And 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: this is the first commandment.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Mark 12:30. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart — The summary of piety contained in these words, (see notes on Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37,) is introduced by the preceding emphatical and strong assertion of the unity of God; because, “it is necessary that men should be deeply impressed with just notions of the object of their worship, particularly that he is the only true God, the maker of all things, and the possessor of all perfection, to whom there is not any being equal, or like, or second: in order that they may apply themselves, with the utmost diligence, to obey his precepts, the first and chief of which is, that they give him their hearts. God is so transcendently amiable in himself, and, by the benefits he hath conferred on us, hath such a title to our utmost affection, that there is no obligation that bears any proportion to that of loving him. The honour assigned to this precept proves, that piety is the noblest act of the human mind, and that the chief ingredient in piety is love, founded on a clear, extensive view of the divine perfections, a permanent sense of his benefits, and a deep conviction of his being the sovereign good, our portion, our happiness. But it is essential to love, that there be a delight in contemplating the beauty of the object beloved; that we frequently, and with pleasure, reflect on the benefits which the object of our affection has conferred on us; that we have a strong desire of pleasing him, great fear of doing any thing to offend him, and a sensible joy in the thought of being beloved in return. Hence the duties of devotion, prayer, and praise, are the most natural and genuine exercises of the love of God. Moreover, this virtue is not so much any single affection, as the continual bent of all the affections and powers of the soul. In which light, to love God is, as much as possible, to direct the whole soul toward God, and to exercise all its faculties on him as its chief object. But the beauty and excellence of this state of the mind is best seen in its effects; for the worship and obedience flowing from such a universal bent of the soul toward God, is as much superior to the worship and obedience arising from partial considerations, as the light of the sun is to any picture of it that can be drawn. For example, if we look on God only as a stern lawgiver, who can and will punish our rebellion, it may indeed force an awe and dread of him, and as much obedience to his laws as we think will satisfy him, but can never produce that constancy in our duty, that delight in it, and that earnestness to do it in its utmost extent, which are produced and maintained in the mind by the sacred fire of divine love, or by the bent of the whole soul, turned toward God; a frame the most excellent that can be conceived, and the most to be desired, because it constitutes the highest perfection and happiness of the creature.” This is the first (Matthew, and great) commandment — As this is the first in order, so it is the greatest commandment in the law.Matthew 22:37.
Thou shalt love—We now come to the glorious Object of that demanded affection.
Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God—that is, Jehovah, the Self-Existent One, who has revealed Himself as the "I Am," and there is none else; who, though by His name Jehovah apparently at an unapproachable distance from His finite creatures, yet bears to Thee a real and definite relationship, out of which arises His claim and Thy duty—of LOVE. But with what are we to love Him? Four things are here specified. First, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God"
with thy heart—This sometimes means "the whole inner man" (as Pr 4:23); but that cannot be meant here; for then the other three particulars would be superfluous. Very often it means "our emotional nature"—the seat of feeling as distinguished from our intellectual nature or the seat of thought, commonly called the "mind" (as in Php 4:7). But neither can this be the sense of it here; for here the heart is distinguished both from the "mind" and the "soul." The "heart," then, must here mean the sincerity of both the thoughts and the feelings; in other words, uprightness or true-heartedness, as opposed to a hypocritical or divided affection. But next, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God" with thy soul. This is designed to command our emotional nature: Thou shalt put feeling or warmth into thine affection. Further, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God"
with thy mind—This commands our intellectual nature: Thou shalt put intelligence into thine affection—in opposition to a blind devotion, or mere devoteeism. Lastly, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God"
with thy strength—This commands our energies: Thou shalt put intensity into thine affection—"Do it with thy might" (Ec 9:10). Taking these four things together, the command of the Law is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy powers—with a sincere, a fervid, an intelligent, an energetic love." But this is not all that the Law demands. God will have all these qualities in their most perfect exercise. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," says the Law, "with all thy heart," or, with perfect sincerity; "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul," or, with the utmost fervor; "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind," or, in the fullest exercise of an enlightened reason; and "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy strength," or, with the whole energy of our being! So much for the First Commandment.See Poole on "Mark 12:28"
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; that is, with all the powers and faculties of the soul; or with the affections, as under the influence and guidance of the more noble faculties of the soul, the mind, the understanding, judgment, and will: it is added here, which is not in Matthew,
and with all thy strength; which answers to the phrase in Deuteronomy 6:5, "with all thy might"; that is, with the greatest vehemency of affection, in the strongest expressions of it, and with all the strength of grace a man has. This passage follows the former in Deuteronomy 6:5 and is what is only cited in Matthew 22:37; see Gill on Matthew 22:37.And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Mark 12:30. Heart, soul, mind, strength (ἰσχύος); in Mt.: heart, soul, mind; in Lk. (Luke 10:27): heart, soul, strength, mind; in Deut. (Deuteronomy 6:4): heart, soul, strength (δυνάμεως); all varied ways of saying “to the uttermost degree” = “all that is within”; and with the full potency of that “all”.Mark 12:30. Καρδίας, with all thy heart) Which lives and loves.—ψυχῆς, with all thy soul) which enjoys and relishes.—διανοίας, with all thy mind) which is that ever-continuing power which engages itself in thoughts. σύνεσις is employed in Mark 12:33; in Luke 10:27, ἰσχύος—διανοίας.—ἰσχύος, with all thy strength) the ability which carries into effect the volition throughout the whole body.
 Tisch. omits διανοίας here in Mark, as perhaps interpolated by harmonies from Luke, with Dc, Cypr. 199, 213, 264. But AB Vulg. support it.—ED. and TRANSL.
Lit., out of thy whole heart. The heart, not only as the seat of the affections, but as the centre of our complex being - physical, moral, spiritual, and intellectual.
The word is often used in the New Testament in its original meaning of life. See Matthew 2:20; Matthew 20:28; Acts 20:10; Romans 11:3; John 10:11. Hence, as an emphatic designation of the man himself. See Matthew 12:18; Hebrews 10:38; Luke 21:19. So that the word denotes "life in the distinctness of individual existence" (Cremer). See further on ψυχικός, spiritual, 1 Corinthians 15:44.
The faculty of thought: understanding, especially the moral understanding.
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