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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Mark: Chapter 10)

10:1 {Into the border of Judea and beyond Jordan} (\eis ta horia
tēs Ioudaias kai peran tou Iordanou\)
. See on ¯Mt 19:1 for
discussion of this curious expression. Matthew adds "from
Galilee" and Lu 17:11 says that Jesus "was passing through the
midst of Samaria and Galilee" after leaving Ephraim (Joh
. A great deal has intervened between the events at the
close of Mark 9 and those in the beginning of Mark 10. For these
events see Mt 18; Joh 7-11; Lu 9:57-18:14 (one-third of Luke's
Gospel comes in here)
. It was a little over six months to the end
at the close of Mark 9. It is just a few weeks now in Mark 10.
Jesus has begun his last journey to Jerusalem going north through
Samaria, Galilee, across the Jordan into Perea, and back into
Judea near Jericho to go up with the passover pilgrims from
Galilee. {Multitudes} (\ochloi\). Caravans and caravans
journeying to Jerusalem. Many of them are followers of Jesus from
Galilee or at least kindly disposed towards him. They go together
(\sunporeuontai\) with Jesus. Note dramatic historical present.
{As he was wont} (\hōs eiōthei\). Second past perfect used like
an imperfect from \eiōtha\, second perfect active. Jesus {was
(\edidasken\, imperfect, no longer present tense) this
moving caravan.

10:2 {Tempting him} (\peirazontes\). As soon as Jesus appears in
Galilee the Pharisees attack him again (cf. 7:5; 8:11). Gould
thinks that this is a test, not a temptation. The word means
either (see on ¯Mt 4:1), but their motive was evil. They had
once involved the Baptist with Herod Antipas and Herodias on this
subject. They may have some such hopes about Jesus, or their
purpose may have been to see if Jesus will be stricter than Moses
taught. They knew that he had already spoken in Galilee on the
subject (Mt 5:31f.).

10:3 {What did Moses command you?} (\Ti humin eneteilato
. Jesus at once brought up the issue concerning the
teaching of Moses (De 24:1). But Jesus goes back beyond this
concession here allowed by Moses to the ideal state commanded in
Ge 1:27.

10:4 {To write a bill of divorcement and to put her away}
(\biblion apostasiou grapsai kai apolusai\). The word for "bill"
(\biblion\) is a diminutive and means "little book," like the
Latin _libellus_, from which comes our word _libel_ (Vincent).
Wycliff has it here "a libel of forsaking." This same point the
Pharisees raise in Mt 19:7, showing probably that they held to
the liberal view of Hillel, easy divorce for almost any cause.
That was the popular view as now. See on ¯Mt 19:7 for this and
for discussion of "for your hardness of heart" (\sklērokardia\).
Jesus expounds the purpose of marriage (Ge 2:24) and takes the
stricter view of divorce, that of the school of Shammai. See on
¯Mt 19:1-12 for discussion. Mr 10:10 notes that the disciples
asked Jesus about this problem "in the house" after they had gone
away from the crowd.

10:11 Mark does not give the exception stated in Mt 19:9
"except for fornication" which see for discussion, though the
point is really involved in what Mark does record. Mere formal
divorce does not annul actual marriage consummated by the
physical union. Breaking that bond does annul it.

10:12 {If she herself shall put away her husband and marry
(\ean autē apolusasa ton andra autēs gamēsēi\).
Condition of the third class (undetermined, but with prospect of
. Greek and Roman law allowed the divorce of the
husband by the wife though not provided for in Jewish law. But
the thing was sometimes done as in the case of Herodias and her
husband before she married Herod Antipas. So also Salome, Herod's
sister, divorced her husband. Both Bruce and Gould think that
Mark added this item to the words of Jesus for the benefit of the
Gentile environment of this Roman Gospel. But surely Jesus knew
that the thing was done in the Roman world and hence prohibited
marrying such a "grass widow."

10:13 {They brought} (\prosepheron\). Imperfect active tense,
implying repetition. So also Lu 18:15, though Mt 19:13 has
the constative aorist passive (\prosēnechthēsan\). "This incident
follows with singular fitness after the Lord's assertion of the
sanctity of married life" (Swete). These children (\paidia\, Mark
and Matthew; \brephē\ in Luke)
were of various ages. They were
brought to Jesus for his blessing and prayers (Matthew). The
mothers had reverence for Jesus and wanted him to touch
(\hapsētai\) them. There was, of course, no question of baptism
or salvation involved, but a most natural thing to do.

