Mark 6:3
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
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(3) Is not this the carpenter?—St. Mark’s is the only Gospel which gives this name as applied to our Lord Himself. (See Note on Matthew 13:55.)

6:1-6 Our Lord's countrymen tried to prejudice the minds of people against him. Is not this the carpenter? Our Lord Jesus probably had worked in that business with his father. He thus put honour upon mechanics, and encouraged all persons who eat by the labour of their hands. It becomes the followers of Christ to content themselves with the satisfaction of doing good, although they are denied the praise of it. How much did these Nazarenes lose by obstinate prejudices against Jesus! May Divine grace deliver us from that unbelief, which renders Christ a savour of death, rather than of life to the soul. Let us, like our Master, go and teach cottages and peasants the way of salvation.See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 13:54-58. CHAPTER 6

Mr 6:1-6. Christ Rejected at Nazareth. ( = Mt 13:54-58; Lu 4:16-30).

See on [1439]Lu 4:16-30.

See Poole on "Mark 6:1"

Is not this the carpenter?.... Some copies read, "the carpenter's son", as in Matthew 13:55 and so the Arabic and Ethiopic versions; but all the ancient copies, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Persic versions, read "the carpenter": such may Christ be reasonably thought to be, since his father was; and which business he might follow, partly through the meanness and poverty of his parents; and partly that he might set an example of industry and diligence; and chiefly to bear that part of the first Adam's curse, which was to eat his bread with the sweat of his brow: nor ought this to have been objected to him by the Jews, with whom it was usual for their greatest doctors and Rabbins to be of some trade or secular employment; so R. Jochanan was a shoemaker (z) R. Isaac was a blacksmith (a), R. Juda was a tailor (b), Abba Saul and R. Jochanan, were undertakers for funerals (c); R. Simeon was a seller of cotton (d), R. Nehemiah was a ditcher (e), R. Jose bar Chelphetha was a skinner (f); and others of them were of other trades, and some exceeding mean: the famous R. Hillell was a hewer of wood, and Carna, a judge in Israel, was a drawer of water (g); and so Maimonides says,

"the great wise men of Israel were some of them hewers of wood and drawers of water (h).''

They say,

"a man is obliged to learn his son an honest and easy trade (i):''

there are some businesses they except against (k), but this of a carpenter is not one; yea, they say,

"if a man does not teach his son a trade, it is all one as if he taught him thievery (l).''

Nor did they think it at all inconsistent with learning; for they have a saying (m), that

"beautiful is the learning of the law, along with a trade.''

The Jews ought not to have flouted Christ with this trade of a carpenter, since, according to them, it was necessary that a carpenter, in some cases, should be a regular priest; as in repairing of the temple, especially the holy of holies. So says Maimonides (n);

"there was a trap door, or an open place in the floor of the chamber, open to the holy of holies, that workmen might enter thereby into the holy of holies, when there was a necessity of repairing any thing; and since we make mention of workmen, it may be observed here, when there is need of building in the midst of the temple, great care should be taken, , "that the workman, or carpenter, be a right priest".''

Yea, they expressly say, that the Messiah is one of the four carpenters in Zechariah 1:20. "And the Lord showed me four carpenters"; they ask (o),

""who are the four carpenters?" Says R. Chana bar Bizna, says R. Simeon the saint, Messiah the son of David, Messiah the son of Joseph, and Elijah, and a priest of righteousness.''

This is with some variation elsewhere expressed thus (p),

""and the Lord showed me four carpenters"; and these are they, Elijah, and the king Messiah, and Melchizedek and the anointed for war.''


Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his {b} sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

(b) This word is used after the manner of the Hebrews, who by brethren and sisters understand all relatives.

Mark 6:3. ὁ τέκτων: avoided by Mt., who says the carpenter’s son: one of Mk.’s realisms. The ploughs and yokes of Justin M. (c. Trypho., 88) and the apocryphal Gospels pass beyond realism into vulgarity.—ἐσκανδαλίζοντο: what they had heard awakened admiration, but the external facts of the speaker’s connections and early history stifled incipient faith; vide notes on Mt.

