Mark 14


The Jews conspire against Christ, 1, 2.

He is anointed in the house of Simon the Leper, 3-9.

Judas Iscariot sells him to the chief priests for thirty pieces

of money, 10, 11.

He orders his disciples to prepare the passover, 12-16.

Predicts his approaching death, 17-21.

Institutes the holy eucharist, 22-26.

Foretells the unfaithfulness of his disciples in general,

27, 28,

and Peter's denial, 29-31.

His agony in the garden, 32-36.

The disciples overcome by sleep, 37-42.

Judas comes with a mob from the chief priests, and betrays him

with a kiss; they seize him, 43-49.

The disciples flee, 50.

A young man following, and about to be apprehended, makes his

escape, 51, 52.

Jesus is brought before the chief priests, and Peter follows at

a distance, 53, 54.

He is examined, insulted, and abused, and condemned on false

evidence, 55-65.

Peter thrice denies him, reflects on his wickedness, and repents

of his sin, 66-72.


Verse 1. Unleavened breed] After they began to eat unleavened

bread: See Clarke on Mt 26:2.

Verse 3. Alabaster box] Among critics and learned men there

are various conjectures concerning the alabaster mentioned by the

evangelists: some think it means a glass phial; others, that it

signifies a small vessel without a handle, from α negative and

λαβη, a handle; and others imagine that it merely signifies a

perfume or essence bottle. There are several species of the soft

calcareous stone called alabaster, which are enumerated and

described in different chemical works.

Spikenard] Or nard. An Indian plant, whose root is very small

and slender. It puts forth a long and small stalk, and has

several ears or spikes even with the ground, which has given it

the name of spikenard: the taste is bitter, acrid, and aromatic,

and the smell agreeable. CALMET.

Very precious] Or rather, unadulterated: this I think is the

proper meaning of πιστικης. Theophylact gives this interpretation

of the passage: "Unadulterated hard, and prepared with fidelity."

Some think that πιστικη is a contraction of the Latin spicatae,

and that it signifies the spicated nard, or what we commonly call

the spikenard. But Dr. Lightfoot gives a different

interpretation. πιστικη he supposes to come from the Syriac

pistike, which signifies the acorn: he would therefore

have it to signify an aromatic confection of nard, maste, or

myrobalane. See his Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations; and see

Scheuchzer's Physica Sacra.

She brake the box] Rather, she broke the seal. This is the

best translation I can give of the place; and I give it for these

reasons: 1. That it is not likely that a box exceedingly precious

in itself should be broken to get out its contents. 2. That the

broken pieces would be very inconvenient if not injurious to the

head of our Lord, and to the hands of the woman. 3. That it would

not be easy effectually to separate the oil from the broken

pieces. And, 4. That it was a custom in the eastern countries to

seal the bottles with wax that held the perfumes; so that to come

at their contents no more was necessary than to break the seal,

which this woman appears to have done; and when the seal was thus

broken, she had no more to do than to pour out the liquid

ointment, which she could not have done had she broken the bottle.

The bottles which contain the [Hindu] gul i attyr, or attyr of

roses, which come from the east, are sealed in this manner. See a

number of proofs relative to this point in HARMER'S Observations,

vol. iv. 469. Pouring sweet-scented oil on the head is common in

Bengal. At the close of the festival of the goddess Doorga, the

Hindoos worship the unmarried daughters of Brahmins: and, among

other ceremonies, pour sweet-scented oil on their heads. WARD'S


Verse 5. It might have been sold] τομυρον, This ointment, is

added by ABCDKL, thirty-five others, AEthiopic, Armenian, Gothic,

all the Itala except one. Griesbach has received it into the

text. The sum mentioned here would amount to nearly 10 sterling.

Verse 8. To anoint my body to the burying.] ειςτον

ενταφιασμον, against, or in reference to, its embalmment,

thus pointing out my death and the embalmment of my body, for the

bodies of persons of distinction were wrapped up in aromatics to

preserve them from putrefaction. See Clarke on Mt 26:12.

Verse 9. For a memorial of her.] See Clarke on Mt 26:13.

Verse 11. They were glad] The joy that arises from the

opportunity of murdering an innocent person must be completely


Verse 13. Bearing a pitcher of water] How correct is the

foreknowledge of Jesus Christ! Even the minutest circumstances

are comprehended by it! An honest employment, howsoever mean, is

worthy the attention of God; and even a man bearing a pitcher of

water is marked in all his steps, and is an object of the merciful

regards of the Most High. This man was employed in carrying home

the water which was to be used for baking the unleavened bread on

the following day; for on that day it was not lawful to carry any:

hence they were obliged to fetch it on the preceding evening.

Verse 14. Say ye to the good man of the house] ειπατετω

οικοδεσποτη-Say ye to the master of the house. The good man and

the good woman mean, among us, the master and mistress of the

house. A Hindoo woman never calls her husband by his name; but

simply, the man of the house.

Where is the guest chamber?] Respectable householders, says

Mr. Ward, have a room which they call the strangers' room, (utit'

hu-shala,) which is especially set apart for the use of guests.

