Saint Mark – Chapter 4

The Bible – New Testament

Saint Mark

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Sain Mark

Chapter 4

1

1 On another occasion he began to teach by the sea. 2 A very large crowd gathered around him so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.

2

And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them,

3

3 “Hear this! A sower went out to sow.

4

And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

5

Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.

6

And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.

7

Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain.

8

And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

9

He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

10

And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables.

11

4 He answered them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables,

12

so that ‘they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.'”

13

5 Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables?

14

The sower sows the word.

15

These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them.

16

And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.

17

But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

18

Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word,

19

but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit.

20

But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

21

He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?

22

For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.

23

Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”

24

He also told them, “Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you.

25

To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

26

He said,”This is how it is with the kingdom of God; 6 it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land

27

and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.

28

Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.

29

And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”

30

He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?

31

It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.

32

7 But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”

33

With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.

34

Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

35

8 On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, “Let us cross to the other side.”

36

Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him.

37

A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.

38

Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

39

He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” 9 The wind ceased and there was great calm.

40

Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

41

10 They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

 
1 [1-34] In parables (2): see the note on  Matthew 13:3. The use of parables is typical of Jesus’ enigmatic method of teaching the crowds ( Mark 4:2-9,  12) as compared with the interpretation of the parables he gives to his disciples ( Mark 4:10-25,  33-34) to each group according to its capacity to understand ( Mark 4:9-11). The key feature of the parable at hand is the sowing of the seed (3), representing the breakthrough of the kingdom of God into the world. The various types of soil refer to the diversity of response accorded the word of God ( Mark 4:4-7). The climax of the parable is the harvest of thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold, indicating the consummation of the kingdom ( Mark 4:8). Thus both the present and the future action of God, from the initiation to the fulfillment of the kingdom, is presented through this and other parables ( Mark 4:26-29,  30-32).

2 [1] By the sea: the shore of the Sea of Galilee or a boat near the shore ( Mark 2:13;  3:7-8) is the place where Mark depicts Jesus teaching the crowds. By contrast the mountain is the scene of Jesus at prayer ( Mark 6:46) or in the process of forming his disciples ( Mark 3:13;  9:2).

3 [3-8] See the note on  Matthew 13:3-8.

4 [11-12] These verses are to be viewed against their background in  Mark 3:6,  22 concerning the unbelief and opposition Jesus encountered in his ministry. It is against this background that the distinction in Jesus’ method becomes clear of presenting the kingdom to the disbelieving crowd in one manner and to the disciples in another. To the former it is presented in parables and the truth remains hidden; for the latter the parable is interpreted and the mystery is partially revealed because of their faith; see the notes on  Matthew 13:11 and  Matthew 13:13.

5 [13-20] See the note on  Matthew 13:18-23.

6 [26-29] Only Mark records the parable of the seed’s growth. Sower and harvester are the same. The emphasis is on the power of the seed to grow of itself without human intervention ( Mark 4:27). Mysteriously it produces blade and ear and full grain ( Mark 4:28). Thus the kingdom of God initiated by Jesus in proclaiming the word develops quietly yet powerfully until it is fully established by him at the final judgment ( Mark 4:29); cf  Rev 14:15.

7 [32] The universality of the kingdom of God is indicated here; cf  Ezekiel 17:23;  31:6;  Daniel 4:17-19.

8 [ 4:35- 5:43] After the chapter on parables, Mark narrates four miracle stories:  Mark 4:35-41;  5:1-20; and two joined together in  Mark 5:21-43. See also the notes on  Matthew 8:23-34 and  9:8-26.

9 [39] Quiet! Be still!: as in the case of silencing a demon ( Mark 1:25), Jesus rebukes the wind and subdues the turbulence of the sea by a mere word; see the note on  Matthew 8:26.

10 [41] Jesus is here depicted as exercising power over wind and sea. In the Christian community this event was seen as a sign of Jesus’ saving presence amid persecutions that threatened its existence.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Saint Mark – Chapter 3

The Bible – New Testament

Saint Mark

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Sain Mark

Chapter 3

1

1 Again he entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand.

2

They watched him closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him.

3

He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.”

4

Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent.

5

Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored.

6

2 The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

7

3 Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people (followed) from Galilee and from Judea.

8

Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon.

9

He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him.

10

He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him.

11

4 And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.”

12

He warned them sternly not to make him known.

13

He went up the mountain 5 and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.

14

He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) that they might be with him 6 and he might send them forth to preach

15

and to have authority to drive out demons:

16

7 (he appointed the twelve:) Simon, whom he named Peter;

17

James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder;

18

Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,

19

and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

20

8 9 He came home. Again (the) crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat.

21

When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

22

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” 10 and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”

23

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan?

24

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

25

And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

26

And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him.

27

But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house.

28

Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them.

29

But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit 11 will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”

30

For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

31

His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him.

32

A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers 12 (and your sisters) are outside asking for you.”

33

But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and (my) brothers?”

34

And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.

35

(For) whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

 
1 [1-5] Here Jesus is again depicted in conflict with his adversaries over the question of sabbath-day observance. His opponents were already ill disposed toward him because they regarded Jesus as a violator of the sabbath. Jesus’ question Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil? places the matter in the broader theological context outside the casuistry of the scribes. The answer is obvious. Jesus heals the man with the withered hand in the sight of all and reduces his opponents to silence; cf  John 5:17-18.

2 [6] In reporting the plot of the Pharisees and Herodians to put Jesus to death after this series of conflicts in Galilee, Mark uses a pattern that recurs in his account of later controversies in Jerusalem ( Mark 11:17-18;  12:13-17). The help of the Herodians, supporters of Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, is needed to take action against Jesus. Both series of conflicts point to their gravity and to the impending passion of Jesus.

3 [7-19] This overview of the Galilean ministry manifests the power of Jesus to draw people to himself through his teaching and deeds of power. The crowds of Jews from many regions surround Jesus ( Mark 3:7-12). This phenomenon prepares the way for creating a new people of Israel. The choice and mission of the Twelve is the prelude ( Mark 3:13-19).

4 [11-12] See the note on  Mark 1:24-25.

5 [13] He went up the mountain: here and elsewhere the mountain is associated with solemn moments and acts in the mission and self-revelation of Jesus ( Mark 6:46;  9:2-8;  13:3). Jesus acts with authority as he summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.

6 [14-15] He appointed twelve [whom he also named apostles] that they might be with him: literally “he made,” i.e., instituted them as apostles to extend his messianic mission through them ( Mark 6:7-13). See the notes on  Matthew 10:1 and  10:2-4.

7 [16] Simon, whom he named Peter: Mark indicates that Simon’s name was changed on this occasion. Peter is first in all lists of the apostles ( Matthew 10:2;  Luke 6:14;  Acts 1:13; cf  1 Cor 15:5-8).

8 [20-35] Within the narrative of the coming of Jesus’ relatives ( Mark 3:20-21) is inserted the account of the unbelieving scribes from Jerusalem who attributed Jesus’ power over demons to Beelzebul ( Mark 3:22-30); see the note on  Mark 5:21-43. There were those even among the relatives of Jesus who disbelieved and regarded Jesus as out of his mind ( Mark 3:21). Against this background, Jesus is informed of the arrival of his mother and brothers [and sisters] ( Mark 3:32). He responds by showing that not family ties but doing God’s will (35) is decisive in the kingdom; cf the note on  Matthew 12:46-50.

9 [20] He came home: cf  Mark 2:1-2 and see the note on  Mark 2:15.

10 [22] By Beelzebul: see the note on  Matthew 10:25. Two accusations are leveled against Jesus: (1) that he is possessed by an unclean spirit, and (2) by the prince of demons he drives out demons. Jesus answers the second charge by a parable ( Mark 3:24-27) and responds to the first charge in  Mark 3:28-29.

11 [29] Whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit: this sin is called an everlasting sin because it attributes to Satan, who is the power of evil, what is actually the work of the holy Spirit, namely, victory over the demons.

12 [32] Your brothers: see the note on  Mark 6:3.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Saint Mark – Chapter 2

The Bible – New Testament

Saint Mark

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Sain Mark

Chapter 2

1

1 2 When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home.

2

Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.

3

They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.

4

Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.

5

3 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”

6

4 Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,

7

“Why does this man speak that way? 5 He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?”

8

Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?

9

Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’?

10

6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” – 

11

he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”

12

He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

13

7 Once again he went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them.

14

As he passed by, 8 he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

15

While he was at table in his house, 9 many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him.

16

10 Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17

Jesus heard this and said to them (that), “Those who are well do not need a physician, 11 but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

18

12 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to him and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”

19

Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast 13 while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.

20

But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.

21

No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.

22

Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”

23

14 As he was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.

24

At this the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”

25

He said to them, “Have you never read what David did 15 when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?

26

How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?”

27

Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, 16 not man for the sabbath.

28

17 That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

 
1 [1- 3:6] This section relates a series of conflicts between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees in which the growing opposition of the latter leads to their plot to put Jesus to death ( Mark 3:6).

2 [1] He was at home: to the crowds that gathered in and outside the house Jesus preached the word, i.e., the gospel concerning the nearness of the kingdom and the necessity of repentance and faith ( Mark 1:14).

3 [5] It was the faith of the paralytic and those who carried him that moved Jesus to heal the sick man. Accounts of other miracles of Jesus reveal more and more his emphasis on faith as the requisite for exercising his healing powers ( Mark 5:34;  9:23-24;  10:52).

4 [6] Scribes: trained in oral interpretation of the written law; in Mark’s gospel, adversaries of Jesus, with one exception ( Mark 12:28,  34).

5 [7] He is blaspheming: an accusation made here and repeated during the trial of Jesus ( Mark 14:60-64).

6 [10] But that you may know that the Son of Man . . . on earth: although  Mark 2:8-9 are addressed to the scribes, the sudden interruption of thought and structure in  Mark 2:10 seems not addressed to them nor to the paralytic. Moreover, the early public use of the designation “Son of Man” to unbelieving scribes is most unlikely. The most probable explanation is that Mark’s insertion of  Mark 2:10 is a commentary addressed to Christians for whom he recalls this miracle and who already accept in faith that Jesus is Messiah and Son of God.

7 [13] He taught them: see the note on  Mark 1:21-45.

8 [14] As he passed by: see the note on  Mark 1:16-20. Levi, son of Alphaeus: see the note on  Matthew 9:9. Customs post: such tax collectors paid a fixed sum for the right to collect customs duties within their districts. Since whatever they could collect above this amount constituted their profit, the abuse of extortion was widespread among them. Hence, Jewish customs officials were regarded as sinners ( Mark 2:16), outcasts of society, and disgraced along with their families. He got up and followed him: i.e., became a disciple of Jesus.

9 [15] In his house: cf  Mark 2:1;  Matthew 9:10.  Luke 5:29 clearly calls it Levi’s house.

10 [16-17] This and the following conflict stories reflect a similar pattern: a statement of fact, a question of protest, and a reply by Jesus.

11 [17] Do not need a physician: this maxim of Jesus with its implied irony was uttered to silence his adversaries who objected that he ate with tax collectors and sinners ( Mark 2:16). Because the scribes and Pharisees were self-righteous, they were not capable of responding to Jesus’ call to repentance and faith in the gospel.

12 [18-22] This conflict over the question of fasting has the same pattern as  Mark 2:16-17; see the notes on  Matthew 9:15;  9:16-17.

13 [19] Can the wedding guests fast?: the bridal metaphor expresses a new relationship of love between God and his people in the person and mission of Jesus to his disciples. It is the inauguration of the new and joyful messianic time of fulfillment and the passing of the old. Any attempt at assimilating the Pharisaic practice of fasting, or of extending the preparatory discipline of John’s disciples beyond the arrival of the bridegroom, would be as futile as sewing a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak or pouring new wine into old wineskins with the resulting destruction of both cloth and wine ( Mark 2:21-22). Fasting is rendered superfluous during the earthly ministry of Jesus; cf  Mark 2:20.

14 [23-28] This conflict regarding the sabbath follows the same pattern as in  Mark 2:18-22.

15 [25-26] Have you never read what David did?: Jesus defends the action of his disciples on the basis of  1 Sam 21:2-7 in which an exception is made to the regulation of  Lev 24:9 because of the extreme hunger of David and his men. According to 1 Sam, the priest who gave the bread to David was Ahimelech, father of Abiathar.

16 [27] The sabbath was made for man: a reaffirmation of the divine intent of the sabbath to benefit Israel as contrasted with the restrictive Pharisaic tradition added to the law.

17 [28] The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath: Mark’s comment on the theological meaning of the incident is to benefit his Christian readers; see the note on  Mark 2:10.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Saint Mark – Chapter 1

The Bible – New Testament

Saint Mark

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Sain Mark

Chapter 1

1

1 2 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ (the Son of God).

2

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: 3 “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way.

3

A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'”

4

John (the) Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

5

People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

6

John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. 4 He fed on locusts and wild honey.

7

And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.

8

5 I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.”

9

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John.

10

On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. 6

11

And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

12

7 At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert,

13

and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.

14

After John had been arrested, 8 Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:

15

“This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

16

9 As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen.

17

Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

18

Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.

19

He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets.

20

Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.

