there is a confusion of two Chaldee words in this title, רִבּוֹן and רַּבָּן, both of them meaning about the same, lord or chief.
2 ἀνα- in composition has the sense of the Latin re.
3 The distinction between the momentary action of the aor. and the continued action of the impf. is preserved in these verbs.
And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.
And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?
And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.
And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.
And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,
Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:
And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.
And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?
They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.
But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:
But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.
And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.
But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.
And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.