12:1 Then 1 he began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. 2 He put a fence around it, dug a pit for its winepress, and built a watchtower. Then 3 he leased it to tenant farmers 4 and went on a journey. 12:2 At harvest time he sent a slave 5 to the tenants to collect from them 6 his portion of the crop. 7 12:3 But 8 those tenants 9 seized his slave, 10 beat him, 11 and sent him away empty-handed. 12 12:4 So 13 he sent another slave to them again. This one they struck on the head and treated outrageously. 12:5 He sent another, and that one they killed. This happened to many others, some of whom were beaten, others killed. 12:6 He had one left, his one dear son. 14 Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 12:7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and the inheritance will be ours!’ 12:8 So 15 they seized him, 16 killed him, and threw his body 17 out of the vineyard. 18 12:9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy 19 those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 20 12:10 Have you not read this scripture:
‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 21
12:13 Then 26 they sent some of the Pharisees 27 and Herodians 28 to trap him with his own words. 29 12:14 When they came they said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful and do not court anyone’s favor, because you show no partiality 30 but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 31 Is it right 32 to pay taxes 33 to Caesar 34 or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” 12:15 But he saw through their hypocrisy and said 35 to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius 36 and let me look at it.” 12:16 So 37 they brought one, and he said to them, “Whose image 38 is this, and whose inscription?” They replied, 39 “Caesar’s.” 12:17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 40 And they were utterly amazed at him.
12:18 Sadducees 41 (who say there is no resurrection) 42 also came to him and asked him, 43 12:19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us: ‘If a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, that man 44 must marry 45 the widow and father children 46 for his brother.’ 47 12:20 There were seven brothers. The first one married, 48 and when he died he had no children. 12:21 The second married her and died without any children, and likewise the third. 12:22 None of the seven had children. Finally, the woman died too. 12:23 In the resurrection, when they rise again, 49 whose wife will she be? For all seven had married her.” 50 12:24 Jesus said to them, “Aren’t you deceived 51 for this reason, because you don’t know the scriptures or the power of God? 12:25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels 52 in heaven. 12:26 Now as for the dead being raised, 53 have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, 54 how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the 55 God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 56 12:27 He is not the God of the dead but of the living. 57 You are badly mistaken!”
12:28 Now 58 one of the experts in the law 59 came and heard them debating. When he saw that Jesus 60 answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 12:29 Jesus answered, “The most important is: ‘Listen, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 12:30 Love 61 the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 62 12:31 The second is: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 63 There is no other commandment greater than these.” 12:32 The expert in the law said to him, “That is true, Teacher; you are right to say that he is one, and there is no one else besides him. 64 12:33 And to love him with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength 65 and to love your neighbor as yourself 66 is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 12:34 When Jesus saw that he had answered thoughtfully, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Then no one dared any longer to question him.
‘The Lord said to my lord, 70
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ 71
12:38 In his teaching Jesus 73 also said, “Watch out for the experts in the law. 74 They like walking 75 around in long robes and elaborate greetings 76 in the marketplaces, 12:39 and the best seats in the synagogues 77 and the places of honor at banquets. 12:40 They 78 devour widows’ property, 79 and as a show make long prayers. These men will receive a more severe punishment.”
12:41 Then 80 he 81 sat down opposite the offering box, 82 and watched the crowd putting coins into it. Many rich people were throwing in large amounts. 12:42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, 83 worth less than a penny. 12:43 He called his disciples and said to them, “I tell you the truth, 84 this poor widow has put more into the offering box 85 than all the others. 86 12:44 For they all gave out of their wealth. 87 But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on, everything she had.” 88
[12:1] 2 sn The vineyard is a figure for Israel in the OT (Isa 5:1-7). The nation and its leaders are the tenants, so the vineyard here may well refer to the promise that resides within the nation. The imagery is like that in Rom 11:11-24.
