Mark 13:1
And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XIII.

(1) One of his disciples.—Note St. Mark’s vivid way of giving the very words of the disciple, instead of saying with St. Matthew that they “came to show” the buildings of the Temple.

Here, again, the juxtaposition of narratives in St. Mark gives them a special point. The “stones” of Herod’s Temple (for it was to him chiefly that it owed its magnificence) were of sculptured marble. The “buildings,” or structures, included columns, chambers, porticos that were, as St. Luke tells us (Luke 21:5), the votive offerings of the faithful. The disciples gazed on these with the natural admiration of Galilean peasants. In spite of the lesson they had just received—a lesson meant, it may be, to correct the tendency which our Lord discerned—they were still measuring things by their quantity and size. They admired the “goodly stones” more than the “widow’s mite.” They were now to be taught that, while the one should be spoken of throughout the whole world, the other should be destroyed, so that not a vestige should remain. We cannot say who spoke the words, but it is at least probable that it came from one of the four who are named in Mark 13:3.

Mark 13:1-2. See what manner of stones, &c. — Our Lord, in the conclusion of his lamentation over Jerusalem, (Matthew 23:38-39,) had declared that the temple should never be favoured with his presence any more; a declaration which, doubtless, appeared very strange to the disciples, and affected them much. For which reason they stopped him as he was going away, and desired him to see what a fine, sumptuous building the temple was: insinuating, probably, that they were surprised to hear him talk of leaving it desolate, for that so rich and glorious a fabric ought not to be deserted rashly. Jesus said, There shall not be left one stone upon another — This superb building, which you behold, adorned with huge stones of great beauty, shall be razed to the very foundation. It seemed exceedingly improbable that any thing like this should happen in that age, considering the peace of the Jews with the Romans, and the strength of their citadel, which forced Titus himself to acknowledge that it was the singular hand of God which compelled them to relinquish fortifications which no human power could have conquered. Bishop Chandler justly observes, “That no impostor would have foretold an event so unlikely and so disagreeable.” — Defence of Christianity, pp. 472, 473. Add to this, that it was not usual with the Romans to destroy either the cities or the temples of the countries they conquered. And with regard to this temple, Josephus tells us, (Bell., Mark 7:9,) that Titus having held a council of his generals, who were for burning the temple, declared that he would by all means save that edifice as an ornament to the empire. But God had determined and declared that it should be destroyed. Accordingly, the soldiers burned it without paying any regard to Titus’s orders. See notes on Matthew 24:42.

13:1-4 See how little Christ values outward pomp, where there is not real purity of heart. He looks with pity upon the ruin of precious souls, and weeps over them, but we do not find him look with pity upon the ruin of a fine house. Let us then be reminded how needful it is for us to have a more lasting abode in heaven, and to be prepared for it by the influences of the Holy Spirit, sought in the earnest use of all the means of grace.What manner of stones - The stones here referred to were those used in the building of the temple, and the walls on the sides of Mount Moriah, on which the temple stood. The temple was constructed of white marble, and the blocks were of a prodigious size. Josephus says that these stones were, some of them, 50 feet long, 24 feet broad, and 16 feet in thickness. CHAPTER 13

Mr 13:1-37. Christ's Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem, and Warnings Suggested by It to Prepare for His Second Coming. ( = Mt 24:1-51; Lu 21:5-36).

Jesus had uttered all His mind against the Jewish ecclesiastics, exposing their character with withering plainness, and denouncing, in language of awful severity, the judgments of God against them for that unfaithfulness to their trust which was bringing ruin upon the nation. He had closed this His last public discourse (Mt 23:1-39) by a passionate lamentation over Jerusalem, and a solemn farewell to the temple. "And," says Matthew (Mt 24:1), "Jesus went out and departed from the temple"—never more to re-enter its precincts, or open His mouth in public teaching. With this act ended His public ministry. As He withdrew, says Olshausen, the gracious presence of God left the sanctuary; and the temple, with all its service, and the whole theocratic constitution, was given over to destruction. What immediately followed is, as usual, most minutely and graphically described by our Evangelist.

1. And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him—The other Evangelists are less definite. "As some spake," says Luke (Lu 21:5); "His disciples came to Him," says Matthew (Mt 24:2). Doubtless it was the speech of one, the mouthpiece, likely, of others.