21

10 Then they came to Capernaum, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.

22

The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.

23

11 In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;

24

12 he cried out, “What have you to do with us, 13 Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!”

25

Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!”

26

The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.

27

All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”

28

His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

29

On leaving the synagogue he entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.

30

Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her.

31

He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

32

When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.

33

The whole town was gathered at the door.

34

He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

35

Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.

36

Simon and those who were with him pursued him

37

and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

38

He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.”

39

So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

40

A leper 14 came to him (and kneeling down) begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”

41

Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”

42

The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.

43

Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.

44

Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

45

The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

 
1 [1-13] The prologue of the Gospel according to Mark begins with the title ( Mark 1:1) followed by three events preparatory to Jesus’ preaching: (1) the appearance in the Judean wilderness of John, baptizer, preacher of repentance, and precursor of Jesus ( Mark 1:2-8); (2) the baptism of Jesus, at which a voice from heaven acknowledges Jesus to be God’s Son, and the holy Spirit descends on him ( Mark 1:9-11); (3) the temptation of Jesus by Satan ( Mark 1:12-13).

2 [1] The gospel of Jesus Christ [the Son of God]: the “good news” of salvation in and through Jesus, crucified and risen, acknowledged by the Christian community as Messiah ( Mark 8:29;  14:61-62) and Son of God ( Mark 1:11;  9:7;  15:39), although some important manuscripts here omit the Son of God.

3 [2-3] Although Mark attributes the prophecy to Isaiah, the text is a combination of  Malachi 3:1;  Isaiah 40:3;  Exodus 23:20; cf  Matthew 11:10;  Luke 7:27. John’s ministry is seen as God’s prelude to the saving mission of his Son. The way of the Lord: this prophecy of Deutero-Isaiah concerning the end of the Babylonian exile is here applied to the coming of Jesus; John the Baptist is to prepare the way for him.

4 [6] Clothed in camel’s hair . . . waist: the Baptist’s garb recalls that of Elijah in  2 Kings 1:8. Jesus speaks of the Baptist as Elijah who has already come ( Mark 9:11-13;  Matthew 17:10-12; cf  Malachi 3:23-24;  Luke 1:17).

5 [8-9] Through the life-giving baptism with the holy Spirit ( Mark 1:8), Jesus will create a new people of God. But first he identifies himself with the people of Israel in submitting to John’s baptism of repentance and in bearing on their behalf the burden of God’s decisive judgment ( Mark 1:9; cf  Mark 1:4). As in the desert of Sinai, so here in the wilderness of Judea, Israel’s sonship with God is to be renewed.

6 [10-11] He saw the heavens . . . and the Spirit . . . upon him: indicating divine intervention in fulfillment of promise. Here the descent of the Spirit on Jesus is meant, anointing him for his ministry; cf  Isaiah 11:2;  42:1;  61:1;  63:9. A voice . . . with you I am well pleased: God’s acknowledgment of Jesus as his unique Son, the object of his love. His approval of Jesus is the assurance that Jesus will fulfill his messianic mission of salvation.

7 [12-13] The same Spirit who descended on Jesus in his baptism now drives him into the desert for forty days. The result is radical confrontation and temptation by Satan who attempts to frustrate the work of God. The presence of wild beasts may indicate the horror and danger of the desert regarded as the abode of demons or may reflect the paradise motif of harmony among all creatures; cf  Isaiah 11:6-9. The presence of ministering angels to sustain Jesus recalls the angel who guided the Israelites in the desert in the first Exodus ( Exodus 14:19;  23:20) and the angel who supplied nourishment to Elijah in the wilderness ( 1 Kings 19:5-7). The combined forces of good and evil were present to Jesus in the desert. His sustained obedience brings forth the new Israel of God there where Israel’s rebellion had brought death and alienation.

8 [14-15] After John had been arrested: in the plan of God, Jesus was not to proclaim the good news of salvation prior to the termination of the Baptist’s active mission. Galilee: in the Marcan account, scene of the major part of Jesus’ public ministry before his arrest and condemnation. The gospel of God: not only the good news from God but about God at work in Jesus Christ. This is the time of fulfillment: i.e., of God’s promises. The kingdom of God . . . repent: see the note on  Matthew 3:2.

9 [16-20] These verses narrate the call of the first Disciples. See the notes on  Matthew 4:18-22 and  Matthew 4:20.

10 [21-45] The account of a single day’s ministry of Jesus on a sabbath in and outside the synagogue of Capernaum ( Mark 1:21-31) combines teaching and miracles of exorcism and healing. Mention is not made of the content of the teaching but of the effect of astonishment and alarm on the people. Jesus’ teaching with authority, making an absolute claim on the hearer, was in the best tradition of the ancient prophets, not of the scribes. The narrative continues with events that evening ( Mark 1:32-34; see the notes on  Matthew 8:14-17) and the next day ( Mark 1:35-39). The cleansing in  Mark 1:40-45 stands as an isolated story.

11 [23] An unclean spirit: so called because of the spirit’s resistance to the holiness of God. The spirit knows and fears the power of Jesus to destroy his influence; cf  Mark 1:32,  34;  3:11;  6:13.

12 [24-25] The Holy One of God: not a confession but an attempt to ward off Jesus’ power, reflecting the notion that use of the precise name of an opposing spirit would guarantee mastery over him. Jesus silenced the cry of the unclean spirit and drove him out of the man.

13 [24] What have you to do with us?: see the note on  John 2:4.

14 [40] A leper: for the various forms of skin disease, see  Lev 13:1-50 and the note on  Lev 13:2-4. There are only two instances in the Old Testament in which God is shown to have cured a leper ( Numbers 12:10-15;  2 Kings 5:1-14). The law of Moses provided for the ritual purification of a leper. In curing the leper, Jesus assumes that the priests will reinstate the cured man into the religious community. See also the note on  Luke 5:14.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Saint Mark – Introduction

The Bible – New Testament

Saint Mark 

Index 

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Sain Mark

Introduction

This shortest of all New Testament gospels is likely the first to have been written, yet it often tells of Jesus’ ministry in more detail than either Matthew or Luke (for example, the miracle stories at  Mark 5:1-20 or  Mark 9:14-29). It recounts what Jesus did in a vivid style, where one incident follows directly upon another. In this almost breathless narrative, Mark stresses Jesus’ message about the kingdom of God now breaking into human life as good news ( Mark 1:14-15) and Jesus himself as the gospel of God ( Mark 1:1;  8:35;  10:29). Jesus is the Son whom God has sent to rescue humanity by serving and by sacrificing his life ( Mark 10:45).

The opening verse about good news in Mark ( Mark 1:1) serves as a title for the entire book. The action begins with the appearance of John the Baptist, a messenger of God attested by scripture. But John points to a mightier one, Jesus, at whose baptism God speaks from heaven, declaring Jesus his Son. The Spirit descends upon Jesus, who eventually, it is promised, will baptize “with the holy Spirit.” This presentation of who Jesus really is ( Mark 1:1-13) is rounded out with a brief reference to the temptation of Jesus and how Satan’s attack fails. Jesus as Son of God will be victorious, a point to be remembered as one reads of Jesus’ death and the enigmatic ending to Mark’s Gospel.

The key verses at  Mark 1:14-15, which are programmatic, summarize what Jesus proclaims as gospel: fulfillment, the nearness of the kingdom, and therefore the need for repentance and for faith. After the call of the first four disciples, all fishermen ( Mark 1:16-20), we see Jesus engaged in teaching ( Mark 1:21,  22,  27), preaching ( Mark 1:38,  39), and healing ( Mark 1:29-31,  34,  40-45), and exorcising demons (1, 22-27.34.39). The content of Jesus’ teaching is only rarely stated, and then chiefly in parables (Mark 4) about the kingdom. His cures, especially on the sabbath ( Mark 3:1-5); his claim, like God, to forgive sins ( Mark 2:3-12); his table fellowship with tax collectors and sinners ( Mark 2:14-17); and the statement that his followers need not now fast but should rejoice while Jesus is present ( Mark 2:18-22), all stir up opposition that will lead to Jesus’ death ( Mark 3:6).

In Mark, Jesus is portrayed as immensely popular with the people in Galilee during his ministry ( Mark 2:2;  3:7;  4:1). He appoints twelve disciples to help preach and drive out demons, just as he does ( Mark 3:13-19). He continues to work many miracles; the blocks  Mark 4:35- 6:44 and  Mark 6:45- 7:10 are cycles of stories about healings, miracles at the Sea of Galilee, and marvelous feedings of the crowds. Jesus’ teaching in Mark 7 exalts the word of God over “the tradition of the elders” and sees defilement as a matter of the heart, not of unclean foods. Yet opposition mounts. Scribes charge that Jesus is possessed by Beelzebul ( Mark 3:22). His relatives think him “out of his mind” ( Mark 3:21). Jesus’ kinship is with those who do the will of God, in a new eschatological family, not even with mother, brothers, or sisters by blood ties ( Mark 3:31-35; cf  Mark 6:1-6). But all too often his own disciples do not understand Jesus ( Mark 4:13,  40;  6:52;  8:17-21). The fate of John the Baptist ( Mark 6:17-29) hints ominously at Jesus’ own passion ( Mark 9:13; cf  Mark 8:31).

A breakthrough seemingly comes with, Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah;  Mark 8:27-30). But Jesus himself emphasizes his passion ( Mark 8:31;  9:31;  10:33-34), not glory in the kingdom ( Mark 10:35-45). Momentarily he is glimpsed in his true identity when he is transfigured before three of the disciples ( Mark 9:2-8), but by and large Jesus is depicted in Mark as moving obediently along the way to his cross in Jerusalem. Occasionally there are miracles ( Mark 9:17-27;  10:46-52;  11:12-14,  20-21, the only such account in Jerusalem), sometimes teachings ( Mark 10:2-11,  23-31), but the greatest concern is with discipleship ( Mark 8:34- 9:1;  9:33-50). For the disciples do not grasp the mystery being revealed ( Mark 9:32;  10:32,  38). One of them will betray him, Judas ( Mark 14:10-11,  43-45); one will deny him, Peter ( Mark 14:27,  31,  54,  66-72); all eleven men will desert Jesus ( Mark 14:27,  50).

The passion account, with its condemnation of Jesus by the Sanhedrin ( Mark 14:53,  55-65;  15:1a) and sentencing by Pilate ( Mark 15:1b-15), is prefaced with the entry into Jerusalem ( Mark 11:1-11), ministry and controversies there ( Mark 11:15- 12:44), Jesus’ Last Supper with the disciples ( Mark 14:1-26), and his arrest at Gethsemane ( Mark 14:32-52). A chapter of apocalyptic tone about the destruction of the temple ( Mark 13:1-2,  14-23) and the coming of the Son of Man ( Mark 13:24-27), a discourse filled with promises ( Mark 13:11,  31) and admonitions to be watchful ( Mark 13:2,  23,  37), is significant for Mark’s Gospel, for it helps one see that God, in Jesus, will be victorious after the cross and at the end of history.

The Gospel of Mark ends in the most ancient manuscripts with an abrupt scene at Jesus’ tomb, which the women find empty ( Mark 16:1-8). His own prophecy of  Mark 14:28 is reiterated, that Jesus goes before the disciples into Galilee; “there you will see him.” These words may imply resurrection appearances there, or Jesus’ parousia there, or the start of Christian mission, or a return to the roots depicted in  Mark 1:9,  14-15 in Galilee. Other hands have attached additional endings after  Mark 16:8; see the note on  Mark 16:9-20.

The framework of Mark’s Gospel is partly geographical: Galilee (Mark 1L14- 9:49), through the area “across the Jordan” ( Mark 10:1) and through Jericho ( Mark 10:46-52), to Jerusalem ( Mark 11:1- 16:8). Only rarely does Jesus go into Gentile territory ( Mark 5:1-20;  7:24-37), but those who acknowledge him there and the centurion who confesses Jesus at the cross ( Mark 15:39) presage the gospel’s expansion into the world beyond Palestine.

Mark’s Gospel is even more oriented to christology. Jesus is the Son of God ( Mark 1:11;  9:7;  15:39; cf  Mark 1:1;  14:61). He is the Messiah, the anointed king of Davidic descent ( Mark 12:35;  15:32), the Greek for which, Christos, has, by the time Mark wrote, become in effect a proper name ( Mark 1:1;  9:41). Jesus is also seen as Son of Man, a term used in Mark not simply as a substitute for “I” or for humanity in general (cf  Mark 2:10,  27-28;  14:21) or with reference to a mighty figure who is to come ( Mark 13:26;  14:62), but also in connection with Jesus’ predestined, necessary path of suffering and vindication ( Mark 8:31;  10:45).

The unfolding of Mark’s story about Jesus is sometimes viewed by interpreters as centered around the term “mystery.” The word is employed just once, at  Mark 4:11, in the singular, and its content there is the kingdom, the open secret that God’s reign is now breaking into human life with its reversal of human values. There is a related sense in which Jesus’ real identity remained a secret during his lifetime, according to Mark, although demons and demoniacs knew it ( Mark 1:24;  3:11;  5:7); Jesus warned against telling of his mighty deeds and revealing his identity ( Mark 1:44;  3:12;  5:43;  7:36;  8:26,  30), an injunction sometimes broken ( Mark 1:45; cf  Mark 5:19-20). Further, Jesus teaches by parables, according to Mark, in such a way that those “outside” the kingdom do not understand, but only those to whom the mystery has been granted by God.

