And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They feared him.—Peculiar to St. Mark. Note also his omission of the facts recorded by St. Matthew: (1) the healing of the blind and the lame in the Temple; (2) the children crying Hosanna.Mark 11:18-19. The scribes, &c., sought how they might destroy him — They had heard the rebuke which he had given them for allowing the temple to be profaned, and they had heard likewise the application which he had made of a passage in the eighth Psalm to the case of the children in the temple, wishing him all manner of prosperity; and these things, with the authority which he assumed, galled and exasperated them greatly. They were, however, afraid to take him by violence, or to attempt any thing openly against him, lest it should raise a tumult: they only consulted among themselves how they might destroy him with as little noise as possible; because all the people were astonished at his doctrine — Both at the excellence of it, and at the majesty and authority with which he taught.
And his disciples heard it—and marked the saying. This is introduced as a connecting link, to explain what was afterwards to be said on the subject, as the narrative has to proceed to the other transactions of this day.
Second Cleansing of the Temple (Mr 11:15-18).
For the exposition of this portion, see on Lu 19:45-48.
Lessons from the Cursing of the Fig Tree (Mr 11:20-26).See Poole on "Mark 11:18"
and sought how they might destroy him: they took counsel together to take away his life, for they hated reformation:
for they feared him; lest he should go on to make great changes and alterations among them, which would affect their credit and character, and their gains also, and draw the people after him:
because all the people were astonished at his doctrine; both as to the matter of it, which were such words as never man spake; and, as to the manner of it, being with such majesty, power, and authority, as the Scribes and Pharisees taught not with; and also at the miracles, by which it was confirmed, as well as at the reformation and discipline he was introducing; which was done with such an air of sovereignty and power, as was amazing.And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Mark 11:18. πῶς, the purpose to get rid of Jesus fixed, but the how puzzling because of the esteem in which He was held.18. chief priests] This title was applied to (i) the high-priest properly so called; (ii) to all who had held the high-priesthood (the office under Roman sway no longer lasting for life, and becoming little more than annual); (iii) the heads of the twenty-four courses (1 Chronicles 24, Luke 1:9).
was astonished at his doctrine] and hung upon His lips eager to hear Him (Luke 19:48), and while He was thus high in favour, no one knew how far they might not be disposed to rise on His behalf, if an open effort was made to seize Him. Caution was therefore essential.Mark 11:18. Καὶ, and) They either had approved of that traffic as lawful, or as a source of gain: or else they thought that it ought to have been done away with rather by their agency than by His.-—ἐφοβοῦντο, they feared) Therefore they sought for artifices.Verse 18. - And the chief priests and the scribes - this is the right order of the words - heard it (ἤκουσαν), and sought (ἐζήτουν) - began to seek, or were seeking (imperfect) - how they might destroy him (ἀπολέσουσιν). They were seeking how they might, not only put him to death, but "utterly destroy him," stamp out his name and influence as a great spiritual energy in the world. This action of his raised them to the highest pitch of fury and indignation. Their authority and their interests were attacked. But the people still acknowledged his power; and the scribes and Pharisees feared the people.
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