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Mark 14:12-14

Context
The Passover

14:12 Now 1  on the first day of the feast of 2  Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, 3  Jesus’ 4  disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 5  14:13 He sent two of his disciples and told them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar 6  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?”’

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

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

3 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.

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

5 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.

6 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.



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