Mark 10:2-16

Mark 10:2-16
Ordinary B45


Some PhariseesA came,B and to testC him they asked,D

Notes on verse 2a

A “Pharisees” = Pharisaios. From Aramaic peras (to divide, separate) and from Hebrew parash (to make distinct, separate, scatter). This is a Pharisee, a member of a Jewish sect active in the 1st century. Their name meant separate in the sense of wanting to live a life separated from sin. Whereas the Sadducees were part of the priestly line and inherited their religious position and responsibilities, Pharisees were regular people who studied the scriptures and offered guidance to regular folk. Sadducees were often wealthier and willing to sacrifice their identity to rub elbows with Roman society. Pharisees were often more concerned with what it meant to follow God without compromising what made them different as followers of God. Sadducees primarily believed in that which was written down (the first five books of the Bible) and Pharisees believed in the Bible and the traditions of the elders. Pharisees had a very wide range of interpretations and diversity of opinion. Their standard mode of religious engagement was lively debate with one another. To argue religion with another teacher was to recognize that they had something of value to offer.
B “came” = proserchomai. From pros (for, at, towards) + erchomai (to come, go). This is to approach, draw near, come up to. It is also used figuratively to mean worship.
C “test” = peirazo. From peira (trial, experiment, attempt, experience, assaying); from the base of peran (over, beyond, across); akin to pera (on the far side); from a derivative of peiro (to pierce). This is to test, try, tempt, or make proof of. It is to test, scrutinize, or assay something. It could also be examine, entice, prove, or discipline.
D “asked” = eperotao. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + erotao (asking a question or making an earnest request; used when one anticipates special consideration for their request); {from eromai (to ask) OR from ereo (to say, tell, call, speak of)}. This is to question, interrogate, seek, or demand. The questioner is at an advantage – in a preferred position when they make their question.

“Is it lawfulE for a manF to divorceG his wife?”H 

Notes on verse 2b

E “is…lawful” = exesti. From ek (out, out of) + eimi (to be, exist). This is what is permitted or what is allowed under the law. It can mean what is right, what holds moral authority, or, more broadly, something that is shown out in public.
F “man” = aner. This is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual.
G “divorce” = apoluo. From apo (from, away from) + luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld). This is letting go, setting free, or releasing. So, it can be to discharge, dismiss, divorce, pardon, or set at liberty.
H “wife” = gune. Perhaps from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.

He answered them, “What did MosesI commandJ you?” 

They said, “Moses allowedK a man to writeL a certificateM of dismissalN and to divorce her.” 

Notes on verses 3-4

I “Moses” = Mouses. From Hebrew Mosheh (Moses); from mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.
J “command” = entellomai. 15x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + tellomai (to accomplish); {related to telos (end, event, purpose, consummation)}. This is to charge or command – focuses on the final objective. So, this is looking at the final outcome of the command – how things will end up.
K “allowed” = epitrepo. 18x in NT. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + the same as trope (turning, change, shifting); {from trepo (to turn)}. This is to allow, permit, yield, entrust, give license.
L “write” = grapho. This is to write or describe. It is where the word “graphic” comes from.
M “certificate” = biblion. From biblos (the inside bark of papyrus so it could refer to anything that was written on – a scroll, book, record, roll; could also have an association with the sacred); perhaps from bublos (papyrus); from Phoenician Byblos (a Phoenician city that exported papyrus for writing); {from gb (well, origin) + I (God)}; from Proto-Canaanite g-b-l (Gubla – maybe meaning to border). This is paper, book, scroll, certificate. It is where the word “Bible” comes from.
N “dismissal” = apostasion. 3x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand firm). This is a repudiation or a forsaking. Properly, it is something that marked separation and so it was used specially for a bill of divorce. This is also the same root as the word “apostasy.”

But JesusO said to them, “Because of your hardness of heartP he wrote this commandmentQ for you. 