[12:2] sn This slave (along with the others) represent the prophets God sent to the nation, who were mistreated and rejected.
[12:3] 10 tn Grk “seizing him, they beat and sent away empty-handed.” The referent of the direct object of “seizing” (the slave sent by the owner) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The objects of the verbs “beat” and “sent away” have been supplied in the translation to conform to English style. Greek often omits direct objects when they are clear from the context.
[12:6] sn The owner’s decision to send his one dear son represents God sending Jesus.
[12:9] 20 sn The warning that the owner would give the vineyard to others suggests that the care of the promise and the nation’s hope would be passed to others. This eventually looks to Gentile inclusion; see Eph 2:11-22.
[12:10] 21 tn Or “capstone,” “keystone.” Although these meanings are lexically possible, the imagery in Eph 2:20-22 and 1 Cor 3:11 indicates that the term κεφαλὴ γωνίας (kefalh gwnia") refers to a cornerstone, not a capstone.
[12:10] sn The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. The use of Ps 118:22-23 and the “stone imagery” as a reference to Christ and his suffering and exaltation is common in the NT (see also Matt 21:42; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet 2:6-8; cf. also Eph 2:20). The irony in the use of Ps 118:22-23 in Mark 12:10-11 is that in the OT, Israel was the one rejected (or perhaps her king) by the Gentiles, but in the NT it is Jesus who is rejected by Israel.
[12:12] 25 sn The point of the parable in Mark 12:1-12 is that the leaders of the nation have been rejected by God and the vineyard (v. 9, referring to the nation and its privileged status) will be taken from them and given to others (an allusion to the Gentiles).
[12:13] 28 sn Pharisees and Herodians made a very interesting alliance. W. W. Wessel (“Mark,” EBC 8:733) comments: “The Herodians were as obnoxious to the Pharisees on political grounds as the Sadducees were on theological grounds. Yet the two groups united in their opposition to Jesus. Collaboration in wickedness, as well as goodness, has great power. Their purpose was to trip Jesus up in his words so that he would lose the support of the people, leaving the way open for them to destroy him.” See also the note on “Herodians” in Mark 3:6.
[12:14] 31 sn Teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Very few comments are as deceitful as this one; they did not really believe this at all. The question of the Pharisees and Herodians was specifically designed to trap Jesus.
[12:14] sn This question concerning taxes was specifically designed to trap Jesus. If he answered yes, then his opponents could publicly discredit him as a sympathizer with Rome. If he answered no, then they could go to the Roman governor and accuse Jesus of rebellion.
[12:15] 36 tn Here the specific name of the coin was retained in the translation, because not all coins in circulation in Palestine at the time carried the image of Caesar. In other places δηνάριον (dhnarion) has been translated simply as “silver coin” with an explanatory note.
[12:15] sn A denarius was a silver coin stamped with the image of the emperor and worth approximately one day’s wage for a laborer.
[12:16] sn In this passage Jesus points to the image (Grk εἰκών, eikwn) of Caesar on the coin. This same Greek word is used in Gen 1:26 (LXX) to state that humanity is made in the “image” of God. Jesus is making a subtle yet powerful contrast: Caesar’s image is on the denarius, so he can lay claim to money through taxation, but God’s image is on humanity, so he can lay claim to each individual life.
[12:18] 41 sn The Sadducees controlled the official political structures of Judaism at this time, being the majority members of the Sanhedrin. They were known as extremely strict on law and order issues (Josephus, J. W. 2.8.2 [2.119], 2.8.14 [2.164-166]; Ant. 13.5.9 [13.171-173], 13.10.6 [13.293-298], 18.1.2 [18.11], 18.1.4 [18.16-17], 20.9.1 [20.199]; Life 2 [10-11]). They also did not believe in resurrection or in angels, an important detail in v. 25. See also Matt 3:7, 16:1-12, 22:23-34; Luke 20:27-38; Acts 4:1, 5:17, 23:6-8.
