Mark 14:1
After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.
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(1, 2) After two days was the feast of the passover.—See Notes on Matthew 26:1-5. Better, was the passover, and the feast of unleavened bread. The latter designation is common to St. Mark and St. Luke, as an explanation intended for Gentile readers. The same fact accounts, perhaps, for the omission by both of the name of Caiaphas as the chief mover in the scheme.

Mark 14:1-9. After two days was the feast of the passover — For an explanation of these verses, see the notes on Matthew 26:1-13. Of ointment of spike-nard, very precious — “Either the word πιστικη,” says Dr. Whitby, “answers to the Syriac, pisthaca, and then it may be rendered, nardus spicata, ointment made of the spikes of nard; or, if it be of a Greek original, I think Theophylact well renders it πιστικη η αδολος και μετα πιστεως κατασκευασθεισα, that is, nard unadulterated and prepared with fidelity; the great price it bore tempting many to adulterate it, as Dioscorides and Pliny tell us.” Nard is a plant which was highly valued by the ancients, both as an article of luxury and medicine. The ointment made of it was used at baths and feasts as a favourite perfume. From a passage in Horace, it appears that this ointment was so valuable among the Romans, that as much as could be contained in a small box of precious stone was considered as a sort of equivalent for a large vessel of wine, and a proper quota for a guest to contribute at an entertainment, according to the ancient custom. Hor., lib. 4. ode 12. This author mentions the Assyrian, and Dioscorides the Syrian nard; but, it appears, the best is produced in the East Indies. “The root of this plant is very small and slender. It puts forth a long and small stalk, and has several ears or spikes, even with the ground, which has given it the name of spikenard; the taste is bitter, acrid, and aromatic, and the smell agreeable.” — Calmet. She brake the box and poured it on his head — As this spikenard was a liquid, and there appears to be no reason for breaking the box in order to get out the liquor, Knatchbull, Hammond, and some others maintain, that συντριψασα, the word here used, ought not to be translated she brake, but only that she shook the box, namely, so as to break the coagulated parts of the rich balsam, and bring it to such a degree of liquidity, that it might be fit to be poured out; and thus Dr. Waterland translates it. Dr. Doddridge and others, however, think the original word does not so naturally express this, and therefore imagine that the woman broke off the top of the vessel in which the balsam was contained. Dr. Campbell renders it, She broke open the box, observing, “I have chosen these words as sufficiently denoting that it required an uncommon effort to bring out the contents, which is all that the word here necessarily implies; and it is a circumstance that ought not to be altogether overlooked, being an additional evidence of the woman’s zeal for doing honour to her Lord. That the term ought not to be rendered shook, is to me evident. I know no example of it in this meaning in any author, sacred or profane. Verbs denoting to shake, frequently occur in Scripture. But the word is never συντριβω, but τινασσω, σειω, σαλευω.” Mr. Harmer understands it of the breaking the cement with which the vessel was closely stopped, a circumstance which, he thinks, appears natural, and an explanation which is justified by the phraseology of Propertius, a writer of the same age. There were some that had indignation — At this which the woman had done, being incited thereto by Judas; and said — Probably to the woman, Why was this waste of the ointment made — Of this rich and costly balsam? And they murmured against her — Spake privately among themselves against the woman, for what she had done. But Jesus, knowing every thing they spake or thought, said, Why trouble ye her — Without cause? She hath wrought a good work on me — Hath given a great proof of her firm faith, and fervent love to me; and therefore, instead of meriting your censure, deserves your commendation. She hath done what she could — To testify her affection for me. She is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying — Matthew, προς το ενταφιασαι με, corpus meum ad funus componere, to prepare my body for its burial. This vindication of the woman suggests the reason why Jesus permitted so expensive a compliment to be paid to him. Being desirous to impress his disciples with the thought of his death, he embraced every opportunity of inculcating it, whether by word or deed.

14:1-11 Did Christ pour out his soul unto death for us, and shall we think any thing too precious for him? Do we give him the precious ointment of our best affections? Let us love him with all the heart, though it is common for zeal and affection to be misunderstood and blamed; and remember that charity to the poor will not excuse any from particular acts of piety to the Lord Jesus. Christ commended this woman's pious attention to the notice of believers in all ages. Those who honour Christ he will honour. Covetousness was Judas' master lust, and that betrayed him to the sin of betraying his Master; the devil suited his temptation to that, and so conquered him. And see what wicked contrivances many have in their sinful pursuits; but what appears to forward their plans, will prove curses in the end.See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 26:1-16.

Mark 14:1

And of unleavened bread - So called because at that feast no other bread was used but that which had been made without leaven or yeast.

By craft - By subtlety (Matthew); that is, by some secret plan that would secure possession of him without exciting the opposition of the people.