10:14 {He was moved with indignation} (\ēganaktēsen\). In Mark
alone. The word is ingressive aorist, became indignant, and is a
strong word of deep emotion (from \agan\ and \achthomai\, to feel
. Already in Mt 21:15; 26:8. Old and common word. {Suffer
the little children to come unto me}
(\aphete ta paidia
erchesthai pros me\)
. Mark has the infinitive \erchesthai\ (come)
not in Matthew, but in Luke. Surely it ought to be a joy to
parents to bring their children to Jesus, certainly to allow them
to come, but to hinder their coming is a crime. There are parents
who will have to give answer to God for keeping their children
away from Jesus.

10:15 {As a little child} (\hōs paidion\). How does a little
child receive the kingdom of God? The little child learns to obey
its parents simply and uncomplainingly. There are some new
psychologists who argue against teaching obedience to children.
The results have not been inspiring. Jesus here presents the
little child with trusting and simple and loving obedience as the
model for adults in coming into the kingdom. Jesus does not here
say that children are in the kingdom of God because they are

10:16 {He took them in his arms} (\enagkalisamenos\). A distinct
rebuke to the protest of the over-particular disciples. This word
already in Mr 9:36. In Lu 2:28 we have the full idiom, to
receive into the arms (\eis tās agkalas dechesthai\). So with
tender fondling Jesus repeatedly blessed (\kateulogei\,
, laying his hands upon each of them (\titheis\,
present participle)
. It was a great moment for each mother and

10:17 {Ran} (\prosdramōn\). Jesus had left the house (10:10)
and was proceeding with the caravan on the way (\eis hodon\) when
this ruler eagerly ran and kneeled (\gonupetēsas\) and was asking
(\epērōtā\, imperfect) Jesus about his problem. Both these
details alone in Mark.

10:18 {Why callest thou me good?} (\Ti me legeis agathon;\). So
Lu 18:19. Mt 19:17 has it: "Why asketh thou concerning that
which is good? "The young ruler was probably sincere and not
using mere fulsome compliment, but Jesus challenges him to define
his attitude towards him as was proper. Did he mean "good"
(\agathos\) in the absolute sense as applied to God? The language
is not a disclaiming of deity on the part of Jesus. {That I may
(\hina klēronomēsō\). Mt 19:16 has (\schō\), that I
may "get."

10:20 {All these} (\tauta panta\). Literally, {these all} (of

10:21 {Looking upon him loved him} (\emblepsas autōi ēgapēsen\).
Mark alone mentions this glance of affection, ingressive aorist
participle and verb. Jesus fell in love with this charming youth.
{One thing thou lackest} (\Hen se husterei\). Lu 18:22 has it:
"One thing thou lackest yet" (\Eti hen soi leipei\). Possibly two
translations of the same Aramaic phrase. Mt 19:20 represents
the youth as asking "What lack I yet?" (\Ti eti husterō;\). The
answer of Jesus meets that inquiry after more than mere outward
obedience to laws and regulations. The verb \husterō\ is from the
adjective \husteros\ (behind) and means to be too late, to come
short, to fail of, to lack. It is used either with the
accusative, as here, or with the ablative as in 2Co 11:5, or
the dative as in Textus Receptus here, \soi\.

10:22 {But his countenance fell} (\ho de stugnasas\). In the LXX
and Polybius once and in Mt 16:3 (passage bracketed by Westcott
and Hort)
. The verb is from \stugnos\, sombre, gloomy, like a
lowering cloud. See on ¯Mt 19:22 for discussion of "sorrowful"

10:23 {Looked round about} (\periblepsamenos\). Another picture
of the looks of Jesus and in Mark alone as in 3:5,34. "To see
what impression the incident had made on the Twelve" (Bruce).
"When the man was gone the Lord's eye swept round the circle of
the Twelve, as he drew for them the lesson of the incident"
(Swete). {How hardly} (\Pōs duskolōs\). So Lu 18:24. Mt 19:23
has it: "With difficulty (\duskolōs\) shall a rich man." See on
Matthew for this word.

10:24 {Were amazed} (\ethambounto\). Imperfect passive. A look of
blank astonishment was on their faces at this statement of Jesus.
They in common with other Jews regarded wealth as a token of
God's special favour. {Children} (\tekna\). Here alone to the
Twelve and this tender note is due to their growing perplexity.
{For them that trust in riches} (\tous pepoithotas epi tois
. These words do not occur in Aleph B Delta Memphitic
and one Old Latin manuscript. Westcott and Hort omit them from
their text as an evident addition to explain the difficult words
of Jesus.