Mark thus shares with Paul, as well as with other parts of the New Testament, an emphasis on election ( Mark 13:20,  22) and upon the gospel as Christ and his cross (cf  1 Cor 1:23). Yet in Mark the person of Jesus is also depicted with an unaffected naturalness. He reacts to events with authentic human emotion: pity ( Mark 1:44), anger ( Mark 3:5), triumph ( Mark 4:40), sympathy ( Mark 5:36;  6:34), surprise ( Mark 6:9), admiration ( Mark 7:29;  10:21), sadness ( Mark 14:33-34), and indignation ( Mark 14:48-49).

Although the book is anonymous, apart from the ancient heading “According to Mark” in manuscripts, it has traditionally been assigned to John Mark, in whose mother’s house (at Jerusalem) Christians assembled ( Acts 12:12). This Mark was a cousin of Barnabas ( Col 4:10) and accompanied Barnabas and Paul on a missionary journey ( Acts 12:25;  13:3;  15:36- 39). He appears in Pauline letters ( 2 Tim 4:11;  Philippians 1:24) and with Peter ( 1 Peter 5:13). Papias (ca. A.D. 135) described Mark as Peter’s “interpreter,” a view found in other patristic writers. Petrine influence should not, however, be exaggerated. The evangelist has put together various oral and possibly written sources – miracle stories, parables, sayings, stories of controversies, and the passion – so as to speak of the crucified Messiah for Mark’s own day.

Traditionally, the gospel is said to have been written shortly before A.D. 70 in Rome, at a time of impending persecution and when destruction loomed over Jerusalem. Its audience seems to have been Gentile, unfamiliar with Jewish customs (hence  Mark 7:3-4,  11). The book aimed to equip such Christians to stand faithful in the face of persecution ( Mark 13:9-13), while going on with the proclamation of the gospel begun in Galilee ( Mark 13:10;  14:9). Modern research often proposes as the author an unknown Hellenistic Jewish Christian, possibly in Syria, and perhaps shortly after the year 70.

The principal divisions of the Gospel according to Mark are the following:

I.  The Preparation for the Public Ministry of Jesus ( Mark 1:1-13)

II. The Mystery of Jesus ( Mark 1:14- 8:26)

III. The Mystery Begins to Be Revealed ( Mark 8:27- 9:32)

IV. The Full Revelation of the Mystery ( Mark 9:33- 16:8)

The Longer Ending ( Mark 16:9-20)

The Shorter Ending

The Freer Logion (in the note on  Mark 16:9-20)

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Saint Matthew – Chapter 28

The Bible – New Testament

Saint Matthew

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 2021. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Chapter 28

1

1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, 2 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

2

3 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.

3

His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow.

4

The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men.

5

Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.

6

4 He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

7

Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.”

8

Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce 5 this to his disciples.

9

6 And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.

10

Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

11

7 While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened.

12

They assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,

13

telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’

14

And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy (him) and keep you out of trouble.”

15

The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present (day).

16

8 The eleven 9 disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.

17

10 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.

18

11 Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

19

Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,

20

teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. 13 And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

1 [1-20] Except for  Matthew 28:1-8 based on  Mark 16:1-8, the material of this final chapter is peculiar to Matthew. Even where he follows Mark, Matthew has altered his source so greatly that a very different impression is given from that of the Marcan account. The two points that are common to the resurrection testimony of all the gospels are that the tomb of Jesus had been found empty and that the risen Jesus had appeared to certain persons, or, in the original form of Mark, that such an appearance was promised as soon to take place (see  Mark 16:7). On this central and all-important basis, Matthew has constructed an account that interprets the resurrection as the turning of the ages ( Matthew 28:2-4), shows the Jewish opposition to Jesus as continuing to the present in the claim that the resurrection is a deception perpetrated by the disciples who stole his body from the tomb ( Matthew 28:11-15), and marks a new stage in the mission of the disciples once limited to Israel ( Matthew 10:5-6); now they are to make disciples of all nations. In this work they will be strengthened by the presence of the exalted Son of Man, who will be with them until the kingdom comes in fullness at the end of the age ( Matthew 28:16-20).

2 [1] After the sabbath . . . dawning: since the sabbath ended at sunset, this could mean in the early evening, for dawning can refer to the appearance of the evening star; cf  Luke 23:54. However, it is probable that Matthew means the morning dawn of the day after the sabbath, as in the similar though slightly different text of Mark, “when the sun had risen” ( Mark 16:2). Mary Magdalene and the other Mary: see the notes on  Matthew 27:55-56; 57-61. To see the tomb: cf  Mark 16:1-2 where the purpose of the women’s visit is to anoint Jesus’ body.

3 [2-4] Peculiar to Matthew. A great earthquake: see the note on  Matthew 27:51-53. Descended from heaven: this trait is peculiar to Matthew, although his interpretation of the “young man” of his Marcan source ( Mark 16:5) as an angel is probably true to Mark’s intention; cf  Luke 24:23 where the “two men” of  Matthew 24:4 are said to be “angels.” Rolled back the stone . . . upon it: not to allow the risen Jesus to leave the tomb but to make evident that the tomb is empty (see  Matthew 24:6). Unlike the apocryphal Gospel of Peter (9, 35 – 11, 44), the New Testament does not describe the resurrection of Jesus, nor is there anyone who sees it. His appearance was like lightning . . . snow: see the note on  Matthew 17:2.

4 [6-7] Cf  Mark 16:6-7. Just as he said: a Matthean addition referring to Jesus’ predictions of his resurrection, e.g.,  Matthew 16:21;  17:23;  20:19. Tell his disciples: like the angel of the Lord of the infancy narrative, the angel interprets a fact and gives a commandment about what is to be done; cf  Matthew 1:20-21. Matthew omits Mark’s “and Peter” ( Mark 16:7); considering his interest in Peter, this omission is curious. Perhaps the reason is that the Marcan text may allude to a first appearance of Jesus to Peter alone (cf  1 Cor 15:5;  Luke 24:34) which Matthew has already incorporated into his account of Peter’s confession at Caesarea Philippi; see the note on  Matthew 16:16. He is going . . . Galilee: like  Mark 16:7, a reference to Jesus’ prediction at the Last Supper ( Matthew 26:32;  Mark 14:28). Matthew changes Mark’s “as he told you” to a declaration of the angel.

5 [8] Contrast  Mark 16:8 where the women in their fear “said nothing to anyone.”

6 [9-10] Although these verses are peculiar to Matthew, there are similarities between them and John’s account of the appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene ( John 20:17). In both there is a touching of Jesus’ body, and a command of Jesus to bear a message to his disciples, designated as his brothers. Matthew may have drawn upon a tradition that appears in a different form in John. Jesus’ words to the women are mainly a repetition of those of the angel ( Matthew 28:5a,  7b).

7 [11-15] This account indicates that the dispute between Christians and Jews about the empty tomb was not whether the tomb was empty but why.

8 [16-20] This climactic scene has been called a “proleptic parousia,” for it gives a foretaste of the final glorious coming of the Son of Man ( Matthew 26:64). Then his triumph will be manifest to all; now it is revealed only to the disciples, who are commissioned to announce it to all nations and bring them to belief in Jesus and obedience to his commandments.

9 [16] The eleven: the number recalls the tragic defection of Judas Iscariot. To the mountain . . . ordered them: since the message to the disciples was simply that they were to go to Galilee ( Matthew 28:10), some think that the mountain comes from a tradition of the message known to Matthew and alluded to here. For the significance of the mountain, see the note on  Matthew 17:1.

10 [17] But they doubted: the Greek can also be translated, “but some doubted.” The verb occurs elsewhere in the New Testament only in  Matthew 14:31 where it is associated with Peter’s being of “little faith.” For the meaning of that designation, see the note on  Matthew 6:30.

11 [18] All power . . . me: the Greek word here translated power is the same as that found in the LXX translation of  Daniel 7:13-14 where one “like a son of man” is given power and an everlasting kingdom by God. The risen Jesus here claims universal power, i.e., in heaven and on earth.

12 [19] Therefore: since universal power belongs to the risen Jesus ( Matthew 28:18), he gives the eleven a mission that is universal. They are to make disciples of all nations. While all nations is understood by some scholars as referring only to all Gentiles, it is probable that it included the Jews as well. Baptizing them: baptism is the means of entrance into the community of the risen one, the Church. In the name of the Father . . . holy Spirit: this is perhaps the clearest expression in the New Testament of trinitarian belief. It may have been the baptismal formula of Matthew’s church, but primarily it designates the effect of baptism, the union of the one baptized with the Father, Son, and holy Spirit.

13 [20] All that I have commanded you: the moral teaching found in this gospel, preeminently that of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). The commandments of Jesus are the standard of Christian conduct, not the Mosaic law as such, even though some of the Mosaic commandments have now been invested with the authority of Jesus. Behold, I am with you always: the promise of Jesus’ real though invisible presence echoes the name Emmanuel given to him in the infancy narrative; see the note on  Matthew 1:23. End of the age: see the notes on  Matthew 13:39 and  Matthew 24:3.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20

21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Saint Matthew – Chapter 27

The Bible – New Testament

Saint Matthew 

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 2021. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Chapter 27

1

1 2 When it was morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.

2

They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.

3

Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver 3 to the chief priests and elders,

4

saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? Look to it yourself.”

5

4 Flinging the money into the temple, he departed and went off and hanged himself.

6

The chief priests gathered up the money, but said, “It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury, for it is the price of blood.”

7

After consultation, they used it to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners.

8

That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood.

9

Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet, 5 “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of a man with a price on his head, a price set by some of the Israelites,

10

and they paid it out for the potter’s field just as the Lord had commanded me.”

11

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 6 Jesus said, “You say so.”

12

And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, 7 he made no answer.

13

Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”

14

But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

15

8 Now on the occasion of the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they wished.

16

9 And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called (Jesus) Barabbas.

17

So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you, (Jesus) Barabbas, or Jesus called Messiah?”

18

10 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had handed him over.

19

11 While he was still seated on the bench, his wife sent him a message, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man. I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”

20

The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.

21

The governor said to them in reply, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They answered, “Barabbas!”

22

12 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!”

23

But he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” They only shouted the louder, “Let him be crucified!”

24

13 When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. Look to it yourselves.”

25

And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.”

26

Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged, 14 he handed him over to be crucified.

27

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium 15 and gathered the whole cohort around him.

28

They stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak 16 about him.

29

Weaving a crown out of thorns, 17 they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

30

They spat upon him 18 and took the reed and kept striking him on the head.

31

And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him off to crucify him.

32

19 As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross.

33

And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull),

34

they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall. 20 But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.

35

After they had crucified him, they divided his garments 21 by casting lots;

36

then they sat down and kept watch over him there.

37

And they placed over his head the written charge 22 against him: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.

38

Two revolutionaries 23 were crucified with him, one on his right and the other on his left.

39

24 Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads

40

and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God, (and) come down from the cross!”

41

Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,

42

“He saved others; he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel! 25 Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him.

43

26 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he wants him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'”

44

The revolutionaries who were crucified with him also kept abusing him in the same way.

45

27 From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.

46

And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” 28 which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

47

29 Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “This one is calling for Elijah.”

48

Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink.

49

But the rest said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50

30 But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.

51

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. 31 The earth quaked, rocks were split,

52

tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.

53

And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

54

32 The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!”

55

There were many women there, looking on from a distance, 33 who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him.

56

Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

57

34 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus.

58

He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over.

59

Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it (in) clean linen

60

and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.

61

But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb.

62

35 The next day, the one following the day of preparation, 36 the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate

63

and said, “Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said, ‘After three days I will be raised up.’

64

Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’ This last imposture would be worse than the first.” 37

65

Pilate said to them, “The guard is yours; 38 go secure it as best you can.”

66

So they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.

1 [1-31] Cf  Mark 15:1-20. Matthew’s account of the Roman trial before Pilate is introduced by a consultation of the Sanhedrin after which Jesus is handed over to . . . the governor ( Matthew 27:1-2). Matthew follows his Marcan source closely but adds some material that is peculiar to him, the death of Judas ( Matthew 27:3-10), possibly the name Jesus as the name of Barabbas also ( Matthew 27:16-17), the intervention of Pilate’s wife ( Matthew 27:19), Pilate’s washing his hands in token of his disclaiming responsibility for Jesus’ death ( Matthew 27:24), and the assuming of that responsibility by the whole people ( Matthew 27:25).

2 [1] There is scholarly disagreement about the meaning of the Sanhedrin’s taking counsel (symboulion elabon; cf  Matthew 12:14;  22:15;  27:7;  28:12); see the note on  Mark 15:1. Some understand it as a discussion about the strategy for putting their death sentence against Jesus into effect since they lacked the right to do so themselves. Others see it as the occasion for their passing that sentence, holding that Matthew, unlike Mark ( Mark 14:64), does not consider that it had been passed in the night session ( Matthew 26:66). Even in the latter interpretation, their handing him over to Pilate is best explained on the hypothesis that they did not have competence to put their sentence into effect, as is stated in  John 18:31.