Mr 14:1-11. The Conspiracy of the Jewish Authorities to Put Jesus to Death—The Supper and the Anointing at Bethany—Judas Agrees with the Chief Priests to Betray His Lord. ( = Mt 26:1-16; Lu 22:1-6; Joh 12:1-11).

The events of this section appeared to have occurred on the fourth day (Wednesday) of the Redeemer's Last Week.

Conspiracy of the Jewish Authorities to Put Jesus to Death (Mr 14:1, 2).

1. After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread—The meaning is, that two days after what is about to be mentioned the passover would arrive; in other words, what follows occurred two days before the feast.

and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death—From Matthew's fuller account (Mt 26:1-75) we learn that our Lord announced this to the Twelve as follows, being the first announcement to them of the precise time: "And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings" (Mt 26:1)—referring to the contents of Mt 24:1-25:46, which He delivered to His disciples; His public ministry being now closed: from His prophetical He is now passing into His priestly office, although all along He Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses—"He said unto His disciples, Ye know that after two days is [the feast of] the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified." The first and the last steps of His final sufferings are brought together in this brief announcement of all that was to take place. The passover was the first and the chief of the three great annual festivals, commemorative of the redemption of God's people from Egypt, through the sprinkling of the blood of a lamb divinely appointed to be slain for that end; the destroying angel, "when he saw the blood, passing over" the Israelitish houses, on which that blood was seen, when he came to destroy all the first-born in the land of Egypt (Ex 12:12, 13)—bright typical foreshadowing of the great Sacrifice, and the Redemption effected thereby. Accordingly, "by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working," it was so ordered that precisely at the passover season, "Christ our Passover should be sacrificed for us." On the day following the passover commenced "the feast of unleavened bread," so called because for seven days only unleavened bread was to be eaten (Ex 12:18-20). See on [1500]1Co 5:6-8. We are further told by Matthew (Mt 26:3) that the consultation was held in the palace of Caiaphas the high priest, between the chief priests, [the scribes], and the elders of the people, how "they might take Jesus by subtlety and kill Him."Mark 14:1,2 The chief priests and scribes conspire against Christ.

Mark 14:3-9 A woman pours precious ointment on his head.

Mark 14:10,11 Judas covenants to betray him,

Mark 14:12-21 Christ eats the passover, and showeth that one of his

disciples should betray him.

Mark 14:22-26 He institutes his last supper,

Mark 14:27-31 foretells the desertion of all his disciples, and

Peter’s denial of him.

Mark 14:32-42 His agony and prayer in the garden.

Mark 14:43-52 He is betrayed by Judas, and apprehended: his

disciples flee.

Mark 14:53-65 He is carried before the council, falsely accused,

examined, pronounced guilty and treated with indignity.

Mark 14:66-72 Peter’s denial, and repentance.

Ver. 1,2. Matthew saith the same, only he bringeth it in as said to the disciples by Christ. This must be said upon that day in the week which we call Tuesday, for Friday was the passover day, when began the feast of unleavened bread.

See Poole on "Matthew 26:1", and following verses to Matthew 26:5.

After two days was the feast of the passover,.... That is, two days after Christ had delivered the foregoing discourse concerning the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem, was the feast of the passover; which was kept in commemoration of God's passing over the houses of the Israelites, when he destroyed the firstborn of Egypt, and made way for the deliverance of the children of Israel from thence: and which was kept by eating the passover lamb; and which, properly speaking, is the feast of the passover:

and of unleavened bread; which was the same feast with the other, called so from the unleavened bread which was then eaten; though with this difference, the passover lamb was only eaten on the first night, but unleavened bread was eaten for seven days together. The Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions render it, "the passover of unleavened bread", leaving out the copulative "and".

And the chief priests and Scribes sought how they might take him by craft; that is, Jesus,

and put him to death: for which purpose they assembled together in Caiaphas the high priest's palace, and there took counsel together how to accomplish it; see Matthew 26:2.

After {1} two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.

(1) By the will of God, against the counsel of men, it came to pass that Christ should be put to death upon the solemn day of the passover, that in all respects the truth of his sacrifice might agree to the symbol of the passover.

Mark 14:1-2. See on Matthew 26:2-5. Comp. Luke 22:1-2. Including this short introduction of simple historical tenor (in which Luke follows him), Mark is, in the entire narrative of the passion, generally more original, fresh, and free from later additions and amplifications of tradition than Matthew (comp. Weiss, 1861, p. 52 ff.), although the latter again is the more original in various details.