10:25 {Needle's eye} (\trumaliās rhaphidos\). See on ¯Mt 19:24
for discussion. Luke uses the surgical needle, \belonēs\. Matthew
has the word \rhaphis\ like Mark from \rhaptō\, to sew, and it
appears in the papyri. Both Matthew and Luke employ \trēmatos\
for eye, a perforation or hole from \titraō\, to bore. Mark's
word \trumalias\ is from \truō\, to wear away, to perforate. In
the LXX and Plutarch.

10:26 {Then who} (\kai tis\). Mt 19:25 has \Tis oun\. Evidently
\kai\ has here an inferential sense like \oun\.

10:27 {Looking on them} (\emblepsas autois\). So in Mt 19:26.
Their amazement increased (26). {But not with God} (\all' ou
para theōi\)
. Locative case with \para\ (beside). The impossible
by the side of men (\para anthrōpois\) becomes possible by the
side of God. That is the whole point and brushes to one side all
petty theories of a gate called needle's eye, etc.

10:28 {Peter began to say} (\ērxato legein ho Petros\). It was
hard for Peter to hold in till now. Mt 19:27 says that "Peter
answered" as if the remark was addressed to him in particular. At
any rate Peter reminds Jesus of what they had left to follow him,
four of them that day by the sea (Mr 1:20; Mt 4:22; Lu 5:11).
It was to claim obedience to this high ideal on their part in
contrast with the conduct of the rich young ruler.

10:30 {With persecutions} (\meta diōgmōn\). This extra touch is
in Mark alone. There is a reminiscence of some of "the
apocalyptic of the familiar descriptions of the blessings of the
Messianic kingdom. But Jesus uses such language from the
religious idiom of this time only to idealize it" (Gould). The
apostles were soon to see the realization of this foreshadowing
of persecution. Vincent notes that Jesus omits "a hundred wives"
in this list, showing that Julian the Apostate's sneer on that
score was without foundation.

10:31 See on ¯Mt 19:30 for the use of the paradox about {first}
and {last}, probably a rebuke here to Peter's boast.

10:32 {And they were amazed} (\kai ethambounto\). Imperfect tense
describing the feelings of the disciples as Jesus was walking on
in front of them (\ēn proagōn autous\, periphrastic imperfect
, an unusual circumstance in itself that seemed to bode no
good as they went on through Perea towards Jerusalem. In fact,
{they that followed were afraid} (\hoi de akolouthountes
as they looked at Jesus walking ahead in solitude.
The idiom (\hoi de\) may not mean that all the disciples were
afraid, but only some of them. "The Lord walked in advance of the
Twelve with a solemnity and a determination which foreboded
danger" (Swete). Cf. Lu 9:5. They began to fear coming disaster
as they neared Jerusalem. They read correctly the face of Jesus.
{And he took again the twelve} (\kai paralabōn tous dōdeka\).
Matthew has "apart" from the crowds and that is what Mark also
means. Note \paralabōn\, taking to his side. {And began to tell
them the things that were to happen to him}
(\ērxato autois
legein ta mellonta autōi sumbainein\)
. He had done it before
three times already (Mr 8:31; 9:13; 9:31). So Jesus tries once
more. They had failed utterly heretofore. How is it now? Luke
adds (18:34): "They understood none of these things." But Mark
and Matthew show how the minds of two of the disciples were
wholly occupied with plans of their own selfish ambition while
Jesus was giving details of his approaching death and

10:35 {There come near unto him James and John} (\kai
prosporeuontai Iakōbos kai Iōanēs\)
. Dramatic present tense.
Matthew has \tote\, then, showing that the request of the two
brothers with their mother (Mt 20:20) comes immediately after
the talk about Christ's death. {We would} (\thelomen\). We wish,
we want, bluntly told. {She came worshipping} (\proskunousa\)
Matthew says. The mother spoke for the sons. But they try to
commit Jesus to their desires before they tell what they are,
just like spoiled children.

10:37 {In thy glory} (\en tēi doxēi\). Mt 20:21 has "in thy
kingdom." See on ¯Mt 20:20 for the literal interpretation of Mt
19:28. They are looking for a grand Jewish world empire with
apocalyptic features in the eschatological culmination of the
Messiah's kingdom. That dream brushed aside all the talk of Jesus
about his death and resurrection as mere pessimism.