Master—Teacher.

see what manner of stones and what buildings are here—wondering probably, how so massive a pile could be overthrown, as seemed implied in our Lord's last words regarding it. Josephus, who gives a minute account of the wonderful structure, speaks of stones forty cubits long [Wars of the Jews, 5.5.1.] and says the pillars supporting the porches were twenty-five cubits high, all of one stone, and that of the whitest marble [Wars of the Jews, 5.5.2]. Six days' battering at the walls, during the siege, made no impression upon them [Wars of the Jews, 6.4.1]. Some of the under-building, yet remaining, and other works, are probably as old as the first temple.Mark 13:1,2 Christ foretells the destruction of the temple,

Mark 13:3-23 shows what signs and calamities should go before,

Mark 13:24-31 and what should happen at the time of his coming,

Mark 13:32-37 no man knoweth the day or hour; we must therefore

watch and pray, that we may not be found unprepared.

Ver. 1,2. The perishing nature of the splendid and gay things of this world, are fitter objects for the meditation of such as are Christ’s disciples, than the splendour and magnificence of them, especially when they are the privileges of a sinful people. Sin will undermine and blow up the most famous structures. It is a good thing for Christians not to set their hearts upon them. See Poole on "Matthew 24:1". See Poole on "Matthew 24:2".

And as he went out of the temple,.... The Ethiopic version reads, "as they went out"; Christ and his disciples: for when Christ went out of the temple, the disciples went out with him; or at least very quickly followed him, and came to him, as appears from what follows; though the true reading is, "as he went out": and the Syriac and Persic versions are more express, and read, "as Jesus went out": for having done all he intended to do there, he left it, never more to return to it:

one of his disciples: it may be Peter, who was generally pretty forward, and commonly the mouth of the rest, as this disciple was, whoever he was: the Persic version reads, "the disciples"; and Matthew and Luke represent them in general, as observing to Christ, the beauty and grandeur of the temple, as this disciple did: who

saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here. The temple, as repaired by Herod, was a very beautiful building, according to the account the Jews give of it, and its stones were of a very great magnitude; See Gill on Matthew 24:1.

And {1} as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

(1) The destruction of the temple, city, and whole nation is foretold, and the troubles of the Church: but yet there are many comforts added, and last of all, the end of the world is described.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Mark 13:1-8. See on Matthew 24:1-8. Comp. Luke 21:5-11. Mark has preserved the introduction in its original historical form. But Matthew has the discourse itself, although more artistically elaborated, in its greatest completeness from the collection of Logia and with some use of Mark; and that down to the consummation of the last judgment.[154]

ΠΟΤΑΠΟῚ ΛΊΘΟΙ] qualcs lapides! ᾠκοδομήθη ὁ ναὸς ἐκ λίθων μὲν λευκῶν τε καὶ καρτερῶν, τὸ μέγεθος ἑκάστων περὶ πέντε καὶ εἴκοσι πηχῶν ἐπὶ μῆκος, ὀκτὼ δὲ ὕψος, εὖρος δὲ περὶ δώδεκα, Joseph. Antt. xv. 11. 3. See Ottii Spicileg. p. 175. Who uttered the exclamation? (Was it Peter? or Andrew?) Probably Mark himself did not know.

On the ποταπός belonging to later usage, see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 56 f.; Fritzsche, p. 554 f.

Mark 13:2. Ὃς Οὐ ΜῊ ΚΑΤΑΛ.] for Οὐ ΜΉ in the relative clause, see Winer, p. 450 [E. T. 635 f.] The conception here is: there shall certainly be no stone left upon the other, which (in the further course of the destruction) would be secure from being thrown down. Comp. Luke 18:30.

Mark 13:3. As previously, Mark here also relates more vividly (ΚΑΤΈΝΑΝΤΙ ΤΟῦ ἹΕΡΟῦ) and more accurately (ΠΈΤΡΟς Κ.Τ.Λ.) than Matthew. According to de Wette (comp. Saunier, p. 132; Strauss, Baur), Mark is induced to the latter statement by the ΚΑΤʼ ἸΔΊΑΝ of Matthew—a specimen of the great injustice which is done to Mark as an alleged compiler.

ΕἸΠΌΝ] Thus, and not ΕἾΠΟΝ, is this imperative (which is also current among the Attic writers; see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 348) to be accented in the N. T. See Winer, p. 49 [E. T. 58].

τὸ σημεῖον] scil. ἜΣΤΑΙ: what will be the fore-token (which appears), when all this destruction is to enter on its fulfilment?