3 [3] The thirty pieces of silver: see  Matthew 26:15.

4 [5-8] For another tradition about the death of Judas, cf  Acts 1:18-19. The two traditions agree only in the purchase of a field with the money paid to Judas for his betrayal of Jesus and the name given to the field, the Field of Blood. In Acts Judas himself buys the field and its name comes from his own blood shed in his fatal accident on it. The potter’s field: this designation of the field is based on the fulfillment citation in  Matthew 27:10.

5 [9-10] Cf  Matthew 26:15. Matthew’s attributing this text to Jeremiah is puzzling, for there is no such text in that book, and the thirty pieces of silver thrown by Judas “into the temple” ( Matthew 27:5) recall rather  Zechariah 11:12-13. It is usually said that the attribution of the text to Jeremiah is due to Matthew’s combining the Zechariah text with texts from Jeremiah that speak of a potter ( Jeremiah 18:2-3), the buying of a field ( Jeremiah 32:6-9), or the breaking of a potter’s flask at Topheth in the valley of Ben-hinnom with the prediction that it will become a burial place ( Jeremiah 19:1-13).

6 [11] King of the Jews: this title is used of Jesus only by pagans. The Matthean instances are, besides this verse,  Matthew 2:2;  27:29,  37. Matthew equates it with “Messiah”; cf  Matthew 2:2, 4 and  Matthew 27:17,  22 where he has changed “the king of the Jews” of his Marcan source ( Mark 15:9,  12) to “(Jesus) called Messiah.” The normal political connotation of both titles would be of concern to the Roman governor. You say so: see the note on  Matthew 26:25. An unqualified affirmative response is not made because Jesus’ kingship is not what Pilate would understand it to be.

7 [12-14] Cf  Matthew 26:62-63. As in the trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus’ silence may be meant to recall  Isaiah 53:7. Greatly amazed: possibly an allusion to  Isaiah 52:14-15.

8 [15-26] The choice that Pilate offers the crowd between Barabbas and Jesus is said to be in accordance with a custom of releasing at the Passover feast one prisoner chosen by the crowd ( Matthew 27:15). This custom is mentioned also in  Mark 15:6 and  John 18:39 but not in Luke; see the note on  Luke 23:17. Outside of the gospels there is no direct attestation of it, and scholars are divided in their judgment of the historical reliability of the claim that there was such a practice.

9 [16-17] [Jesus] Barabbas: it is possible that the double name is the original reading; Jesus was a common Jewish name; see the note on  Matthew 1:21. This reading is found in only a few textual witnesses, although its absence in the majority can be explained as an omission of Jesus made for reverential reasons. That name is bracketed because of its uncertain textual attestation. The Aramaic name Barabbas means “son of the father”; the irony of the choice offered between him and Jesus, the true son of the Father, would be evident to those addressees of Matthew who knew that.

10 [18] Cf  Mark 14:10. This is an example of the tendency, found in varying degree in all the gospels, to present Pilate in a relatively favorable light and emphasize the hostility of the Jewish authorities and eventually of the people.

11 [19] Jesus’ innocence is declared by a Gentile woman. In a dream: in Matthew’s infancy narrative, dreams are the means of divine communication; cf  Matthew 1:20;  2:12,  13,  19,  22.

12 [22] Let him be crucified: incited by the chief priests and elders ( Matthew 27:20), the crowds demand that Jesus be executed by crucifixion, a peculiarly horrible form of Roman capital punishment. The Marcan parallel, “Crucify him” ( Mark 15:3), addressed to Pilate, is changed by Matthew to the passive, probably to emphasize the responsibility of the crowds.

13 [24-25] Peculiar to Matthew. Took water . . . blood: cf  Deut 21:1-8, the handwashing prescribed in the case of a murder when the killer is unknown. The elders of the city nearest to where the corpse is found must wash their hands, declaring, “Our hands did not shed this blood.” Look to it yourselves: cf  Matthew 27:4. The whole people: Matthew sees in those who speak these words the entire people (Greek laos) of Israel. His blood . . . and upon our children: cf  Jeremiah 26:15. The responsibility for Jesus’ death is accepted by the nation that was God’s special possession ( Exodus 19:5), his own people (Hosea 2:23), and they thereby lose that high privilege; see  Matthew 21:43 and the note on that verse. The controversy between Matthew’s church and Pharisaic Judaism about which was the true people of God is reflected here. As the Second Vatican Council has pointed out, guilt for Jesus’ death is not attributable to all the Jews of his time or to any Jews of later times.

14 [26] He had Jesus scourged: the usual preliminary to crucifixion.

15 [27] The praetorium: the residence of the Roman governor. His usual place of residence was at Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean coast, but he went to Jerusalem during the great feasts, when the influx of pilgrims posed the danger of a nationalistic riot. It is disputed whether the praetorium in Jerusalem was the old palace of Herod in the west of the city or the fortress of Antonia northwest of the temple area. The whole cohort: normally six hundred soldiers.

16 [28] Scarlet military cloak: so Matthew as against the royal purple of  Mark 15:17 and  John 19:2.

17 [29] Crown out of thorns: probably of long thorns that stood upright so that it resembled the “radiant” crown, a diadem with spikes worn by Hellenistic kings. The soldiers’ purpose was mockery, not torture. A reed: peculiar to Matthew; a mock scepter.

18 [30] Spat upon him: cf  Matthew 26:67 where there also is a possible allusion to  Isaiah 50:6.

19 [32] See the note on  Mark 15:21. Cyrenian named Simon: Cyrenaica was a Roman province on the north coast of Africa and Cyrene was its capital city. The city had a large population of Greek-speaking Jews. Simon may have been living in Palestine or have come there for the Passover as a pilgrim. Pressed into service: see the note on  Matthew 5:41.

20 [34] Wine . . . mixed with gall: cf  Mark 15:23 where the drink is “wine drugged with myrrh,” a narcotic. Matthew’s text is probably an inexact allusion to  Psalm 69:22. That psalm belongs to the class called the individual lament, in which a persecuted just man prays for deliverance in the midst of great suffering and also expresses confidence that his prayer will be heard. That theme of the suffering Just One is frequently applied to the sufferings of Jesus in the passion narratives.

21 [35] The clothing of an executed criminal went to his executioner(s), but the description of that procedure in the case of Jesus, found in all the gospels, is plainly inspired by  Psalm 22:18. However, that psalm verse is quoted only in  John 19:24.

22 [37] The offense of a person condemned to death by crucifixion was written on a tablet that was displayed on his cross. The charge against Jesus was that he had claimed to be the King of the Jews (cf  Matthew 27:11), i.e., the Messiah (cf  Matthew 27:17,  22).

23 [38] Revolutionaries: see the note on  John 18:40 where the same Greek word as that found here is used for Barabbas.

24 [39-40] Reviled him . . . heads: cf  Psalm 22:8. You who would destroy . . . three days; cf  Matthew 26:61. If you are the Son of God: the same words as those of the devil in the temptation of Jesus; cf  Matthew 4:3, 6.

25 [42] King of Israel: in their mocking of Jesus the members of the Sanhedrin call themselves and their people not “the Jews” but Israel.

26 [43] Peculiar to Matthew. He trusted in God . . . wants him: cf  Psalm 22:9. He said . . . of God: probably an allusion to  Wisdom 2:12-20 where the theme of the suffering Just One appears.

27 [45] Cf  Amos 8:9 where on the day of the Lord “the sun will set at midday.”

28 [46] Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?: Jesus cries out in the words of  Psalm 22:2, a psalm of lament that is the Old Testament passage most frequently drawn upon in this narrative. In Mark the verse is cited entirely in Aramaic, which Matthew partially retains but changes the invocation of God to the Hebrew Eli, possibly because that is more easily related to the statement of the following verse about Jesus’ calling for Elijah.

29 [47] Elijah: see the note on  Matthew 3:4. This prophet, taken up into heaven ( 2 Kings 2:11), was believed to come to the help of those in distress, but the evidences of that belief are all later than the gospels.

30 [50] Gave up his spirit: cf the Marcan parallel ( Mark 15:37), “breathed his last.” Matthew’s alteration expresses both Jesus’ control over his destiny and his obedient giving up of his life to God.

31 [51-53] Veil of the sanctuary . . . bottom: cf  Mark 15:38;  Luke 23:45. Luke puts this event immediately before the death of Jesus. There were two veils in the Mosaic tabernacle on the model of which the temple was constructed, the outer one before the entrance of the Holy Place and the inner one before the Holy of Holies (see  Exodus 26:31-36). Only the high priest could pass through the latter and that only on the Day of Atonement (see  Lev 16:1-18). Probably the torn veil of the gospels is the inner one. The meaning of the scene may be that now, because of Jesus’ death, all people have access to the presence of God, or that the temple, its holiest part standing exposed, is now profaned and will soon be destroyed. The earth quaked . . . appeared to many: peculiar to Matthew. The earthquake, the splitting of the rocks, and especially the resurrection of the dead saints indicate the coming of the final age. In the Old Testament the coming of God is frequently portrayed with the imagery of an earthquake (see  Psalm 68:9;  77:19), and Jesus speaks of the earthquakes that will accompany the “labor pains” that signify the beginning of the dissolution of the old world ( Matthew 24:7-8). For the expectation of the resurrection of the dead at the coming of the new and final age, see  Daniel 12:1-3. Matthew knows that the end of the old age has not yet come ( Matthew 28:20), but the new age has broken in with the death (and resurrection; cf the earthquake in  Matthew 28:2) of Jesus; see the note on  Matthew 16:28. After his resurrection: this qualification seems to be due to Matthew’s wish to assert the primacy of Jesus’ resurrection even though he has placed the resurrection of the dead saints immediately after Jesus’ death.

32 [54] Cf  Mark 15:39. The Christian confession of faith is made by Gentiles, not only the centurion, as in Mark, but the other soldiers who were keeping watch over Jesus (cf  Matthew 27:36).

33 [55-56] Looking on from a distance: cf  Psalm 38:12. Mary Magdalene . . . Joseph: these two women are mentioned again in  Matthew 27:61 and  Matthew 28:1 and are important as witnesses of the reality of the empty tomb. A James and Joseph are referred to in  Matthew 13:55 as brothers of Jesus.

34 [57-61] Cf  Mark 15:42-47. Matthew drops Mark’s designation of Joseph of Arimathea as “a distinguished member of the council” (the Sanhedrin), and makes him a rich man and a disciple of Jesus. The former may be an allusion to  Isaiah 53:9 (the Hebrew reading of that text is disputed and the one followed in the NAB OT has nothing about the rich, but they are mentioned in the LXX version). That the tomb was the new tomb of a rich man and that it was seen by the women are indications of an apologetic intent of Matthew; there could be no question about the identity of Jesus’ burial place. The other Mary: the mother of James and Joseph (56).

35 [62-66] Peculiar to Matthew. The story prepares for  Matthew 28:11-15 and the Jewish charge that the tomb was empty because the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus ( Matthew 28:13,  15).

36 [62] The next day . . . preparation: the sabbath. According to the synoptic chronology, in that year the day of preparation (for the sabbath) was the Passover; cf  Mark 15:42. The Pharisees: the principal opponents of Jesus during his ministry and, in Matthew’s time, of the Christian church, join with the chief priests to guarantee against a possible attempt of Jesus’ disciples to steal his body.

37 [64] This last imposture . . . the first: the claim that Jesus has been raised from the dead is clearly the last imposture; the first may be either his claim that he would be raised up (63) or his claim that he was the one with whose ministry the kingdom of God had come (see  Matthew 12:28).

38 [65] The guard is yours: literally, “have a guard” or “you have a guard.” Either the imperative or the indicative could mean that Pilate granted the petitioners some Roman soldiers as guards, which is the sense of the present translation. However, if the verb is taken as an indicative it could also mean that Pilate told them to use their own Jewish guards.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20

21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Saint Matthew – Chapter 26

The Bible – New Testament

Saint Matthew 

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 2021. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Chapter 26

1

1 When Jesus finished all these words, 2 he said to his disciples,

2

“You know that in two days’ time it will be Passover, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

3

3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,

4

and they consulted together to arrest Jesus by treachery and put him to death.

5

But they said, “Not during the festival, 4 that there may not be a riot among the people.”

6

5 Now when Jesus was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,

7

a woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of costly perfumed oil, and poured it on his head while he was reclining at table.

8

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant and said, “Why this waste?

9

It could have been sold for much, and the money given to the poor.”

10

Since Jesus knew this, he said to them, “Why do you make trouble for the woman? She has done a good thing for me.

11

The poor you will always have with you; but you will not always have me.

12

6 In pouring this perfumed oil upon my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.

13

Amen, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be spoken of, in memory of her.”

14

Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscar iot, 7 went to the chief priests

15

8 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver,

16

and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

17

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, 9 the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”

18

10 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”‘”

19

The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover.

20

When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve.

21

And while they were eating, he said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 11

22

Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?”

23

He said in reply, “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me.

