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Mark 14:1-42

Context
The Plot Against Jesus

14:1 Two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the chief priests and the experts in the law 1  were trying to find a way 2  to arrest Jesus 3  by stealth and kill him. 14:2 For they said, “Not during the feast, so there won’t be a riot among the people.” 4 

Jesus’ Anointing

14:3 Now 5  while Jesus 6  was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, reclining at the table, 7  a woman came with an alabaster jar 8  of costly aromatic oil 9  from pure nard. After breaking open the jar, she poured it on his head. 14:4 But some who were present indignantly said to one another, “Why this waste of expensive 10  ointment? 14:5 It 11  could have been sold for more than three hundred silver coins 12  and the money 13  given to the poor!” So 14  they spoke angrily to her. 14:6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a good service for me. 14:7 For you will always have the poor with you, and you can do good for them whenever you want. But you will not always have me! 15  14:8 She did what she could. She anointed my body beforehand for burial. 14:9 I tell you the truth, 16  wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

The Plan to Betray Jesus

14:10 Then 17  Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus into their hands. 18  14:11 When they heard this, they were delighted 19  and promised to give him money. 20  So 21  Judas 22  began looking for an opportunity to betray him.

The Passover

14:12 Now 23  on the first day of the feast of 24  Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, 25  Jesus’ 26  disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 27  14:13 He sent two of his disciples and told them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar 28  of water will meet you. Follow him. 14:14 Wherever he enters, tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 14:15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” 14:16 So 29  the disciples left, went 30  into the city, and found things just as he had told them, 31  and they prepared the Passover.

14:17 Then, 32  when it was evening, he came to the house 33  with the twelve. 14:18 While they were at the table 34  eating, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, 35  one of you eating with me will betray me.” 36  14:19 They were distressed, and one by one said to him, “Surely not I?” 14:20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips his hand 37  with me into the bowl. 38  14:21 For the Son of Man will go as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for him if he had never been born.”

The Lord’s Supper

14:22 While they were eating, he took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it. This is my body.” 14:23 And after taking the cup and giving thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 14:24 He said to them, “This is my blood, the blood 39  of the covenant, 40  that is poured out for many. 14:25 I tell you the truth, 41  I will no longer drink of the fruit 42  of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 14:26 After singing a hymn, 43  they went out to the Mount of Olives.

The Prediction of Peter’s Denial

14:27 Then 44  Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written,

I will strike the shepherd,

and the sheep will be scattered. 45 

14:28 But after I am raised, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 14:29 Peter said to him, “Even if they all fall away, I will not!” 14:30 Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth, 46  today – this very night – before a rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 14:31 But Peter 47  insisted emphatically, 48  “Even if I must die with you, I will never deny you.” And all of them said the same thing.

Gethsemane

14:32 Then 49  they went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus 50  said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 14:33 He took Peter, James, 51  and John with him, and became very troubled and distressed. 14:34 He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Remain here and stay alert.” 14:35 Going a little farther, he threw himself to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour would pass from him. 14:36 He said, “Abba, 52  Father, all things are possible for you. Take this cup 53  away from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 14:37 Then 54  he came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake for one hour? 14:38 Stay awake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 14:39 He went away again and prayed the same thing. 14:40 When he came again he found them sleeping; they could not keep their eyes open. 55  And they did not know what to tell him. 14:41 He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? 56  Enough of that! 57  The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 14:42 Get up, let us go. Look! My betrayer 58  is approaching!”

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

2 tn Grk “were seeking how.”

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

4 sn The suggestion here is that Jesus was too popular to openly arrest him. The verb were trying is imperfect. It suggests, in this context, that they were always considering the opportunities.

5 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

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

7 sn 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away.

8 sn A jar made of alabaster stone was normally used for very precious substances like perfumes. It normally had a long neck which was sealed and had to be broken off so the contents could be used.

9 tn Μύρον (muron) was usually made of myrrh (from which the English word is derived) but here it is used in the sense of ointment or perfumed oil (L&N 6.205). The adjective πιστικῆς (pistikh") is difficult with regard to its exact meaning; some have taken it to derive from πίστις (pistis) and relate to the purity of the oil of nard. More probably it is something like a brand name, “pistic nard,” the exact significance of which has not been discovered.

sn Nard or spikenard is a fragrant oil from the root and spike of the nard plant of northern India. This aromatic oil, if made of something like nard, would have been extremely expensive, costing up to a year’s pay for an average laborer.

10 tn The word “expensive” is not in the Greek text but has been included to suggest a connection to the lengthy phrase “costly aromatic oil from pure nard” occurring earlier in v. 3. The author of Mark shortened this long phrase to just one word in Greek when repeated here, and the phrase “expensive ointment” used in the translation is intended as an abbreviated paraphrase.

11 tn Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated.

12 tn Grk “three hundred denarii.” One denarius was the standard day’s wage, so the value exceeded what a laborer could earn in a year (taking in to account Sabbaths and feast days when no work was done).

13 tn The words “the money” are not in the Greek text, but are implied (as the proceeds from the sale of the perfumed oil).

14 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.