Notes on verse 5

O “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
P “hardness of heart” = sklerokardia. 3x in NT. From skleros (hard because dried, rough, difficult, fierce, harsh; stubborn or unyielding – unyieldingly hard); {from skello (to dry) or from skelos (leg); from skello (to parch)} + kardia (the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings; the center of something; only used figuratively in the Bible). This is hard-hearted i.e. obstinate, rebellious. It is hard in the sense of dried out.
Q “commandment” = entole. Related to “command” in v3. From entellomai (see note J above). This is an order, command, ordinance, or law. It focuses on the purpose of the command and its end result.

But from the beginningR of creation,S ‘God madeT them maleU and female.’V 

Notes on verse 6

R “beginning” = arche. From archomai (to begin or rule); from archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). Properly, this is what is first. In a temporal sense, that is beginning or origin. It can also refer to the one who ranks first, i.e. king or ruler. So, it can also be magistrate, power, or principality. It can be used more generally for what is preeminent.
S “creation” = ktisis. 19x in NT. From ktizo (to build, create, form, shape; God’s acts of creation); probably akin to ktaomai (to get, purchase, possess). This is creation, creature, or ordinance. It is also used for when a city is founded and creation as origin.
T “made” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
U “male” = arren. 9x in NT. From arsen (male, man) OR perhaps from airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is male or man.
V “female” = thelus. 5x in NT. From thele (breast) OR from the- (to suckle) OR from the same as thelazo (to nurse, suckle, nursing baby); from thele (nipple). This is female or woman – a mature female.

‘For this reason a manW shall leaveX his fatherY and motherZ and be joinedAA to his wife, 

Notes on verse 7

W “man” = anthropos. Related to “man” in v2. Probably from aner (see note F above) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (become, seem, appear)}. This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
X “leave” = kataleipo. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + leipo (to leave behind, remain, lack, abandon, fall behind while racing). This is to leave or leave behind, abandon, forsake, leave in reserve.
Y “father” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
Z “mother” = meter. This is mother in a literal or figurative sense.
AA “be joined” = proskollao. 2x in NT. From pros (at, towards, with) + kollao (to glue together; joining, spending time with, or being intimately connected to; can be used for marriage, joining the church, clinging, or adhering to something; can also be used medically for uniting wounds); {from kolla (glue)}. This is to join, glue together, to be someone’s follower. It reflects a personal relationship. In the Bible, it is used of marriage.

and the two shall becomeBB oneCC flesh.’DD So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 

Notes on verse 8

BB “become” = eimi. Related to “is…lawful” in v2. See note E above.
CC “one” = heis. This is one, a person, only, some.
DD “flesh” = sarx. May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refers to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).

Therefore what GodEE has joined together,FF let no oneGG separate.”HH

Notes on verse 9

EE “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
FF “joined together” = suzeugnumi. 2x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + zeugos (yoke, couple, pair; tea of oxen, group of tied together birds); {from zugos (yoke, scales; figuratively, a burden or something linking two people to work in tandem); from zeugnumi (to yoke or join)}. This is to yoke together, join in marriage, otherwise link for common cause.
GG “one” = anthropos. Same as “man” in v7. See note W above.
HH “separate” = chorizo. 13x in NT. From choris (apart from, separate from); from chora (space, land, region, fields, open area); from chasma (gap, gulf, chasm, open space); from chasko (to gape, yawn). Properly, this is to separate or create space. It can be literal as divide, depart, or withdraw. It can be figurative in reference to divorce.

10 Then in the houseII the disciplesJJ asked him again about this matter. 11 He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marriesKK anotherLL commits adulteryMM against her; 12 and if she divorces her husbandNN and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Notes on verses 10-12

II “house” = oikia. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple). This is a house, household, goods, property, family, or means.
JJ “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.
KK “marries” = gameo. From gamos (a wedding, whether the ceremony, the feast, or the marriage itself). This is to marry.
LL “another” = allos. This is other, another. Specifically, it is another of a similar kind or type. There is a different word in Greek that speaks of another as a different kind (heteros).
MM “commits adultery” = moichao. 5x in NT. From moichos (adulterer; a man who has been with a married woman; used figuratively of an apostate). This is to commit adultery – used for men and women.
NN “husband” = aner. Same as “man” in v2. See note F above.