24

12 The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”

25

13 Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”

26

14 15 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

27

Then he took a cup, gave thanks, 16 and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you,

28

for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.

29

17 I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.”

30

18 Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

31

Then Jesus said to them, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, 19 for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed’;

32

but after I have been raised up, I shall go before you to Galilee.”

33

Peter said to him in reply, “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.”

34

20 Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”

35

Peter said to him, “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And all the disciples spoke likewise.

36

21 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, 22 and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

37

He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, 23 and began to feel sorrow and distress.

38

Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. 24 Remain here and keep watch with me.”

39

He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, 25 if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”

40

When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?

41

Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. 26 The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42

27 Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!”

43

Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open.

44

He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again.

45

Then he returned to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.

46

Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at hand.”

47

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people.

48

His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.”

49

Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” 28 and he kissed him.

50

Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.

51

And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.

52

Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

53

Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels?

54

But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?”

55

29 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me? Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area, yet you did not arrest me.

56

But all this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

57

30 Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas 31 the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.

58

Peter was following him at a distance as far as the high priest’s courtyard, and going inside he sat down with the servants to see the outcome.

59

The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin 32 kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death,

60

but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two 33 came forward

61

who stated, “This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and within three days rebuild it.'”

62

The high priest rose and addressed him, “Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?”

63

But Jesus was silent. 34 Then the high priest said to him, “I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

64

Jesus said to him in reply, “You have said so. 35 But I tell you: From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power’ and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.'”

65

Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! 36 What further need have we of witnesses? You have now heard the blasphemy;

66

what is your opinion?” They said in reply, “He deserves to die!”

67

37 Then they spat in his face and struck him, while some slapped him,

68

saying, “Prophesy for us, Messiah: who is it that struck you?”

69

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”

70

38 But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!”

71

As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.”

72

Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!”

73

39 A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.”

74

At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed.

75

Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.

1 [1- 28:20] The five books with alternating narrative and discourse ( Matthew 3:1- 25:46) that give this gospel its distinctive structure lead up to the climactic events that are the center of Christian belief and the origin of the Christian church, the passion and resurrection of Jesus. In his passion narrative ( Matthew 26:26-27) Matthew follows his Marcan source closely but with omissions (e.g.,  Mark 14:51-52) and additions (e.g.,  Matthew 27:3-10,  19). Some of the additions indicate that he utilized traditions that he had received from elsewhere; others are due to his own theological insight (e.g.,  Matthew 26:28 “. . . for the forgiveness of sins”;  Matthew 27:52). In his editing Matthew also altered Mark in some minor details. But there is no need to suppose that he knew any passion narrative other than Mark’s.

2 [1-2] When Jesus finished all these words: see the note on  Matthew 7:28-29. “You know . . . crucified”: Matthew turns Mark’s statement of the time ( Mark 14:1) into Jesus’ final prediction of his passion. Passover: see the note on  Mark 14:1.

3 [3] Caiaphas was high priest from A.D. 18 to 36.

4 [5] Not during the festival: the plan to delay Jesus’ arrest and execution until after the festival was not carried out, for according to the synoptics he was arrested on the night of Nisan 14 and put to death the following day. No reason is given why the plan was changed.

5 [6-13] See the notes on  Mark 14:3-9 and  John 12:1-8.

6 [12] To prepare me for burial: cf  Mark 14:8. In accordance with the interpretation of this act as Jesus’ burial anointing, Matthew, more consistent than Mark, changes the purpose of the visit of the women to Jesus’ tomb; they do not go to anoint him ( Mark 16:1) but “to see the tomb” ( Matthew 28:1).

7 [14] Iscariot: see the note on  Luke 6:16.

8 [15] The motive of avarice is introduced by Judas’s question about the price for betrayal, which is absent in the Marcan source ( Mark 14:10-11). Hand him over: the same Greek verb is used to express the saving purpose of God by which Jesus is handed over to death (cf  Matthew 17:22;  20:18;  26:2) and the human malice that hands him over. Thirty pieces of silver: the price of the betrayal is found only in Matthew. It is derived from  Zechariah 11:12 where it is the wages paid to the rejected shepherd, a cheap price ( Zechariah 11:13). That amount is also the compensation paid to one whose slave has been gored by an ox ( Exodus 21:32).

9 [17] The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread: see the note on  Mark 14:1. Matthew omits Mark’s “when they sacrificed the Passover lamb.”

10 [18] By omitting much of  Mark 14:13-15, adding My appointed time draws near, and turning the question into a statement, in your house I shall celebrate the Passover, Matthew has given this passage a solemnity and majesty greater than that of his source.

11 [21] Given Matthew’s interest in the fulfillment of the Old Testament, it is curious that he omits the Marcan designation of Jesus’ betrayer as “one who is eating with me” ( Mark 14:18), since that is probably an allusion to Ps 41, 10. However, the shocking fact that the betrayer is one who shares table fellowship with Jesus is emphasized in  Matthew 26:23.

12 [24] It would be better . . . born: the enormity of the deed is such that it would be better not to exist than to do it.

13 [25] Peculiar to Matthew. You have said so: cf  Matthew 26:64;  27:11. This is a half-affirmative. Emphasis is laid on the pronoun and the answer implies that the statement would not have been made if the question had not been asked.

14 [26] See the note on  Mark 14:22-24. The Marcan-Matthean is one of the two major New Testament traditions of the words of Jesus when instituting the Eucharist. The other (and earlier) is the Pauline-Lucan ( 1 Cor 11:23-25;  Luke 22:19-20). Each shows the influence of Christian liturgical usage, but the Marcan-Matthean is more developed in that regard than the Pauline-Lucan. The words over the bread and cup succeed each other without the intervening meal mentioned in  1 Cor 11:25;  Luke 22:20; and there is parallelism between the consecratory words (this is my body . . . this is my blood). Matthew follows Mark closely but with some changes.

15 [26] See the note on  Matthew 14:19. Said the blessing: a prayer blessing God. Take and eat: literally, Take, eat. Eat is an addition to Mark’s “take it” (literally, “take”;  Mark 14:22). This is my body: the bread is identified with Jesus himself.  Matthew 26:26-29

16 [27-28] Gave thanks: see the note on  Matthew 15:36. Gave it to them . . . all of you: cf  Mark 14:23-24. In the Marcan sequence the disciples drink and then Jesus says the interpretative words. Matthew has changed this into a command to drink followed by those words. My blood: see  Lev 17:11 for the concept that the blood is “the seat of life” and that when placed on the altar it “makes atonement.” Which will be shed: the present participle, “being shed” or “going to be shed,” is future in relation to the Last Supper. On behalf of: Greek peri; see the note on  Mark 14:24. Many: see the note on  Matthew 20:28. For the forgiveness of sins: a Matthean addition. The same phrase occurs in  Mark 1:4 in connection with John’s baptism but Matthew avoids it there ( Matthew 3:11). He places it here probably because he wishes to emphasize that it is the sacrificial death of Jesus that brings forgiveness of sins.

17 [29] Although his death will interrupt the table fellowship he has had with the disciples, Jesus confidently predicts his vindication by God and a new table fellowship with them at the banquet of the kingdom.

18 [30] See the note on  Mark 14:26.

19 [31] Will have . . . shaken: literally, “will be scandalized in me”; see the note on  Matthew 24:9-12. I will strike . . . dispersed: cf  Zechariah 13:7.

20 [34] Before the cock crows: see the note on  Matthew 14:25. The third watch of the night was called “cockcrow.” Deny me: see the note on  Matthew 16:24.

21 [36-56] Cf  Mark 14:32-52. The account of Jesus in Gethsemane is divided between that of his agony ( Matthew 26:36-46) and that of his betrayal and arrest ( Matthew 26:47-56). Jesus’ sorrow and distress ( Matthew 26:37) in face of death is unrelieved by the presence of his three disciples who, though urged to watch with him ( Matthew 26:38,  41), fall asleep ( Matthew 26:40,  43). He prays that if . . . possible his death may be avoided ( Matthew 26:39) but that his Father’s will be done ( Matthew 26:39,  42,  44). Knowing then that his death must take place, he announces to his companions that the hour for his being handed over has come ( Matthew 26:45). Judas arrives with an armed band provided by the Sanhedrin and greets Jesus with a kiss, the prearranged sign for his identification ( Matthew 26:47-49). After his arrest, he rebukes a disciple who has attacked the high priest’s servant with a sword ( Matthew 26:51-54), and chides those who have come out to seize him with swords and clubs as if he were a robber ( Matthew 26:55-56). In both rebukes Jesus declares that the treatment he is how receiving is the fulfillment of the scriptures ( Matthew 26:55,  56). How should be now the subsequent flight of all the disciples is itself the fulfillment of his own prediction (cf 31). In this episode, Matthew follows Mark with a few alterations.

22 [36] Gethsemane: the Hebrew name means “oil press” and designates an olive orchard on the western slope of the Mount of Olives; see the note on  Matthew 21:1. The name appears only in Matthew and Mark. The place is called a “garden” in  John 18:1.

23 [37] Peter and the two sons of Zebedee: cf  Matthew 17:1.

24 [38] Cf  Psalm 42:5,  11. In the Septuagint ( Psalm 41:4,  11) the same Greek word for sorrowful is used as here. To death: i.e., “enough to die”; cf  Jonah 4:9.

25 [39] My Father: see the note on  Mark 14:36. Matthew omits the Aramaic ‘abba’ and adds the qualifier my. This cup: see the note on  Mark 10:38-40.

26 [41] Undergo the test: see the note on  Matthew 6:13. In that verse “the final test” translates the same Greek word as is here translated the test, and these are the only instances of the use of that word in Matthew. It is possible that the passion of Jesus is seen here as an anticipation of the great tribulation that will precede the parousia (see the notes on  Matthew 24:8;  24:21) to which  Matthew 6:13 refers, and that just as Jesus prays to be delivered from death ( Matthew 26:39), so he exhorts the disciples to pray that they will not have to undergo the great test that his passion would be for them. Some scholars, however, understand not undergo (literally, “not enter”) the test as meaning not that the disciples may be spared the test but that they may not yield to the temptation of falling away from Jesus because of his passion even though they will have to endure it.

27 [42] Your will be done: cf  Matthew 6:10.

28 [49] Rabbi: see the note on  Matthew 23:6-7. Jesus is so addressed twice in Matthew ( Matthew 26:25), both times by Judas. For the significance of the closely related address “teacher” in Matthew, see the note on  Matthew 8:19.

29 [55] Day after day . . . arrest me: cf  Mark 14:49. This suggests that Jesus had taught for a relatively long period in Jerusalem, whereas  Matthew 21:1-11 puts his coming to the city for the first time only a few days before.

30 [57-68] Following  Mark 14:53-65 Matthew presents the nighttime appearance of Jesus before the Sanhedrin as a real trial. After many false witnesses bring charges against him that do not suffice for the death sentence (Matthew 14:60), two came forward who charge him with claiming to be able to destroy the temple . . . and within three days to rebuild it (Matthew 14:60-61). Jesus makes no answer even when challenged to do so by the high priest, who then orders him to declare under oath . . . whether he is the Messiah, the Son of God ( Matthew 26:62-63). Matthew changes Mark’s clear affirmative response ( Mark 14:62) to the same one as that given to Judas ( Matthew 26:25), but follows Mark almost verbatim in Jesus’ predicting that his judges will see him (the Son of Man) seated at the right hand of God and coming on the clouds of heaven ( Matthew 26:64). The high priest then charges him with blasphemy ( Matthew 26:65), a charge with which the other members of the Sanhedrin agree by declaring that he deserves to die ( Matthew 26:66). They then attack him ( Matthew 26:67) and mockingly demand that he prophesy ( Matthew 26:68). This account contains elements that are contrary to the judicial procedures prescribed in the Mishnah, the Jewish code of law that dates in written form from ca. A.D. 200, e.g., trial on a feast day, a night session of the court, pronouncement of a verdict of condemnation at the same session at which testimony was received. Consequently, some scholars regard the account entirely as a creation of the early Christians without historical value. However, it is disputable whether the norms found in the Mishnah were in force at the time of Jesus. More to the point is the question whether the Matthean-Marcan night trial derives from a combination of two separate incidents, a nighttime preliminary investigation (cf  John 18:13,  19-24) and a formal trial on the following morning (cf  Luke 22:66-71).

31 [57] Caiaphas: see the note on  Matthew 26:3.

32 [59] Sanhedrin: see the note on  Luke 22:66.

33 [60-61] Two: cf  Deut 19:15. I can destroy . . . rebuild it: there are significant differences from the Marcan parallel ( Mark 14:58). Matthew omits “made with hands” and “not made with hands” and changes Mark’s “will destroy” and “will build another” to can destroy and (can) rebuild. The charge is probably based on Jesus’ prediction of the temple’s destruction; see the notes on  Matthew 23:37-39;  24:2; and  John 2:19. A similar prediction by Jeremiah was considered as deserving death; cf  Jeremiah 7:1-15;  26:1-8.

34 [63] Silent: possibly an allusion to  Isaiah 53:7. I order you . . . living God: peculiar to Matthew; cf  Mark 14:61.

