Mark 10


The Pharisees question our Lord concerning divorce, 1-12.

Little children are brought to him, 13-16.

The person who inquired how he might inherit eternal life,


How difficult it is for a rich man to be saved, 23-27.

What they shall receive who have left all for Christ and his

Gospel, 28-31.

He foretells his death, 32-34.

James and John desire places of pre-eminence in Christ's

kingdom, 35-41.

Christ shows them the necessity of humility, 42-46.

Blind Bartimeus healed, 46-52.


Verse 1. He arose] κακειθεναναστας may be translated, he

departed thence. The verb ανιστημι has this sense in some of the

purest Greek writers. See Kypke. Many transactions took place

between those mentioned in the preceding chapter, and these that

follow, which are omitted by Matthew and Mark; but they are

related both by Luke and John. See Lightfoot, and Bishop Newcome.

Verse 2. Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?] See

this question about divorce largely explained on Mt 19:3-12.

Verse 12. And if a woman shall put away her husband] From

this it appears that in some cases, the wife assumed the very same

right of divorcing her husband that the husband had of divorcing

his wife; and yet this is not recorded any where in the Jewish

laws, as far as I can find, that the women had such a right.

Indeed, were the law which gives the permission all on one side,

it would be unjust and oppressive; but where it is equally

balanced, the right being the same on each side, it must serve as

a mutual check, and prevent those evils it is intended to cure.

Among the Jews there are several instances of the women having

taken other men, even during the life of their own husbands. Nor

do we find any law by which they were punished. Divorce never

should be permitted but on this ground-"The parties are miserable

together, and they are both perfectly willing to be separated."

Then, if every thing else be proper, let them go different ways,

that they may not ruin both themselves and their hapless


Verse 13. And they brought young children] See on

Mt 19:13-15.

Verse 16. And he took them up in his arms] One of the Itala

reads in sinu suo-"in his bosom." Jesus Christ loves little

children; and they are objects of his most peculiar care. Who can

account for their continual preservation and support, while

exposed to so many dangers, but on the ground of a peculiar and

extraordinary providence?

And blessed them.] Then, though little children, they were

capable of receiving Christ's blessing. If Christ embraced them,

why should not his Church embrace them? Why not dedicate them to

God by baptism?-whether that be performed by sprinkling, washing,

or immersion; for we need not dispute about the mode: on this

point let every one be fully persuaded in his own mind. I confess

it appears to me grossly heathenish and barbarous, to see parents

who profess to believe in that Christ who loves children, and

among them those whose creed does not prevent them from using

infant baptism, depriving their children of an ordinance by which

no soul can prove that they cannot be profited, and, through an

unaccountable bigotry or carelessness, withholding from them the

privilege of even a nominal dedication to God; and yet these very

persons are ready enough to fly for a minister to baptize their

child when they suppose it to be at the point of death! It would

be no crime to pray that such persons should never have the

privilege of hearing, My father! or, My mother! from the lips of

their own child. See Clarke on Mt 3:6, and

See Clarke on Mr 16:16.

Verse 17. There came one running] See the case of this rich

young man largely explained on Mt 19:16, &c.

Verse 21. Then Jesus, beholding him] Looking earnestly,

εμβλεψας, or affectionately upon him, loved him, because of his

youth, his earnestness, and his sincerity.

One thing thou lackest] What was that? A heart disengaged

from the world, and a complete renunciation of it and its

concerns, that he might become a proper and successful labourer in

the Lord's vineyard. See Mt 19:21. To say that it was something

else he lacked, when Christ explains here his own meaning, is to

be wise above what is written.

Verse 22. And he was sad at that saying] This young man had

perhaps been a saint, and an eminent apostle, had he been poor!

From this, and a multitude of other cases, we may learn that it is

oftentimes a misfortune to be rich: but who is aware of this?-and

who believes it?

Verse 29. And the Gospel's] Read, for the sake of the Gospel.

I have with Griesbach adopted ενεκεν, for the sake, on the

authority of BCDEGHKMS, V, sixty others, and almost all the


Verse 30. In this time] εντωκαιρωτουτω, In this very time.

Though Jews and Gentiles have conspired together to destroy both

me and you, my providence shall so work that nothing shall be

lacking while any thing is necessary.

And fathers. This is added by K, upwards of sixty others,

AEthiopic, Gothic, Slavonic, Saxon, Armenian, Coptic, and in one

of my own MSS. of the Vulgate.

Some have been greatly embarrassed to find out the literal

truth of these promises; and, some in flat opposition to the text,

have said they are all to be understood spiritually. But thus far

is plain, that those who have left all for the sake of Christ do

find, among genuine Christians, spiritual relatives, which are as

dear to them as fathers, mothers, &c.; yet they have the promise

of receiving a hundredfold often literally fulfilled: for,

wherever a Christian travels among Christians, the shelter of

their houses, and the product of their lands, are at his service

as far as they are requisite. Besides, these words were spoken

primarily to the disciples, and pointed out their itinerant manner

of life; and how, travelling about from house to house, preaching

the Gospel of the grace of God, they should, among the followers

of Christ, be provided with every thing necessary in all places,

as if the whole were their own. I have often remarked that the

genuine messengers of God, in the present day have, as noted

above, this promise literally fulfilled.