3. Is not this the carpenter?] Save in this one place, our Lord is nowhere Himself called “the Carpenter.” According to the custom of the Jews, even the Rabbis learnt some handicraft. One of their proverbs was that “he who taught not his son a trade, taught him to be a thief.” Hence St Paul learnt to “labour with his own hands” at the trade of a tent-maker (Acts 18:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 4:12). “In the cities the carpenters would be Greeks, and skilled workmen; the carpenter of a provincial village could only have held a very humble position, and secured a very moderate competence.” Farrar’s Life of Christ, I. 81.

the brother of James, and Joses …] The four “brothers” here mentioned, and “the sisters,” whose names are nowhere recorded, were in all probability the children of Clopas and Mary, the sister and namesake of the blessed Virgin, and so the “cousins” of our Lord. (Compare Matthew 27:56 with Mark 15:40 and John 19:25.) Joseph would seem to have died at some time between a. d. 8 and a. d. 26, and there is no reason for believing that Clopas was alive during our Lord’s ministry. It has been suggested, therefore, that the two widowed sisters may have lived together, the more so as one of them had but one son, and He was often taken from her by His ministerial duties. Three other hypotheses have been formed respecting them: (1) that they were the children of Joseph by a former marriage; (2) that they were the children of Joseph and Mary; (3) that Joseph and Clopas being brothers, and Clopas having died, Joseph raised up seed to his dead brother, according to the Levirate law.

Mark 6:3. Ὁ τέκτων) Son of the carpenter, or even Himself a carpenter; for they add, the Son of Mary, in antithesis to the Son of the carpenter. [He Himself therefore toiled at that kind of labour, which was corresponding to His spiritual work; Zechariah 6:12.—V. g.]

Verse 3. - Is not this the carpenter? St. Matthew (Matthew 13:55) says, "the carpenter's son." We infer from this that our Lord actually worked at the trade of a carpenter, and probably continued to do so until he entered upon his public ministry. We may also infer that Joseph was now no longer living, otherwise it would have been natural for his name to have been mentioned here. According to St. Chrysostom, our Lord made ploughs and yokes for oxen. Certain]y, he often drew his similitudes from these things. "No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62). "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me "(Matthew 11:29). Christ was the son of a carpenter. Yes; but he was also the Son of him who made the world at his will. Yea, he himself made the world. "All things were made by him," the Eternal Word. And he made them for us, that we might judge of the Maker by the greatness of his work. He chose to be the son of a carpenter. If he had chosen to be the sou of an emperor, then men might have ascribed his influence to the circumstances of his birth. But he chose a humble and obscure condition, for this, among other reasons, that it might be acknowledged that it was his divinity that transformed the world. Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? Some have thought that these were literally brethren of our Lord, sons of Joseph and Mary. Others have considered that they were his legal half-brothers, sons of Joseph by a former marriage. This view is held by many of the Greek Fathers, and has something to recommend it. But, on the whole, the most probable opinion is that they were cousins of our Lord - sons of a sister of the Virgin Mary, also called Mary, the wife of Cleophas, Clopas, or Alpheeus. There is evidence that there were four sons of Clopas and Mary, whose names were James, and Joses, and Simon (or Symeon), and Judas. Mary the wife of Clopas is mentioned by St. Matthew (Matthew 27:56) as the mother of James the less and of Joses. Jude describes himself (Jude 1:5) as the brother of James; and Simon, or Symeon, is mentioned in Eusebius as the son of Clopas. It must be remembered also that the word ἀδελφός, like the Hebrew word which it expresses, means not only "a brother," but generally "a near kinsman." In the same way the "sisters" would be cousins of our Lord. According to a tradition recorded by Nicephorus (2:3), the names of these sisters or cousins were Esther and Tamar. And they were offended in him. They took it ill that one brought up amongst them as a carpenter should set himself up as a prophet and a teacher; just as there are those in every age who are apt to take it amiss if they see any one spring from a trade into the doctor's chair. But these Nazarencs knew not that Jesus was the Son of God, who of his great love for man vouchsafed to take a low estate, that he might redeem us, and teach us humility by his example. And thus this humility and love of Christ, which ought to have excited their admiration and respect, was a stumbling-block to them, because they could not receive it, or believe that God was willing thus to humble himself. Mark 6:3The carpenter

This word "throws the only flash which falls on the continuous tenor of the first thirty years, from infancy to manhood, of the life of Christ" (Farrar, "Messages of the Books").

They were offended

See on Matthew 5:29. Tynd., hurt.

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