35 [64] + You have said so: see the note on  Matthew 26:25. From now on . . . heaven: the Son of Man who is to be crucified (cf  Matthew 20:19) will be seen in glorious majesty (cf  Psalm 110:1) and coming on the clouds of heaven (cf  Daniel 7:13). The Power: see the note on  Mark 14:61-62.

36 [65] Blasphemed: the punishment for blasphemy was death by stoning (see  Lev 24:10-16). According to the Mishnah, to be guilty of blasphemy one had to pronounce “the Name itself,” i.e. Yahweh; cf Sanhedrin 7, 4.5. Those who judge the gospel accounts of Jesus’ trial by the later Mishnah standards point out that Jesus uses the surrogate “the Power,” and hence no Jewish court would have regarded him as guilty of blasphemy; others hold that the Mishnah’s narrow understanding of blasphemy was a later development.

37 [67-68] The physical abuse, apparently done to Jesus by the members of the Sanhedrin themselves, recalls the sufferings of the Isaian Servant of the Lord; cf  Isaiah 50:6. The mocking challenge to prophesy is probably motivated by Jesus’ prediction of his future glory ( Matthew 26:64).

38 [70] Denied it in front of everyone: see  Matthew 10:33. Peter’s repentance ( Matthew 26:75) saves him from the fearful destiny of which Jesus speaks there.

39 [73] Your speech . . . away: Matthew explicates Mark’s “you too are a Galilean” ( Mark 14:70).

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20

21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Saint Matthew – Chapter 25

The Bible – New Testament

Saint Matthew 

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 2021. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Chapter 25

1

1 “Then 2 the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

2

3 Five of them were foolish and five were wise.

3

The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them,

4

but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.

5

Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6

At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

7

Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.

8

The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

9

But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’

10

While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked.

11

4 Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’

12

But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13

Therefore, stay awake, 5 for you know neither the day nor the hour.

14

6 “It will be as when a man who was going on a journey 7 called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.

15

To one he gave five talents; 8 to another, two; to a third, one – to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately

16

the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five.

17

Likewise, the one who received two made another two.

18

9 But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.

19

After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.

20

The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. 10 He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’

21

His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’

22

(Then) the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’

23

His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’

24

Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter;

25

so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’

26

His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! 11 So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter?

27

Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?

28

Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.

29

12 For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

30

13 And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’

31

14 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,

32

and all the nations 15 will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

33

He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

35

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,

36

naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

37

Then the righteous 16 will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

38

When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?

39

When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

40

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

41

17 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

42

For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,

43

a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

44

18 Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’

45

He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

46

And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

1 [1-13] Peculiar to Matthew.

2 [1] Then: at the time of the parousia. Kingdom . . . will be like: see the note on  Matthew 13:24-30.

3 [2-4] Foolish . . . wise: cf the contrasted “wise man” and “fool” of  Matthew 7:24,  26 where the two are distinguished by good deeds and lack of them, and such deeds may be signified by the oil of this parable.

4 [11-12] Lord, Lord: cf  Matthew 7:21. I do not know you: cf  Matthew 7:23 where the Greek verb is different but synonymous.

5 [13] Stay awake: some scholars see this command as an addition to the original parable of Matthew’s traditional material, since in  Matthew 25:5 all the virgins, wise and foolish, fall asleep. But the wise virgins are adequately equipped for their task, and stay awake may mean no more than to be prepared; cf  Matthew 24:42,  44.

6 [14-30] Cf  Luke 19:12-27.

7 [14] It will be as when . . . journey: literally, “For just as a man who was going on a journey.” Although the comparison is not completed, the sense is clear; the kingdom of heaven is like the situation here described. Faithful use of one’s gifts will lead to participation in the fullness of the kingdom, lazy inactivity to exclusion from it.

8 [15] Talents: see the note on  Matthew 18:24.

9 [18] Buried his master’s money: see the note on  Matthew 13:44.

10 [20-23] Although the first two servants have received and doubled large sums, their faithful trading is regarded by the master as fidelity in small matters only, compared with the great responsibilities now to be given to them. The latter are unspecified. Share your master’s joy: probably the joy of the banquet of the kingdom; cf  Matthew 8:11.

11 [26-28] Wicked, lazy servant: this man’s inactivity is not negligible but seriously culpable. As punishment, he loses the gift he had received, that is now given to the first servant, whose possessions are already great.

12 [29] See the note on  Matthew 13:12 where there is a similar application of this maxim.

13 [30] See the note on  Matthew 8:11-12.

14 [31-46] The conclusion of the discourse, which is peculiar to Matthew, portrays the final judgment that will accompany the parousia. Although often called a “parable,” it is not really such, for the only parabolic elements are the depiction of the Son of Man as a shepherd and of the righteous and the wicked as sheep and goats respectively ( Matthew 25:32-33). The criterion of judgment will be the deeds of mercy that have been done for the least of Jesus’ brothers ( Matthew 25:40). A difficult and important question is the identification of these least brothers. Are they all people who have suffered hunger, thirst, etc. ( Matthew 25:35,  36) or a particular group of such sufferers? Scholars are divided in their response and arguments can be made for either side. But leaving aside the problem of what the traditional material that Matthew edited may have meant, it seems that a stronger case can be made for the view that in the evangelist’s sense the sufferers are Christians, probably Christian missionaries whose sufferings were brought upon them by their preaching of the gospel. The criterion of judgment for all the nations is their treatment of those who have borne to the world the message of Jesus, and this means ultimately their acceptance or rejection of Jesus himself; cf  Matthew 10:40, “Whoever receives you, receives me.”

See the note on  Matthew 16:27.

15 [32] All the nations: before the end the gospel will have been preached throughout the world ( Matthew 24:14); thus the Gentiles will be judged on their response to it. But the phrase all the nations includes the Jews also, for at the judgment “the Son of Man . . . will repay everyone according to his conduct” ( Matthew 16:27).

16 [37-40] The righteous will be astonished that in caring for the needs of the sufferers they were ministering to the Lord himself. One of these least brothers of mine: cf  Matthew 10:42.

17 [41] Fire prepared . . . his angels: cf 1 Enoch 10, 13 where it is said of the evil angels and Semyaza, their leader, “In those days they will lead them into the bottom of the fire – and in torment – in the prison (where) they will be locked up forever.”

18 [44-45] The accursed ( Matthew 25:41) will be likewise astonished that their neglect of the sufferers was neglect of the Lord and will receive from him a similar answer.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20

21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Saint Matthew – Chapter 24

The Bible – New Testament

Saint Matthew 

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 2021. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Chapter 24

1

1 Jesus left the temple area and was going away, when his disciples approached him to point out the temple buildings.

2

2 He said to them in reply, “You see all these things, do you not? Amen, I say to you, there will not be left here a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

3

As he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, 3 the disciples approached him privately and said, “Tell us, when will this happen, and what sign will there be of your coming, and of the end of the age?”

4

4 Jesus said to them in reply, “See that no one deceives you.

5

For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many.

6

You will hear of wars 5 and reports of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for these things must happen, but it will not yet be the end.

7

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes from place to place.

8

6 All these are the beginning of the labor pains.

9

7 Then they will hand you over to persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of my name.

10

And then many will be led into sin; they will betray and hate one another.

11

Many false prophets will arise and deceive many;

12

and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold.

13

But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.

14

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a witness to all nations, 8 and then the end will come.

15

9 “When you see the desolating abomination 10 spoken of through Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

16

then those in Judea must flee 11 to the mountains,

17

12 a person on the housetop must not go down to get things out of his house,

18

a person in the field must not return to get his cloak.

19

Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days.

20

13 Pray that your flight not be in winter or on the sabbath,

21

14 for at that time there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will be.

22

And if those days had not been shortened, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect they will be shortened.

23

If anyone says to you then, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.

24

False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect.

25

Behold, I have told it to you beforehand.

26

So if they say to you, ‘He is in the desert,’ do not go out there; if they say, ‘He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 15

27

For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

28

Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

29

16 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

30

And then the sign of the Son of Man 17 will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31

And he will send out his angels 18 with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

32

19 “Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near.

33

In the same way, when you see all these things, know that he is near, at the gates.

34

Amen, I say to you, this generation 20 will not pass away until all these things have taken place.

35

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

36

21 “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, 22 but the Father alone.

37

23 For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

38

In (those) days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark.

39

They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man.

40

24 Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.

41

Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.

42

25 Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.

43

Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.

44

So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

45

26 27 “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time?

46

Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.

47

Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.

48

28 But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’

49

and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards,

50

the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour

51

and will punish him severely 29 and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

1 [1- 25:46] The discourse of the fifth book, the last of the five around which the gospel is structured. It is called the “escha tological” discourse since it deals with the coming of the new age (the eschaton) in its fullness, with events that will precede it, and with how the disciples are to conduct themselves while awaiting an event that is as certain as its exact time is unknown to all but the Father ( Matthew 24:36). The discourse may be divided into two parts,  Matthew 24:1-44 and  Matthew 24:45- 25:46. In the first, Matthew follows his Marcan source ( Mark 13:1-37) closely. The second is drawn from Q and from the evangelist’s own traditional material. Both parts show Matthew’s editing of his sources by deletions, additions, and modifications. The vigilant waiting that is emphasized in the second part does not mean a cessation of ordinary activity and concentration only on what is to come, but a faithful accomplishment of duties at hand, with awareness that the end, for which the disciples must always be ready, will entail the great judgment by which the everlasting destiny of all will be determined.

2 [2] As in Mark, Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple. By omitting the Marcan story of the widow’s contribution ( Mark 12:41-44) that immediately precedes the prediction in that gospel, Matthew has established a close connection between it and  Matthew 23:38, “. . . your house will be abandoned desolate.”

3 [3] The Mount of Olives: see the note on  Matthew 21:1. The disciples: cf  Mark 13:3-4 where only Peter, James, John, and Andrew put the question that is answered by the discourse. In both gospels, however, the question is put privately: the ensuing discourse is only for those who are disciples of Jesus. When will this happen . . . end of the age?: Matthew distinguishes carefully between the destruction of the temple (this) and the coming of Jesus that will bring the end of the age. In Mark the two events are more closely connected, a fact that may be explained by Mark’s believing that the one would immediately succeed the other. Coming: this translates the Greek word parousia, which is used in the gospels only here and in  Matthew 24:27,  37,  39. It designated the official visit of a ruler to a city or the manifestation of a saving deity, and it was used by christians to refer to the final coming of Jesus in glory, a term first found in the New Testament with that meaning in  1 Thes 2:19. The end of the age: see the note on  Matthew 13:39.

4 [4-14] This section of the discourse deals with calamities in the world ( Matthew 24:6-7) and in the church ( Matthew 24:9-12). The former must happen before the end comes ( Matthew 24:6), but they are only the beginning of the labor pains ( Matthew 24:8). (It may be noted that the Greek word translated the end in  Matthew 24:6 and in  Matthew 24:13-14 is not the same as the phrase “the end of the age” in  Matthew 24:3 although the meaning is the same.) The latter are sufferings of the church, both from within and without, that will last until the gospel is preached . . . to all nations. Then the end will come and those who have endured the sufferings with fidelity will be saved ( Matthew 24:13-14).

5 [6-7] The disturbances mentioned here are a commonplace of apocalyptic language, as is the assurance that they must happen (see  Daniel 2:28 LXX), for that is the plan of God. Kingdom against kingdom: see  Isaiah 19:2.

6 [8] The labor pains: the tribulations leading up to the end of the age are compared to the pains of a woman about to give birth. There is much attestation for rabbinic use of the phrase “the woes (or birth pains) of the Messiah” after the New Testament period, but in at least one instance it is attributed to a rabbi who lived in the late first century A.D. In this Jewish usage it meant the distress of the time preceding the coming of the Messiah; here, the labor pains precede the coming of the Son of Man in glory.

7 [9-12] Matthew has used  Mark 13:9-12 in his missionary discourse ( Matthew 10:17-21) and omits it here. Besides the sufferings, including death, and the hatred of all nations that the disciples will have to endure, there will be worse affliction within the church itself. This is described in  Matthew 24:10-12, which are peculiar to Matthew. Will be led into sin: literally, “will be scandalized,” probably meaning that they will become apostates; see  Matthew 13:21 where “fall away” translates the same Greek word as here. Betray: in the Greek this is the same word as the hand over of  Matthew 24:9. The handing over to persecution and hatred from outside will have their counterpart within the church. False prophets: these are Christians; see the note on  Matthew 7:15-20. Evildoing: see  Matthew 7:23. Because of the apocalyptic nature of much of this discourse, the literal meaning of this description of the church should not be pressed too hard. However, there is reason to think that Matthew’s addition of these verses reflects in some measure the condition of his community.

8 [14] Except for the last part (and then the end will come), this verse substantially repeats  Mark 13:10. The Matthean addition raises a problem since what follows in  Matthew 24:15-23 refers to the horrors of the First Jewish Revolt including the destruction of the temple, and Matthew, writing after that time, knew that the parousia of Jesus was still in the future. A solution may be that the evangelist saw the events of those verses as foreshadowing the cosmic disturbances that he associates with the parousia ( Matthew 24:29) so that the period in which the former took place could be understood as belonging to the end.

