Mark 11

Bethphage and Bethany; hamlets situated at a short distance from Jerusalem, upon the declivities of the Mount of Olives. The word Beth means house, and it enters largely into the composition of Hebrew names. The mountain was an extensive elevation of land, rising into several summits which overlooked Jerusalem itself and a wide horizon.

Many. Jesus had been at Jerusalem before, and was known in these villages. His coming at this time renewed the interest they had felt in him, and awakened general enthusiasm.

They considered Jesus the Messiah, but they thought that he had come, not to save them from their sins, but to restore the kingdom of David; that is, to bring back the nation to independence and prosperity.

When he had looked, &c.; silently observing the abuses which he was to rebuke so decisively on the following day.

The time of figs was not yet. There is an obvious difficulty in making this statement harmonize with the rest of the narrative; for Jesus would certainly have known when to have expected fruit. Commentators have attempted to avoid the difficulty by understanding this clause to mean that the time for gathering figs had not yet passed; and also by considering it as connected with the first clause of the verse, thus: He came, if haply he might find any thing thereon, for the time of gathering figs had not yet passed; and when he came to it, &c. The interpretation is ingenious, but cannot be said to be entirely satisfactory. There seems to be something mysterious in the whole story of the destruction of the fig-tree, unless Jesus intended to typify by it the destruction of Jerusalem, as a punishment for its ingratitude and sins.

Into the temple, into one of the outer courts or apartments of it. This merchandise consisted of animals and a kind of money, used in the sacrifices and the other services of the place.

In what sense, and under what qualifications and restrictions, Jesus intended that his disciples should understand this language, it is very difficult now to decide.

Alluding to his decided measures for expelling the traders from the temple.

The baptism of John; the preaching and ministry of John.

Counted; considered, regarded.

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