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Mark 11:15-19

Context
Cleansing the Temple

11:15 Then 1  they came to Jerusalem. 2  Jesus 3  entered the temple area 4  and began to drive out those who were selling and buying in the temple courts. 5  He turned over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, 11:16 and he would not permit anyone to carry merchandise 6  through the temple courts. 7  11:17 Then he began to teach 8  them and said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? 9  But you have turned it into a den 10  of robbers!” 11  11:18 The chief priests and the experts in the law 12  heard it and they considered how they could assassinate 13  him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed by his teaching. 11:19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples 14  went out of the city.

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

2 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

3 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Grk “the temple.”

sn The merchants (those who were selling) would have been located in the Court of the Gentiles.

5 tn Grk “the temple.”

sn Matthew (21:12-27), Mark (here, 11:15-19), and Luke (19:45-46) record this incident of the temple cleansing at the end of Jesus’ ministry. John (2:13-16) records a cleansing of the temple at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. See the note on the word temple courts in John 2:14 for a discussion of the relationship of these accounts to one another.

6 tn Or “things.” The Greek word σκεῦος (skeuos) can refer to merchandise, property, goods, a vessel, or even generally “things” (but in the sense of some implement or tool). The idea here is almost certainly restricted to merchandise, rather than the more general “things,” although some suggest from the parallel with m. Berakhot 9.5 that Jesus was not even allowing sandals, staffs, or coin-purses to be carried through the court. The difficulty with this interpretation, however, is that it is fundamentally an appeal to Jewish oral tradition (something Jesus rarely sided with) as well as being indiscriminate toward all the worshipers.

7 tn Grk “the temple.”

8 tn The imperfect ἐδίδασκεν (edidasken) is here taken ingressively.

9 sn A quotation from Isa 56:7.

10 tn Or “a hideout” (see L&N 1.57).

11 sn A quotation from Jer 7:11. The meaning of Jesus’ statement about making the temple courts a den of robbers probably operates here at two levels. Not only were the religious leaders robbing the people financially, but because of this they had also robbed them spiritually by stealing from them the opportunity to come to know God genuinely. It is possible that these merchants had recently been moved to this location for convenience.

12 tn Or “The chief priests and the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 1:22.

13 tn Grk “how they could destroy him.”

14 tn Grk “they”; the referents (Jesus and his disciples) have been specified in the translation for clarity. Without such clarification there is room for considerable confusion here, since there are two prior sets of plural referents in the context, “the chief priests and experts in the law” and “the whole crowd” (both in v. 18).



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