9 [15-28] Cf  Mark 13:14-23;  Luke 17:23-24,  37. A further stage in the tribulations that will precede the coming of the Son of Man, and an answer to the question of  Matthew 24:3a, “when will this (the destruction of the temple) happen?”

10 [15] The desolating abomination: in 167 B.C. the Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes desecrated the temple by setting up in it a statue of Zeus Olympios (see  1 Macc 1:54). That event is referred to in  Daniel 12:11 LXX as the “desolating abomination” (NAB “horrible abomination”) and the same Greek term is used here; cf also  Daniel 9:27;  11:31. Although the desecration had taken place before Dn was written, it is presented there as a future event, and Matthew sees that “prophecy” fulfilled in the desecration of the temple by the Romans. In the holy place: the temple; more precise than Mark’s where he should not ( Mark 13:14). Let the reader understand: this parenthetical remark, taken from  Mark 13:14 invites the reader to realize the meaning of Daniel’s “prophecy.”

11 [16] The tradition that the Christians of Jerusalem fled from that city to Pella, a city of Transjordan, at the time of the First Jewish Revolt is found in Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History, 3, 5, 3), who attributes the flight to “a certain oracle given by revelation before the war.” The tradition is not improbable but the Matthean command, derived from its Marcan source, is vague in respect to the place of flight (to the mountains), although some scholars see it as applicable to the flight to Pella.

12 [17-19] Haste is essential, and the journey will be particularly difficult for women who are burdened with unborn or infant children.

13 [20] On the sabbath: this addition to in winter (cf  Mark 13:18) has been understood as an indication that Matthew was addressed to a church still observing the Mosaic law of sabbath rest and the scribal limitations upon the length of journeys that might lawfully be made on that day. That interpretation conflicts with Matthew’s view on sabbath observance (cf  Matthew 12:1-14). The meaning of the addition may be that those undertaking on the sabbath a journey such as the one here ordered would be offending the sensibilities of law-observant Jews and would incur their hostility.

14 [21] For the unparalleled distress of that time, see  Daniel 12:1.

15 [26-28] Claims that the Messiah is to be found in some distant or secret place must be ignored. The coming of the Son of Man will be as clear as lightning is to all and as the corpse of an animal is to vultures; cf  Luke 17:24,  37. Here there is clear identification of the Son of Man and the Messiah; cf  Matthew 24:23.

16 [29] The answer to the question of  Matthew 24:3b “What will be the sign of your coming?” Immediately after . . . those days: the shortening of time between the preceding tribulation and the parousia has been explained as Matthew’s use of a supposed device of Old Testament prophecy whereby certainty that a predicted event will occur is expressed by depicting it as imminent. While it is questionable that that is an acceptable understanding of the Old Testament predictions, it may be applicable here, for Matthew knew that the parousia had not come immediately after the fall of Jerusalem, and it is unlikely that he is attributing a mistaken calculation of time to Jesus. The sun . . . be shaken: cf  Isaiah 13:10,  13.

17 [30] The sign of the Son of Man: perhaps this means the sign that is the glorious appearance of the Son of Man; cf  Matthew 12:39-40 where “the sign of Jonah” is Jonah’s being in the “belly of the whale.” Tribes of the earth will mourn: peculiar to Matthew; cf  Zechariah 12:12-14. Coming upon the clouds . . . glory: cf  Daniel 7:13 although there the “one like a son of man” comes to God to receive kingship; here the Son of Man comes from heaven for judgment.

18 [31] Send out his angels: cf  Matthew 13:41 where they are sent out to collect the wicked for punishment. Trumpet blast: cf  Isaiah 27:13;  1 Thes 4:16.

19 [32-35] Cf  Mark 13:28-31.

20 [34] The difficulty raised by this verse cannot be satisfactorily removed by the supposition that this generation means the Jewish people throughout the course of their history, much less the entire human race. Perhaps for Matthew it means the generation to which he and his community belonged.

21 [36-44] The statement of  Matthew 24:34 is now counterbalanced by one that declares that the exact time of the parousia is known only to the Father ( Matthew 24:36), and the disciples are warned to be always ready for it. This section is drawn from Mark and Q (cf  Luke 17:26-27,  34-35;  12:39-40).

22 [36] Many textual witnesses omit nor the Son, which follows  Mark 13:32. Since its omission can be explained by reluctance to attribute this ignorance to the Son, the reading that includes it is probably original.

23 [37-39] Cf  Luke 17:26-27. In the days of Noah: the Old Testament account of the flood lays no emphasis upon what is central for Matthew, i.e., the unexpected coming of the flood upon those who were unprepared for it.

24 [40-41] Cf  Luke 17:34-35. Taken . . . left: the former probably means taken into the kingdom; the latter, left for destruction. People in the same situation will be dealt with in opposite ways. In this context, the discrimination between them will be based on their readiness for the coming of the Son of Man.

25 [42-44] Cf  Luke 12:39-40. The theme of vigilance and readiness is continued with the bold comparison of the Son of Man to a thief who comes to break into a house.

26 [45-51] The second part of the discourse (see the note on  Matthew 24:1- 25:46) begins with this parable of the faithful or unfaithful servant; cf  Luke 12:41-46. It is addressed to the leaders of Matthew’s church; the servant has been put in charge of his master’s household ( Matthew 24:45) even though that household is composed of those who are his fellow servants ( Matthew 24:49).

27 [45] To distribute . . . proper time: readiness for the master’s return means a vigilance that is accompanied by faithful performance of the duty assigned.

28 [48] My master . . . delayed: the note of delay is found also in the other parables of this section; cf  Matthew 25:5,  19.

29 [51] Punish him severely: the Greek verb, found in the New Testament only here and in the Lucan parallel ( Luke 12:46), means, literally, “cut in two.” With the hypocrites: see the note on  Matthew 6:2. Matthew classes the unfaithful Christian leader with the unbelieving leaders of Judaism. Wailing and grinding of teeth: see the note on  Matthew 8:11-12.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20

21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Saint Matthew – Chapter 23

The Bible – New Testament

Saint Matthew 

Index 

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 2021. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Chapter 23

1

1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples,

2

2 saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.

3

Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.

4

They tie up heavy burdens 3 (hard to carry) and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.

5

4 All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.

6

5 They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,

7

greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’

8

6 As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.

9

Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.

10

Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah.

11

The greatest among you must be your servant.

12

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13

7 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven 8 before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

14

9

15

10 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

16

11 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’

17

Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred?

18

And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’

19

You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?

20

One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it;

21

one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it;

22

one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.

23

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes 12 of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others.

24

13 Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

25

14 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.

26

Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.

27

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.

28

Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

29

16 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, 17 you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous,

30

and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’

31

Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;

32

now fill up what your ancestors measured out!

33

You serpents, you brood of vipers, how can you flee from the judgment of Gehenna?

34

18 Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and pursue from town to town,

35

so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood shed upon earth, from the righteous blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

36

Amen, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

37

19 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling!

38

Behold, your house will be abandoned, desolate.

39

I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

1 [1-39] The final section of the narrative part of the fifth book of the gospel is a denunciation by Jesus of the scribes and the Pharisees (see the note on  Matthew 3:7). It depends in part on Mark and Q (cf  Mark 12:38-39;  Luke 11:37-52;  13:34-35), but in the main it is peculiar to Matthew. (For the reasons against considering this extensive body of sayings-material either as one of the structural discourses of this gospel or as part of the one that follows in Matthew 24-25, see the note on  Matthew 19:1- 23:39.) While the tradition of a deep opposition between Jesus and the Pharisees is well founded, this speech reflects an opposition that goes beyond that of Jesus’ ministry and must be seen as expressing the bitter conflict between Pharisaic Judaism and the church of Matthew at the time when the gospel was composed. The complaint often made that the speech ignores the positive qualities of Pharisaism and of its better representatives is true, but the complaint overlooks the circumstances that gave rise to the invective. Nor is the speech purely anti-Pharisaic. The evangelist discerns in his church many of the same faults that he finds in its opponents and warns his fellow Christians to look to their own conduct and attitudes.

2 [2-3] Have taken their seat . . . Moses: it is uncertain whether this is simply a metaphor for Mosaic teaching authority or refers to an actual chair on which the teacher sat. It has been proved that there was a seat so designated in synagogues of a later period than that of this gospel. Do and observe . . . they tell you: since the Matthean Jesus abrogates Mosaic law ( Matthew 5:31-42), warns his disciples against the teaching of the Pharisees ( Matthew 14:1-12), and, in this speech, denounces the Pharisees as blind guides in respect to their teaching on oaths (Matthew 16-22), this commandment to observe all things whatsoever they (the scribes and Pharisees) tell you cannot be taken as the evangelist’s understanding of the proper standard of conduct for his church. The saying may reflect a period when the Matthean community was largely Jewish Christian and was still seeking to avoid a complete break with the synagogue. Matthew has incorporated this traditional material into the speech in accordance with his view of the course of salvation history, in which he portrays the time of Jesus’ ministry as marked by the fidelity to the law, although with significant pointers to the new situation that would exist after his death and resurrection (see the note on  Matthew 5:17-20). The crowds and the disciples ( Matthew 23:1) are exhorted not to follow the example of the Jewish leaders, whose deeds do not conform to their teaching ( Matthew 23:3).

3 [4] Tie up heavy burdens: see the note on  Matthew 11:28.

4 [5] To the charge of preaching but not practicing ( Matthew 23:3), Jesus adds that of acting in order to earn praise. The disciples have already been warned against this same fault (see the note on  Matthew 6:1-18). Phylacteries: the Mosaic law required that during prayer small boxes containing parchments on which verses of scripture were written be worn on the left forearm and the forehead (see  Exodus 13:9,  16;  Deut 6:8;  11:18). Tassels: see the note on  Matthew 9:20. The widening of phylacteries and the lengthening of tassels were for the purpose of making these evidences of piety more noticeable.

5 [6] Cf  Mark 12:38-39. “Rabbi’: literally, “my great one,” a title of respect for teachers and leaders.

6 [8-12] These verses, warning against the use of various titles, are addressed to the disciples alone. While only the title “Rabbi’ has been said to be used in addressing the scribes and Pharisees ( Matthew 23:7), the implication is that Father and “Master’ also were. The prohibition of these titles to the disciples suggests that their use was present in Matthew’s church. The Matthean Jesus forbids not only the titles but the spirit of superiority and pride that is shown by their acceptance. Whoever exalts . . . will be exalted: cf  Luke 14:11.

7 [13-36] This series of seven “woes,” directed against the scribes and Pharisees and addressed to them, is the heart of the speech. The phrase woe to occurs often in the prophetic and apocalyptic literature, expressing horror of a sin and punishment for those who commit it. Hypocrites: see the note on  Matthew 6:2. The hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees consists in the difference between their speech and action  Matthew 23:3 and in demonstrations of piety that have no other purpose than to enhance their reputation as religious persons ( Matthew 23:5).

8 [13] You lock the kingdom of heaven: cf  Matthew 16:19 where Jesus tells Peter that he will give him the keys to the kingdom of heaven. The purpose of the authority expressed by that metaphor is to give entrance into the kingdom (the kingdom is closed only to those who reject the authority); here the charge is made that the authority of the scribes and Pharisees is exercised in such a way as to be an obstacle to entrance. Cf  Luke 11:52 where the accusation against the “scholars of the law” (Matthew’s scribes) is that they “have taken away the key of knowledge.”

9 [14] Some manuscripts add a verse here or after  Matthew 23:12 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. Because of this, you will receive a very severe condemnation.” Cf  Mark 12:40;  Luke 20:47. This “woe” is almost identical with  Mark 12:40 and seems to be an interpolation derived from that text.

10 [15] In the first century A.D. until the First Jewish Revolt against Rome (A.D. 66-70), many Pharisees conducted a vigorous missionary campaign among Gentiles. Convert: literally, “proselyte,” a Gentile who accepted Judaism fully by submitting to circumcision and all other requirements of Mosaic law. Child of Gehenna: worthy of everlasting punishment; for Gehenna, see the note on  Matthew 5:22. Twice as much as yourselves: possibly this refers simply to the zeal of the convert, surpassing that of the one who converted him.

11 [16-22] An attack on the casuistry that declared some oaths binding (one is obligated) and others not (it means nothing) and held the binding oath to be the one made by something of lesser value (the gold; the gift on the altar). Such teaching, which inverts the order of values, reveals the teachers to be blind guides; cf  Matthew 15:14. Since the Matthean Jesus forbids all oaths to his disciples ( Matthew 5:33-37), this woe does not set up a standard for Christian moral conduct, but ridicules the Pharisees on their own terms.

12 [23] The Mosaic law ordered tithing of the produce of the land ( Lev 27:30;  Deut 14:22-23), and the scribal tradition is said here to have extended this law to even the smallest herbs. The practice is criticized not in itself but because it shows the Pharisees’ preoccupation with matters of less importance while they neglect the weightier things of the law.

13 [24] Cf  Lev 11:41-45 that forbids the eating of any “swarming creature.” The Pharisees’ scrupulosity about minor matters and neglect of greater ones ( Matthew 23:23) is further brought out by this contrast between straining liquids that might contain a tiny “swarming creature” and yet swallowing the camel. The latter was one of the unclean animals forbidden by the law ( Lev 11:4), but it is hardly possible that the scribes and Pharisees are being denounced as guilty of so gross a violation of the food laws. To swallow the camel is only a hyperbolic way of speaking of their neglect of what is important.