With persecutions] For while you meet with nothing but

kindness from true Christians, you shall be despised, and often

afflicted, by those who are enemies to God and goodness; but, for

your comfort, ye shall have in the world to come, αιωνιτω

ερχομενω, the coming world, (that world which is on its way to

meet you,) eternal life.

Verse 32. And he took again the twelve] Or thus: For having

again taken the twelve, &c. I translate και for, which

signification it often bears; see Lu 1:22; Joh 12:35, and

elsewhere. This gives the reason of the wonder and fear of the

disciples, FOR he began to tell them on the way, what was to

befall him. This sense of και, I find, is also noticed by

Rosenmuller. See on Mt 20:17-19.

Verse 35. And James and John-come unto him] The request here

mentioned, Matthew says, Mt 20:20,

was made by Salome their mother; the two places may be easily

reconciled thus:-The mother introduced them, and made the request

as if from herself; Jesus knowing whence it had come, immediately

addressed himself to James and John, who were standing by; and the

mother is no farther concerned in the business.

See Clarke on Mt 20:20.

Verse 37. In thy glory.] In the kingdom of thy glory-three

MSS. Which kingdom they expected to be established on earth.

And be baptized] OR, be baptized. Instead of και and η

or, is the reading of BCDL, five others, Coptic, Armenian, later

Syriac in the margin, Vulgate, all the Itala, and Origen.

See Clarke on Mt 20:22.

Verse 40. Is not mine to give] See Clarke on Mt 20:23.

Verse 41. When the ten heard it] See Mt 20:24-28.

Verse 46. Blind Bartimeus] bar in Syriac signifies son.

It appears that he was thus named because Timeus, Talmeus or

Talmai, was the name of his father, and thus the son would be

called Bar-talmeus, or Bartholomew. Some suppose υιοςτιμαιου,

the son of Timeus, to be an interpolation. Bartimeus the son of

Timeus, οτυφλος, THE blind man. It was because he was the most

remarkable that this evangelist mentions him by name, as a person

probably well known in those parts.

Verse 50. And he, casting away his garment] He cast off his

outward covering, a blanket, or loose piece of cloth, the usual

upper garment of an Asiatic mendicant, which kept him from the

inclemency of the weather, that he might have nothing to hinder

him from getting speedily to Christ. If every penitent were as

ready to throw aside his self-righteousness and sinful

incumbrances, as this blind man was to throw aside his garment,

we should have fewer delays in conversions than we now have; and

all that have been convinced of sin would have been brought to the

knowledge of the truth. The reader will at least pardon the

introduction of the following anecdote, which may appear to some

as illustrative of the doctrine grounded on this text.

A great revival of religion took place in some of the American

States, about the year 1773, by the instrumentality of some

itinerant preachers sent from England. Many, both whites and

blacks, were brought to an acquaintance with God who bought them.

Two of these, a white man and a negro, meeting together, began to

speak concerning the goodness of God to their souls, (a custom

which has ever been common among truly religious people.) Among

other things they were led to inquire how long each had known the

salvation of God; and how long it was, after they were convinced

of their sin and danger, before each got a satisfactory evidence

of pardoning mercy. The white man said, "I was three months in

deep distress of soul, before God spoke peace to my troubled,

guilty conscience." "But it was only a fortnight," replied the

negro, "from the time I first heard of Jesus, and felt that I was

a sinner, till I received the knowledge of salvation by the

remission of sins." "But what was the reason," said the white

man, "that you found salvation sooner than I did?" "This is the

reason," replied the other; "you white men have much clothing upon

you, and when Christ calls, you cannot run to him; but we poor

negroes have only this, (pointing to the mat or cloth which was

tied round his waist,) and when we hear the call, we throw it off

instantly, and run to him."

Thus the poor son of Ham illustrated the text without intending

it, as well as any doctor in the universe. People who have been

educated in the principles of the Christian religion imagine

themselves on this account Christians; and, when convinced of sin,

they find great difficulty to come as mere sinners to God, to be

saved only through the merits of Christ. Others, such as the

negro in question, have nothing to plead but this, We have never

heard of thee, and could not believe in thee of whom we had not

heard; but this excuse will not avail now, as the true light is

come-therefore they cast off this covering, and come to Jesus.

See this miraculous cure explained at large on Mt 20:29-34.

Verse 51. Lord, that I might, &c.] The Codex Bezae, and some

copies of the Itala, have, κυριεραββει, O Lord, my teacher.

Verse 52. Followed Jesus in the way.] Instead of τωιησου,

Jesus, several eminent critics read αυτω, him. This is the

reading of ABCDL, fourteen others, Coptic, AEthiopic, Armenian,

later Syriac in the margin, two Persic, Vulgate, all the Itala,

and Origen once. JESUS is the common reading; but this sacred

name having occurred so immediately before, there could be no

necessity for repeating it here, nor would the repetition have

been elegant.

This very remarkable cure gives us another proof, not only of

the sovereign power, but of the benevolence, of Christ: nor do we

ever see that sovereign power used, but in the way of benevolence.

How slow is God to punish!-how prone to spare! To his infinite

benevolence, can it be any gratification to destroy any of the

children of men? No! We must take great heed not to attribute to

his sovereignty, acts which are inconsistent with his benevolence

and mercy. I am afraid this is a prevailing error; and that it is

not confined to any religious party exclusively.

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