13 People were bringingOO little childrenPP to him in order that he might touchQQ them; and the disciples spoke sternlyRR to them. 

Notes on verse 13

OO “bringing” = prosphero. From pros (at, to, with, towards, advantageous for) + phero (to bear, bring, lead, make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense). This is to offer gifts or sacrifices, to bring up.
PP “little children” = paidion. From pais (child, youth, servant, slave); perhaps from paio (to strike or sting). This is a child as one who is still being educated or trained. Perhaps one seven years old or younger. Used figuratively for an immature Christian.
QQ “touch” = haptomai. From hapto (to touch, handle, kindle, lay hold of). This is a touch that has an impact on what is being touched – it has an influence on the recipient so that the recipient is changed.
RR “spoke sternly” = epitimao. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + timao (properly, this is setting a value or price on something, to estimate. Figuratively, it speaks to what level of honor we afford someone or something depending on our personal feeling toward it. By implication, this can mean to revere or honor); {from time (worth or perceived value; literally, price, but figuratively, the honor or value one sees in someone or something; can be esteem or dignity; can also mean precious or valuables); from tino (to pay, be punished, pay a penalty or fine because of a crime); from tio (to pay respect, value)}. This is to render what is due – to assign the value that is appropriate for the situation. So, it could mean to honor or to warn, to rebuke or to charge. Generally, it is a warning meant to guide someone away from doing something wrong or taking the wrong path. It can imply to forbid.

14 But when Jesus sawSS this, he was indignantTT and said to them, “LetUU the little children come to me; do not stopVV them; for it is to such as these that the kingdomWW of God belongs.XX 

Notes on verse 14

SS “saw” = horao. Related to “man” in v7. See note W above.
TT “was indignant” = aganakteo. 7x in NT. Perhaps from agan (much) + achthos (grief); {related to agkale (bent arm); from agkos (bend, ache)}. This is being greatly grieved or displeased. Generally translated angry or indignant.
UU “let” = aphiemi. From apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send). This is send away, release, permit, forgive, allow to depart, discharge, or send forth.
VV “stop” = koluo. Perhaps from the same as kolazo (to punish, particularly to punish slaves so that they are restricted or chastised); from kolos (docked, dwarf). This is to hinder or prevent, restrain, refuse. It can be prevent, whether through words or actions.
WW “kingdom” = basileia. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
XX “belongs” = eimi. Same as “become” in v8. See note BB above.

15 TrulyYY I tell you, whoever does not receiveZZ the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up in his arms,AAA laidBBB his handsCCC on them, and blessedDDD them.

Notes on verses 15-16

YY “truly” = amen. From Hebrew amen (verily, truly, amen, truth, so be it, faithfulness); from aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. Properly, it is to be sure, certain, or firm. This is a word of emphasis indicating that something crucial follows.
ZZ “receive” = dechomai. This is to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome. It is to receive in a literal or figurative sense.
AAA “took…up in his arms” = enagkalizomai. Related to “was indignant” in v14. 2x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + agkalizomai (to embrace); {from agkale (see note TT above)}. This is to hug or embrace.
BBB “laid” = tithemi. This is to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense. Properly, it is placing something in a passive or horizontal position.
CCC “hands” = cheir. This is the hand in a literal sense. Figuratively, the hand is the means a person uses to accomplish things so it can also mean power, means, or instrument.
DDD “blessed” = eulogeo. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); {from lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. Properly, this is speaking well of – speaking so that the other is benefited. It can mean praise, bless, thank, or call for a blessing. This is where “eulogy” comes from.

Image credit: “Let the Children Come to Me” by Ligier Richier, 16th century.

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