14 [25-26] The ritual washing of utensils for dining (cf  Mark 7:4) is turned into a metaphor illustrating a concern for appearances while inner purity is ignored. The scribes and Pharisees are compared to cups carefully washed on the outside but filthy within. Self-indulgence: the Greek word here translated means lack of self-control, whether in drinking or in sexual conduct.

15 [27-28] The sixth woe, like the preceding one, deals with concern for externals and neglect of what is inside. Since contact with dead bodies, even when one was unaware of it, caused ritual impurity ( Numbers 19:11-22), tombs were whitewashed so that no one would contract such impurity inadvertently.

16 [29-36] The final woe is the most serious indictment of all. It portrays the scribes and Pharisees as standing in the same line as their ancestors who murdered the prophets and the righteous.

17 [29-32] In spite of honoring the slain dead by building their tombs and adorning their memorials, and claiming that they would not have joined in their ancestors’ crimes if they had lived in their days, the scribes and Pharisees are true children of their ancestors and are defiantly ordered by Jesus to fill up what those ancestors measured out. This order reflects the Jewish notion that there was an allotted measure of suffering that had to be completed before God’s final judgment would take place.

18 [34-36] There are important differences between the Matthean and the Lucan form of this Q material; cf  Luke 11:49-51. In Luke the one who sends the emissaries is the “wisdom of God.” If, as many scholars think, that is the original wording of Q, Matthew, by making Jesus the sender, has presented him as the personified divine wisdom. In Luke, wisdom’s emissaries are the Old Testament “prophets” and the Christian “apostles.” Matthew’s prophets and wise men and scribes are probably Christian disciples alone; cf  Matthew 10:41 and see the note on  Matthew 13:52. You will kill: see  Matthew 24:9. Scourge in your synagogues . . . town to town: see  Matthew 10:17,  23 and the note on  Matthew 10:17. All the righteous blood shed upon the earth: the slaying of the disciples is in continuity with all the shedding of righteous blood beginning with that of Abel. The persecution of Jesus’ disciples by this generation involves the persecutors in the guilt of their murderous ancestors. The blood of Zechariah: see the note on  Luke 11:51. By identifying him as the son of Barachiah Matthew understands him to be Zechariah the Old Testament minor prophet; see  Zechariah 1:1.

19 [37-39] Cf  Luke 13:34-35. The denunciation of Pharisaic Judaism ends with this lament over Jerusalem, which has repeatedly rejected and murdered those whom God has sent to her. How many times: this may refer to various visits of Jesus to the city, an aspect of his ministry found in John but otherwise not in the synoptics. As a hen . . . under her wings: for imagery similar to this, see  Psalm 17:8;  91:4. Your house . . . desolate: probably an allusion to the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70. You will not see me . . . in the name of the Lord: Israel will not see Jesus again until he comes in glory for the final judgment. The acclamation has been interpreted in contrasting ways, as an indication that Israel will at last accept Jesus at that time, and as its troubled recognition of him as its dreaded judge who will pronounce its condemnation; in support of the latter view see  Matthew 24:30.

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20

21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Saint Matthew – Chapter 22

The Bible – New Testament

Saint Matthew

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 2021. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

Chapter 22

1

1 Jesus again in reply spoke to them in parables, saying,

2

“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast 2 for his son.

3

3 He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come.

4

A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”‘

5

Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business.

6

The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.

7

4 The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.

8

Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come.

9

Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’

10

The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, 5 and the hall was filled with guests.

11

6 But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.

12

He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence.

13

7 Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’

14

Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

15

8 Then the Pharisees 9 went off and plotted how they might entrap him in speech.

16

They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, 10 saying, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion, for you do not regard a person’s status.

17

11 Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?”

18

Knowing their malice, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?

19

12 Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” Then they handed him the Roman coin.

20

He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?”

21

They replied, “Caesar’s.” 13 At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

22

When they heard this they were amazed, and leaving him they went away.

23

14 On that day Sadducees approached him, saying that there is no resurrection. 15 They put this question to him,

24

saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies 16 without children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up descendants for his brother.’

25

Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died and, having no descendants, left his wife to his brother.

26

The same happened with the second and the third, through all seven.

27

Finally the woman died.

28

Now at the resurrection, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had been married to her.”

29

17 Jesus said to them in reply, “You are misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God.

30

At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven.

31

And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you 18 by God,

32

‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

33

When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

34

19 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together,

35

and one of them [a scholar of the law] 20 tested him by asking,

36

“Teacher, 21 which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

37

He said to him, 22 “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

38

This is the greatest and the first commandment.

39

The second is like it: 23 You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

40

24 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

41

25 26 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus questioned them,

42

27 saying, “What is your opinion about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They replied, “David’s.”

43

He said to them, “How, then, does David, inspired by the Spirit, call him ‘lord,’ saying:

44

‘The Lord said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet”‘?

45

28 If David calls him ‘lord,’ how can he be his son?”

46

No one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

1 [1-14] This parable is from Q; see  Luke 14:15-24. It has been given many allegorical traits by Matthew, e.g., the burning of the city of the guests who refused the invitation ( Matthew 22:7), which corresponds to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70. It has similarities with the preceding parable of the tenants: the sending of two groups of servants ( Matthew 22:3, 4), the murder of the servants ( Matthew 22:6) the punishment of the murderers ( Matthew 22:7), and the entrance of a new group into a privileged situation of which the others had proved themselves unworthy ( Matthew 22:8-10). The parable ends with a section that is peculiar to Matthew ( Matthew 22:11-14), which some take as a distinct parable. Matthew presents the kingdom in its double aspect, already present and something that can be entered here and now ( Matthew 22:1-10), and something that will be possessed only by those present members who can stand the scrutiny of the final judgment ( Matthew 22:11-14). The parable is not only a statement of God’s judgment on Israel but a warning to Matthew’s church.

2 [2] Wedding feast: the Old Testament’s portrayal of final salvation under the image of a banquet ( Isaiah 25:6) is taken up also in  Matthew 8:11; cf  Luke 13:15.

3 [3-4] Servants . . . other servants: probably Christian missionaries in both instances; cf  Matthew 23:34.

4 [7] See the note on  Matthew 22:1-14.

5 [10] Bad and good alike: cf  Matthew 13:47.

6 [11] A wedding garment: the repentance, change of heart and mind, that is the condition for entrance into the kingdom ( Matthew 3:2;  4:17) must be continued in a life of good deeds ( Matthew 7:21-23).

7 [13] Wailing and grinding of teeth: the Christian who lacks the wedding garment of good deeds will suffer the same fate as those Jews who have rejected Jesus; see the note on  Matthew 8:11-12.

8 [15-22] The series of controversies between Jesus and the representatives of Judaism (see the note on  Matthew 21:23-27) is resumed. As in the first ( Matthew 21:23-27), here and in the following disputes Matthew follows his Marcan source with few modifications.

9 [15] The Pharisees: while Matthew retains the Marcan union of Pharisees and Herodians in this account, he clearly emphasizes the Pharisees’ part. They alone are mentioned here, and the Herodians are joined with them only in a prepositional phrase of  Matthew 22:16. Entrap him in speech: the question that they will pose is intended to force Jesus to take either a position contrary to that held by the majority of the people or one that will bring him into conflict with the Roman authorities.

10 [16] Herodians: see the note on  Mark 3:6. They would favor payment of the tax; the Pharisees did not.

11 [17] Is it lawful: the law to which they refer is the law of God.

12 [19] They handed him the Roman coin: their readiness in producing the money implies their use of it and their acceptance of the financial advantages of the Roman administration in Palestine.

13 [21] Caesar’s: the emperor Tiberius (A.D. 14-37). Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar: those who willingly use the coin that is Caesar’s should repay him in kind. The answer avoids taking sides in the question of the lawfulness of the tax. To God what belongs to God: Jesus raises the debate to a new level. Those who have hypocritically asked about tax in respect to its relation to the law of God should be concerned rather with repaying God with the good deeds that are his due; cf  Matthew 21:41,  43.

14 [23-33] Here Jesus’ opponents are the Sadducees, members of the powerful priestly party of his time; see the note on  Matthew 3:7. Denying the resurrection of the dead, a teaching of relatively late origin in Judaism (cf  Daniel 12:2), they appeal to a law of the Pentateuch ( Deut 25:5-10) and present a case based on it that would make resurrection from the dead ridiculous ( Matthew 22:24-28). Jesus chides them for knowing neither the scriptures nor the power of God ( Matthew 22:29). His argument in respect to God’s power contradicts the notion, held even by many proponents as well as by opponents of the teaching, that the life of those raised from the dead would be essentially a continuation of the type of life they had had before death ( Matthew 22:30). His argument based on the scriptures ( Matthew 22:31-32) is of a sort that was accepted as valid among Jews of the time.

15 [23] Saying that there is no resurrection: in the Marcan parallel ( Matthew 22:12,  18) the Sadducees are correctly defined as those “who say there is no resurrection”; see also  Luke 20:27. Matthew’s rewording of Mark can mean that these particular Sadducees deny the resurrection, which would imply that he was not aware that the denial was characteristic of the party. For some scholars this is an indication of his being a Gentile Christian; see the note on  Matthew 21:4-5.

16 [24] “If a man dies . . . his brother’: this is known as the “law of the levirate,” from the Latin levir, “brother-in-law.” Its purpose was to continue the family line of the deceased brother ( Deut 25:6).

17 [29] The sexual relationships of this world will be transcended; the risen body will be the work of the creative power of God.

18 [31-32] Cf  Exodus 3:6. In the Pentateuch, which the Sadducees accepted as normative for Jewish belief and practice, God speaks even now (to you) of himself as the God of the patriarchs who died centuries ago. He identifies himself in relation to them, and because of their relation to him, the living God, they too are alive. This might appear no argument for the resurrection, but simply for life after death as conceived in Wisdom 3, 1-3. But the general thought of early first-century Judaism was not influenced by that conception; for it human immortality was connected with the existence of the body.

19 [34-40] The Marcan parallel ( Mark 12:28-34) is an exchange between Jesus and a scribe who is impressed by the way in which Jesus has conducted himself in the previous controversy ( Mark 12:28), who compliments him for the answer he gives him ( Mark 12:32), and who is said by Jesus to be “not far from the kingdom of God” ( Mark 12:34). Matthew has sharpened that scene. The questioner, as the representative of other Pharisees, tests Jesus by his question ( Matthew 22:34-35), and both his reaction to Jesus’ reply and Jesus’ commendation of him are lacking.

20 [35] [A scholar of the law]: meaning “scribe.” Although this reading is supported by the vast majority of textual witnesses, it is the only time that the Greek word so translated occurs in Matthew. It is relatively frequent in Luke, and there is reason to think that it may have been added here by a copyist since it occurs in the Lucan parallel ( Luke 10:25-28). Tested: see the note on  Matthew 19:3.

21 [36] For the devout Jew all the commandments were to be kept with equal care, but there is evidence of preoccupation in Jewish sources with the question put to Jesus.

22 [37-38] Cf  Deut 6:5. Matthew omits the first part of Mark’s fuller quotation ( Mark 12:29;  Deut 6:4-5), probably because he considered its monotheistic emphasis needless for his church. The love of God must engage the total person (heart, soul, mind).

23 [39] Jesus goes beyond the extent of the question put to him and joins to the greatest and the first commandment a second, that of love of neighbor,  Lev 19:18; see the note on  Matthew 19:18-19. This combination of the two commandments may already have been made in Judaism.

24 [40] The double commandment is the source from which the whole law and the prophets are derived.

25 [41-46] Having answered the questions of his opponents in the preceding three controversies, Jesus now puts a question to them about the sonship of the Messiah. Their easy response ( Matthew 22:43a) is countered by his quoting a verse of Psalm 110 that raises a problem for their response (43b-45). They are unable to solve it and from that day on their questioning of him is ended.

26 [41] The Pharisees . . . questioned them: Mark is not specific about who are questioned ( Mark 12:35).

27 [42-44] David’s: this view of the Pharisees was based on such Old Testament texts as  Isaiah 11:1-9;  Jeremiah 23:5; and  Ezekiel 34:23; see also the extrabiblical Psalms of Solomon Psalm 17:21. How, then . . . saying: Jesus cites  Psalm 110:1 accepting the Davidic authorship of the psalm, a common view of his time. The psalm was probably composed for the enthronement of a Davidic king of Judah. Matthew assumes that the Pharisees interpret it as referring to the Messiah, although there is no clear evidence that it was so interpreted in the Judaism of Jesus’ time. It was widely used in the early church as referring to the exaltation of the risen Jesus. My lord: understood as the Messiah.

28 [45] Since Matthew presents Jesus both as Messiah ( Matthew 16:16) and as Son of David ( Matthew 1:1; see also the note on  Matthew 9:27), the question is not meant to imply Jesus’ denial of Davidic sonship. It probably means that although he is the Son of David, he is someone greater, Son of Man and Son of God, and recognized as greater by David who calls him my “lord.’

Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20

21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.