15 tn In the Greek text of this clause, “me” is in emphatic position (the first word in the clause). To convey some impression of the emphasis, an exclamation point is used in the translation.

16 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

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

18 tn Grk “betray him to them”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

19 sn The leaders were delighted when Judas contacted them about betraying Jesus, because it gave them the opportunity they had been looking for, and they could later claim that Jesus had been betrayed by one of his own disciples.

20 sn Matt 26:15 states the amount of money they gave Judas was thirty pieces of silver (see also Matt 27:3-4; Zech 11:12-13).

21 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.

22 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Judas) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

23 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

24 tn The words “the feast of” are not in the Greek text, but have been supplied for clarity.

25 sn Generally the feast of Unleavened Bread would refer to Nisan 15 (Friday), but the following reference to the sacrifice of the Passover lamb indicates that Nisan 14 (Thursday) was what Mark had in mind (Nisan = March 27 to April 25). The celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread lasted eight days, beginning with the Passover meal. The celebrations were so close together that at times the names of both were used interchangeably.

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

27 sn This required getting a suitable lamb and finding lodging in Jerusalem where the meal could be eaten. The population of the city swelled during the feast, so lodging could be difficult to find. The Passover was celebrated each year in commemoration of the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt; thus it was a feast celebrating redemption (see Exod 12). The Passover lamb was roasted and eaten after sunset in a family group of at least ten people (m. Pesahim 7.13). People ate the meal while reclining (see the note on table in 14:18). It included, besides the lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs as a reminder of Israel’s bitter affliction at the hands of the Egyptians. Four cups of wine mixed with water were also used for the meal. For a further description of the meal and the significance of the wine cups, see E. Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity, 523-24.

28 sn Since women usually carried these jars, it would have been no problem for the two disciples (Luke 22:8 states that they were Peter and John) to recognize the man Jesus was referring to.

29 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the flow within the narrative.

30 tn Grk “and came.”

31 sn The author’s note that the disciples found things just as he had told them shows that Jesus’ word could be trusted.

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

33 tn The prepositional phrase “to the house” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied for clarity.

34 tn Grk “while they were reclined at the table.”

sn 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away.

35 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

36 tn Or “will hand me over”; Grk “one of you will betray me, the one who eats with me.”

37 tn Grk “one who dips with me.” The phrase “his hand” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

38 sn One who dips with me in the bowl. The point of Jesus’ comment here is not to identify the specific individual per se, but to indicate that it is one who was close to him – somebody whom no one would suspect. His comment serves to heighten the treachery of Judas’ betrayal.

39 tn Grk “this is my blood of the covenant that is poured out for many.” In order to avoid confusion about which is poured out, the translation supplies “blood” twice so that the following phrase clearly modifies “blood,” not “covenant.”

40 tc Most mss (A Ë1,13 Ï lat sy) have καινῆς (kainh", “new”) before διαθήκης (diaqhkh", “covenant”), a reading that is almost surely influenced by the parallel passage in Luke 22:20. Further, the construction τὸ τῆς καινῆς διαθήκης (to th" kainh" diaqhkh"), in which the resumptive article τό (referring back to τὸ αἷμα [to |aima, “the blood”]) is immediately followed by the genitive article, is nowhere else used in Mark except for constructions involving a genitive of relationship (cf. Mark 2:14; 3:17, 18; 16:1). Thus, on both transcriptional and intrinsic grounds, this reading looks to be a later addition (which may have derived from τὸ τῆς διαθήκης of D* W 2427). The most reliable mss, along with several others (א B C Dc L Θ Ψ 565), lack καινῆς. This reading is strongly preferred.

sn Jesus’ death established the forgiveness promised in the new covenant of Jer 31:31. Jesus is reinterpreting the symbolism of the Passover meal, indicating the presence of a new era.

41 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

42 tn Grk “the produce” (“the produce of the vine” is a figurative expression for wine).

43 sn After singing a hymn. The Hallel Psalms (Pss 113-118) were sung during the meal. Psalms 113 and 114 were sung just before the second cup and 115-118 were sung at the end of the meal, after the fourth, or hallel cup.

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

45 sn A quotation from Zech 13:7.

46 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

47 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

48 tn Grk “said emphatically.”

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

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

51 tn Grk “and James,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

52 tn The word means “Father” in Aramaic.

53 sn This cup alludes to the wrath of God that Jesus would experience (in the form of suffering and death) for us. See Ps 11:6; 75:8-9; Isa 51:17, 19, 22 for this figure.

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

55 tn Grk “because their eyes were weighed down,” an idiom for becoming extremely or excessively sleepy (L&N 23.69).

56 tn Or “Sleep on, and get your rest.” This sentence can be taken either as a question or a sarcastic command.

57 tc Codex D (with some support with minor variation from W Θ Ë13 565 2542 pc it) reads, “Enough of that! It is the end and the hour has come.” Evidently, this addition highlights Jesus’ assertion that what he had predicted about his own death was now coming true (cf. Luke 22:37). Even though the addition highlights the accuracy of Jesus’ prediction, it should not be regarded as part of the text of Mark, since it receives little support from the rest of the witnesses and because D especially is prone to expand the wording of a text.

58 tn Grk “the one who betrays me.”



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