[12:19] 44 tn Grk “his brother”; but this would be redundant in English with the same phrase “his brother” at the end of the verse, so most modern translations render this phrase “the man” (so NIV, NRSV).
[12:19] 47 sn A quotation from Deut 25:5. This practice is called levirate marriage (see also Ruth 4:1-12; Mishnah, m. Yevamot; Josephus, Ant. 4.8.23 [4.254-256]). The levirate law is described in Deut 25:5-10. The brother of a man who died without a son had an obligation to marry his brother’s widow. This served several purposes: It provided for the widow in a society where a widow with no children to care for her would be reduced to begging, and it preserved the name of the deceased, who would be regarded as the legal father of the first son produced from that marriage.
[12:23] 49 tc The words “when they rise again” are missing from several important witnesses (א B C D L W Δ Ψ 33 579 892 2427 pc c r1 k syp co). They are included in A Θ Ë1,(13) Ï lat sys,h. The strong external pedigree of the shorter reading gives one pause. Nevertheless, the Alexandrian and other
[12:27] 57 sn He is not God of the dead but of the living. Jesus’ point was that if God could identify himself as God of the three old patriarchs, then they must still be alive when God spoke to Moses; and so they must be raised.
[12:35] 69 sn It was a common belief in Judaism that Messiah would be David’s son in that he would come from the lineage of David. On this point the Pharisees agreed and were correct. But their understanding was nonetheless incomplete, for Messiah is also David’s Lord. With this statement Jesus was affirming that, as the Messiah, he is both God and man.
[12:36] 70 sn The Lord said to my Lord. With David being the speaker, this indicates his respect for his descendant (referred to as my Lord). Jesus was arguing, as the ancient exposition assumed, that the passage is about the Lord’s anointed. The passage looks at an enthronement of this figure and a declaration of honor for him as he takes his place at the side of God. In Jerusalem, the king’s palace was located to the right of the temple to indicate this kind of relationship. Jesus was pressing the language here to get his opponents to reflect on how great Messiah is.
[12:41] 81 tc Most
[12:41] 82 tn On the term γαζοφυλάκιον (gazofulakion), often translated “treasury,” see BDAG 186 s.v., which states, “For Mk 12:41, 43; Lk 21:1 the mng. contribution box or receptacle is attractive. Acc. to Mishnah, Shekalim 6, 5 there were in the temple 13 such receptacles in the form of trumpets. But even in these passages the general sense of ‘treasury’ is prob., for the contributions would go [into] the treasury via the receptacles.” Based upon the extra-biblical evidence (see sn following), however, the translation opts to refer to the actual receptacles and not the treasury itself.
[12:41] sn The offering box probably refers to the receptacles in the temple forecourt by the Court of Women used to collect freewill offerings. These are mentioned by Josephus, J. W. 5.5.2 (5.200); 6.5.2 (6.282); Ant. 19.6.1 (19.294), and in 1 Macc 14:49 and 2 Macc 3:6, 24, 28, 40 (see also Luke 21:1; John 8:20).
[12:42] 83 sn These two small copper coins were lepta (sing. “lepton”), the smallest and least valuable coins in circulation in Palestine, worth one-half of a quadrans or 1/128 of a denarius, or about six minutes of an average daily wage. This was next to nothing in value.
[12:43] 86 sn Has put more into the offering box than all the others. With God, giving is weighed evaluatively, not counted. The widow was praised because she gave sincerely and at some considerable cost to herself.
[12:44] 88 sn The contrast between this passage, 12:41-44, and what has come before in 11:27-12:40 is remarkable. The woman is set in stark contrast to the religious leaders. She was a poor widow, they were rich. She was uneducated in the law, they were well educated in the law. She was a woman, they were men. But whereas they evidenced no faith and actually stole money from God and men (cf. 11:17), she evidenced great faith and gave out of her extreme poverty everything she had.