τὸ πάσχα κ. τὰ ἄζυμα] the Passover and the unleavened (חמצות), i.e. the feast of the Passover and (which it likewise is) of the unleavened. Comp. 3 Esdr. Mark 1:19 : ἠγάγοσαντὸ πάσχα καὶ τὴν ἑορτὴν τῶν ἀζύμων. On τὰ ἄζυμα as a designation of the feast, comp. 3 Esdr. Mark 1:10 : ἔχοντες τὰ ἄζυμα κατὰ τὰς φυλάς.

ἔλεγον γάρ] This γάρ (see the critical remarks) informs us of the reason of the ἐζήτουν πῶς previously said; for the feast was in their way, so that they could not at once proceed, but believed that they must let it first go quietly by, so that no tumult might occur. Victor Antiochenus remarks: τὴν μὲν ἑορτὴν ὑπερθέσθαι βούλονται· οὐ συγχωροῦντο δὲ, ἐπειδὴ τὴν προφητείαν ἔδει πληροῦσθαι τὴν ἐν τῇ νομικῇ διατυπώσει, ἐν ᾗ τὸ πάσχα ἐδύετο, μηνὶ πρώτῳ τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ· ἐν τούτῳ γὰρ τῷ μηνὶ καὶ ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τὸ ἀληθινὸν πάσχα ἔδει θυτῆναι. A view right in itself; not, however, according to the Synoptic, but according to the Johannine account of the day of the death of Jesus.

ἔσται] shall be, certainty of what was otherwise to be expected. Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 140.

Mark 14:1-2. Introduction (Matthew 26:1-5, Luke 22:1-2).

Ch. Mark 14:1-2. The Sanhedrim in Council

1. After two days] From St Matthew’s account we gather that it was as they entered Bethany that our Lord Himself reminded the Apostles (Matthew 26:1-2) that after two days the Passover would be celebrated, and the Son of Man be delivered up to be crucified. He thus indicated the precise time when “the Hour” so often spoken of before should come, and again speaks of its accompanying circumstances of unutterable degradation and infamy—death by Crucifixion.

and of unleavened bread] The Passover took place on the 14th of Nisan, and the “Feast of unleavened bread” commenced on the 15th and lasted for seven days, deriving its name from the Mazzoth, or unleavened cakes, which was the only bread allowed during that week (Exodus 12:34; Exodus 12:39; Deuteronomy 16:3). From their close connection they are generally treated as one, both in the Old and in the New Testament, and Josephus, on one occasion, even describes it as “a feast for eight days.” Jos. Antiq. II. 15. 1; Edersheim, p. 177.

and the chief priests] While our Lord was in quiet retirement at Bethany the rulers of the nation were holding a formal consultation in the court of the palace of Caiaphas (Matthew 26:3) how they could put Him to death. Disappointed as they had been in ensnaring Him into matter for a capital charge, they saw that their influence was lost unless they were willing to take extreme measures, and the events of the Triumphal Entry had convinced them of the hold He had gained over many of the nation, especially the bold and hardy mountaineers of Galilee. The only place where He appeared in public after the nights had been spent at Bethany was the Temple, but to seize Him there would in the present excited state of popular feeling certainly lead to a tumult, and a tumult to the interposition of Pilate, who during the Passover kept a double garrison in the tower of Antonia, and himself had come up to Jerusalem.

by craft] It was formally resolved therefore to take Him by craft, and for this purpose to wait and take advantage of the course of events and of any favourable opportunity which might present itself.

Mark 14:1. Τὸ πάσχα, the passover) This is said in a strict sense, as in Mark 14:12; for τὰ ἄζυμα, “the feast of unleavened bread,” is added.—μετὰ δυὸ ἡμέρας) That is to say on the following day.[1]

[1] Two days before the Passover.—ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 1. - Now after two days was the feast of the passover and the unleavened bread; literally, the passover and the unleavened τό πάσχα καὶ τὰ ἄζυμα. It was one and the same festival. The killing of the Paschal lamb took place on the first of the seven days during which the festival lasted, and during the whole of which they used unleavened bread. Josephus describes it as "the festival of the unleavened, called Phaska by the Jews." The chief priests and the scribes. St. Matthew (Matthew 26:3) says, "The chief priests and the elders of the people." The two classes in the Sanhedrim who actually combined to put our Lord to death were those here mentioned by St. Mark. They sought how they might take him with subtlety (ἐν δόλῳ), and kill him. It is, literally, they were seeking (ἐλήτουν). The verb with its tense implies continuous and eager desire. They used subtlety, because they feared lest he should escape out of their hands. Moreover they feared the people, lest they should fight for him, and not suffer him to be taken. Mark 14:1The feast of the passover and the unleavened bread (τὸ πάσχα καὶ τὰ ἄζυμα)

Lit., the passover and the unleavened. It was really one and the same festival.

Sought (ἐζήτουν)

Imperfect tense: were all this while seeking

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