This appears to have been the custom in Judea also.

Verse 15. Furnished] Spread with carpets-εστρωμενον-so this

word is often used. See WAKEFIELD. But it may also signify the

couches on which the guests reclined when eating. It does not

appear that the Jews ate the passover now, as their fathers did

formerly, standing, with their shoes on, and their staves in their


Verse 19. And another said, Is it I?] This clause is wanting

in BCLP, seventeen others, Syriac, Persic, Arabic, Coptic,

AEthiopic, Vulgate, and four of the Itala. Griesbach leaves it

doubtful: others leave it out.

Verse 20. That dippeth with me in the dish.] In the east,

persons never eat together from one dish, except when a strong

attachment subsists between two or more persons of the same

caste; in such a case one invites another to come and sit by him

and eat from the same dish. This custom seems to have existed

among the Jews; and the sacred historian mentions this notice of

our Lord's, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the

dish, to mark more strongly the perfidy of the character of Judas.

Verse 21. Goeth] That is, to die. See Clarke on Mt 26:24.

Verse 22. Eat] This is omitted by many MSS. and versions, but

I think without reason. It is found in the parallel places,

Mt 26:26; 1Co 11:24.

See the subject of the Lord's Supper largely explained on

Mt 26:26, &c.

Verse 30. That THOU] συ is added by ABEGHKLMS-V, eighty-eight

others, Syriac, Arabic, Persic, Coptic, AEthiopic, Armenian,

Slavonic, Vulgate, Saxon, Theophylact, and Euthymsus. It adds

much to the energy of the passage, every word of which is deeply

emphatical. Verily, I say unto thee, that THOU, THIS DAY, in THIS

VERY NIGHT, before the cock shall crow TWICE, THOU wilt deny ME.

Verse 36. Abba, Father] This Syriac word, which intimates

filial affection and respect, and parental tenderness, seems to

have been used by our blessed Lord merely considered as man, to

show his complete submission to his Father's will, and the tender

affection which he was conscious his Father had for him, [Syriac]

Abba, Syriac, is here joined to οπατηρ, Greek, both signifying

father; so St. Paul, Ro 8:15; Ga 4:6. The reason is, that from

the time in which the Jews became conversant with the Greek

language, by means of the Septuagint version and their commerce

with the Roman and Greek provinces, they often intermingled Greek

and Roman words with their own language. There is the fullest

evidence of this fact in the earliest writings of the Jews; and

they often add a word of the same meaning in Greek to their own

term; such as , Mori, κυριε my Lord, Lord;

, pili, πυλη, shuar, gate, gate: and above,

, πατηρ, father, father: see several examples in Schoettgen.

The words and appear to have been differently used among

the Hebrews; the first Abbi, was a term of civil respect; the

second, Abba, a term of filial affection. Hence, Abba, Abbi, as

in the Syriac version in this place, may be considered as

expressing, My Lord, my Father. And in this sense St. Paul is to

be understood in the places referred to above. See Lightfoot.

Verse 37. Saith unto Peter] See Clarke on Mt 26:40.

Verse 51. A certain young man] Probably raised from his sleep

by the noise which the rabble made who came to apprehend Jesus,

having wrapped the sheet or some of the bed-clothing about him,

became thereby the more conspicuous: on his appearing, he was

seized; but as they had no way of holding him, but only by the

cloth which was wrapped round him, he disengaged himself from

that, and so escaped out of their hands. This circumstance is not

related by any other of the evangelists.

Verse 52. And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them

naked.] It has often been intimated, by the inhabitants of India,

that a European in strait clothes must be in great danger when his

clothes take fire. From their loose clothing they can suddenly

disengage themselves. When two Hindoos are engaged in a violent

quarrel, and one seizes the clothing of the other, often the

latter will leave his clothes in the hands of his opponent, and

flee away naked. This seems to have been the case with the person

mentioned above. See WARD'S Customs.

Verse 54. Peter followed] On Peter's denial, see Mt 26:57,


At the fire.] προςτοφως, literally, at the light, i.e. a

fire that cast considerable light, in consequence of which, the

maid servant was the better able to distinguish him: see

Mr 14:67.

Verse 61. Of the Blessed?] θεουτουευλογητου, Or, of God the

blessed one. θεου, is added here by AK, ten others, Vulgate, and

one of the Itala. It might be introduced into the text, put in

Italics, if the authority of the MSS. and versions be not deemed

sufficient. It appears necessary for the better understanding of

the text. The adjective, however, conveys a good sense by itself,

and is according to a frequent Hebrew form of speech.

Verse 72. And when he thought thereon, he wept.] Or, he fell

a weeping. This Mr. Wakefield thinks comes nearest to the

original, επιβαλωνεκλαιε. Others think it means the wrapping of

his head in the skirts of his garment, through shame and anguish.

Others think that επιβαλων rather refers to the violence, or

hurry, with which he left the place, being impelled thereto by the

terrors and remorse of his guilty conscience. Our own translation

is as good as any.

Copyright information for Clarke