10:38 {Or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with}
(\ē to baptisma ho egō baptizomai baptisthēnai\). Cognate
accusative with both passive verbs. Mt 20:22 has only the cup,
but Mark has both the cup and the baptism, both referring to
death. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane will refer to his death
again as "the cup" (Mr 14:36; Mt 26:39; Lu 22:42). He had
already used baptism as a figure for his death (Lu 12:50). Paul
will use it several times (1Co 15:29; Ro 6:3-6; Col 2:12).

10:39 See on ¯Mt 20:23-28 for discussion on these memorable
verses (39-45) identical in both Matthew and Mark. In
particular in verse 45 note the language of Jesus concerning
his death as "a ransom for many" (\lutron anti pollōn\), words of
the Master that were not understood by the apostles when spoken
by Jesus and which have been preserved for us by Peter through
Mark. Some today seek to empty these words of all real meaning as
if Jesus could not have or hold such a conception concerning his
death for sinners.

10:40 See on ¯39

10:41 See on ¯39

10:42 See on ¯39

10:43 See on ¯39

10:44 See on ¯39

10:45 See on ¯39

10:46 {From Jericho} (\apo Iereichō\). See on ¯Mt 20:29 for
discussion of this phrase and Luke's (Lu 18:35) "nigh unto
Jericho" and the two Jerichos, the old and the new Roman (Luke).
The new Jericho was "about five miles W. of the Jordan and
fifteen E. of Jerusalem, near the mouth of the _Wady Kelt_, and
more than a mile south of the site of the ancient town" (Swete).
{Great multitude} (\ochlou hikanou\). Considerable, more than
sufficient. Often in Luke and the papyri in this sense. See Mt
3:11 for the other sense of fit for \hikanos\. {Bartimaeus}
(\Bartimaios\). Aramaic name like Bartholomew, \bar\ meaning son
like Hebrew _ben_. So Mark explains the name meaning "the son of
Timaeus" (\ho huios Timaiou\). Mark alone gives his name while
Mt 20:30 mentions two which see for discussion. {Blind beggar}
(\tuphlos prosaitēs\), "begging" (\epaitōn\) Luke has it (Lu
. All three Gospels picture him as {sitting by the
(\ekathēto para tēn hodon\). It was a common sight.
Bartimaeus had his regular place. Vincent quotes Thomson
concerning Ramleh: "I once walked the streets counting all that
were either blind or had defective eyes, and it amounted to about
one-half the male population. The women I could not count, for
they are rigidly veiled" (_The Land and the Book_). The dust, the
glare of the sun, the unsanitary habits of the people spread
contagious eye-diseases.

10:48 {Rebuked him} (\epetimōn autōi\). Imperfect tense. Kept
rebuking repeatedly. So Lu 18:39. Aorist tense in Mt 20:31.
{Should hold his peace} (\siōpēsēi\). Ingressive aorist
subjunctive, become silent. {The more a great deal} (\pollōi
. So Lu 18:39. Only \meizon\ in Mt 20:31.

10:49 {Stood still} (\stas\). Second aorist active ingressive
participle. So Mt 20:32. Lu 18:40 has \statheis\, aorist
passive participle. {He calleth thee} (\phōnei se\). That was
joyful news to Bartimaeus. Vivid dramatic presents here in Mark.

10:50 {Casting away his garment} (\apobalōn to himation autou\).
Second aorist active participle. Outer robe in his haste. {Sprang
(\anapēdēsas\). Leaping up, vivid details again in Mark.

10:51 {That I should do} (\poiēsō\). Neat Greek idiom with aorist
subjunctive without \hina\ after \theleis\. For this asyndeton
(or parataxis) see Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 430. {Rabboni}
(\Rabbounei\). The Aramaic word translated Lord (Kurie) in Mt
20:33 and Lu 18:41. This very form occurs again in Joh
20:16. {That I may receive my sight} (\hina anablepsō\). To
recover sight (\ana-\), see again. Apparently he had once been
able to see. Here \hina\ is used though \thelō\ is not (cf.
. The Messiah was expected to give sight to the blind
(Isa 61:1; Lu 4:18; 7:22).

10:52 {Followed} (\ēkolouthei\). Imperfect tense picturing joyful
Bartimaeus as he followed the caravan of Jesus into the new
Jericho. {Made thee whole} (\sesōken\). Perfect active
indicative. The word commonly means {save} and that may be the
idea here.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Mark: Chapter 10)