ΤΑῦΤΑ ΣΥΝΤΕΛ. ΠΆΝΤΑ] (see the critical remarks) applies not to the buildings of the temple (Fritzsche, who takes συντελεῖσθαι as simul exscindi, comp. Beza), but, just like ΤΑῦΤΑ, to the destruction announced at Mark 13:2. To explain it of “the whole world” (as ΤΑῦΤΑ is well known to be so used by the philosophers, Bernhardy, p. 280) or of “all things of the Parousia” (Lange), is a forced course at variance with the context, occasioned by Matthew 24:3[155] (in opposition to Grotius, Bengel). Moreover, the state of the case is here climactic; hence, while previously there stood merely ταῦτα, now πάντα is added; previously: ἔσται, now συντελεῖσθαι (be consummated).

Mark 13:5. Jesus now begins His detailed explanation as to the matter (ἤρξατο).

Mark 13:7. τὸ τέλος] the end of the tribulation (see Mark 13:9), not the end of the world (so even Dorner, Lange, Bleek), which only sets in after the end of the tribulation. See on Matthew 24:6.

Mark 13:8. καὶ ἔσονταικαὶ ἔσονται] solemnly.

καὶ ταραχαί] Famines and (therewith connected) disturbances, not exactly revolts (Griesbach), which the context does not suggest, but more general. Plat. Legg. ix. p. 861 A: ταραχή τε καὶ ἀξυμφωνία. Theaet. p. 168 A: ταρ. καὶ ἀπορία, Alc. ii. p. 146, 15 : ταρ, τε καὶ ἀνομία, 2Ma 13:16. Comp. τάραχος, Acts 12:18; Acts 19:23.

[154] Weizsäcker, p. 125, conjectures from Barnabas 4 (א), where a saying of Enoch is quoted about the shortening (συντέτμηκεν) of the days of the final offence (comp. ver. 20; Matthew 24:22), that the properly apocalyptic elements of the discourse as to the future are of Jewish origin, from an Apocalypse of Enoch; but the conjecture rests on much too bold and hasty an inference, hazarded as it is on a single thought, which Jesus Himself might very fairly share with the Jewish consciousness in general.

[155] Nevertheless, between the passage before us and Matt. l.c. there is no essential diversity, since the disciples conceived of the destruction of Jerusalem as immediately preceding the Parousia. See on Matthew 24:3. Comp. also Dorner, de orat. Chr. eschatologica, p. 45.

Mark 13:1-4. The introduction (Matthew 24:1-3; Luke 21:5-7).

Ch. Mark 13:1-13. Prophecies of the Destruction of Jerusalem

1. And as he went] Leaving the Temple, He passed with His Apostles down the eastern steps toward the valley of the Kidron. As they were passing on,

one of his disciples] invited His attention to the marvellous structure they were quitting, to the enormous size of its marble blocks, the grandeur of its buildings, and the gorgeous gifts with which, though still unfinished, it had been endowed (Luke 21:5). Josephus tells us that while some of the stones were forty-five feet, most were thirty-seven and a half feet long, twelve feet high, and eighteen broad. Jos. Bell. Jud. v. 6. 6; Ant. xv. 11. 3.

[Mark 13:1. Λίθοιοἰκοδομαὶ, stones—buildings) The very work of building was at that time going forward briskly: therefore many stones were lying scattered apart on this, and on that side.—V. g.]

Verse 1. - And as he went forth out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him Master, behold, what manner, of stones and what manner of buildings! This would be in the evening. According to St. Luke (Luke 21:37), our Lord, during the early part of this week, passed his nights upon the Mount of Olives, taking his food at Bethany with Martha and Mary, and spending his days in the temple at Jerusalem, teaching the people. It is most probable that he left the temple by the golden gate on the east, from whence the view of the temple would be particularly striking. We learn from St. Matthew (24.) that our Lord had just been predicting the fall of Jerusalem. It was, therefore, natural for the disciples to call his attention at that moment to the grandeur and beauty of the building and its surroundings. The temple at Jerusalem was one of the wonders of the world. Josephus says that it wanted nothing that the eye and the mind could admire. It shone with a fiery splendor; so that when the eye gazed upon it, it turned away as from the rays of the sun. The size of the foundation-stones was enormous. Josephus speaks of some of the stones as forty-five cubits in length, five in height, and six in breadth. One of the foundation-stones, measured in recent times, proved to be nearly twenty-four feet in length, by four feet in depth. But all this magnificence had no effect upon our Lord, who only repeated the sentence of its downfall Mark 13:1Stones

The spring-stones of the arches of the bridge which spanned the valley of Tyropoeon (the cheese-makers), and connected the ancient city of David with the royal porch of the temple, measured twenty-four feet in length by six in thickness. Yet these were by no means the largest in the masonry of the temple. Both at the southeastern and southwestern angles stones have been found measuring from twenty to forty feet long, and weighing above one hundred tons (Edersheim, "Temple").

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