corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Mark 7



Verses 1-23

Sermon: Jesus Rebukes the Pharisees and Scribes for their Traditions ( Matthew 15:1-20) - In Mark 7:1-23 Jesus rebukes the Jews demonstrating His resistance to the traditions of the Jews and their increasing persecutions.

Comparison of Parallel Passages- Mark 7:1-23 gives us the account of Jesus rebuking the Pharisees and scribes because of their traditions. When we compare Mark's account of this story to the parallel account in Matthew 15:1-20, we clearly see Mark adding some explanatory notes regarding the customs of the Jews ( Mark 7:3-4; Mark 7:11 b). He explains the Jewish tradition of washing hands and other prescribed items. He also explains that the Hebrew word "corban" means "a gift." These notes are added by Mark because his readers were initially Roman Gentiles, while Matthew initially addressed Jewish converts and had no such need to add explanatory notes.

Mark 7:11Word Study on "Corban" - Strong says the Greek word κορβᾶν (G 2878), which is of Hebrew and Aramaic origin, means, "a votive offering, and the offering, a consecrated present." He says the Hebrew word ( קָרְבָּן) (H 7133) means, "something brought near, a sacrificial present." He says the words κορβᾶν or κορβανᾶς later came to refer to the Temple treasury itself. The TDNT says κορβᾶν comes directly from the Hebrew word, while κορβανᾶς is its Grecian Aramaic derivative. BDAG tells us that the word refers to "a gift consecrated to God, to be used for religious purposes." BDAG says the word κορβανᾶς means, "the temple treasury." The word κορβᾶν is used only one time in the New Testament ( Mark 7:11) and κορβανᾶς is used once ( Matthew 27:6). We find the Greek word κορβᾶν used in the LXX ( Leviticus 2:1; Leviticus 2:4; Leviticus 2:12-13) when speaking of the gifts offered to the Sanctuary. In addition, Josephus uses the word κορβᾶν and κορβανᾶς in his writings:

"Let no one blaspheme those gods which other cities esteem such; nor may any one steal what belongs to strange temples, nor take away the gifts that are dedicated to any god." (Antiquities 4810)

"This is declared by Theophrastus, in his writings concerning laws; for he says that ‘the laws of the Tyrians forbid men to swear foreign oaths.' Among which he enumerates some others, and particularly that called Corban; which oath can only be found among the Jews, and declares what a man may call "A thing devoted to God." (Against Apion 122)

"After this he [Pilate] raised another disturbance, by expending that sacred treasure which is called Corban upon aqueducts, whereby he brought water from the distance of four hundred furlongs. At this the multitude had great indignation." (Wars 294)

Comments - In defining the words κορβᾶν and κορβανᾶς, the TDNT suggests that Mark 7:11 reflects a Jewish tradition of offering a gift or even oneself to God according to the laws of making vows in Leviticus 27, while neglecting the needs of one's own parents.

Mark 7:21-22Comments - Thematic Scheme for List of Vices - We can imagine these list of vices given by Jesus Christ having a progressive order if we read them in reverse order. For example, foolishness is bound in the heart of a child ( Proverbs 22:15), leading to pride of the heart and an outbreak of blasphemy against all authority, progressing and culminating into sexual sins, which is an outward expression of one who is given over to evil thoughts and a godless lifestyle. Paul the apostle often mentions sexual sins first in his list of vices ( 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-20, Ephesians 5:3-7, Colossians 3:5-9), and if not listed first, Paul includes them in such lists ( 1 Timothy 1:9-10, Revelation 21:8). Perhaps the reason is that sexual sins express the culmination of those who are given over to rebellion against God. For example, Paul's passage on the depravity of mankind reveals that men fall into sexual depravity and homosexuality when God gives them over to a reprobate mind ( Romans 1:16-32).

1 Corinthians 6:9-10, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Galatians 5:19-21, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

Ephesians 5:3-7, "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous Prayer of Manasseh , who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them."

Colossians 3:5-9, "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things" sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;"

1 Timothy 1:9-10, "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous Prayer of Manasseh , but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;"

Revelation 21:8, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

Verses 24-30

The Faith of the Syrophoenician Woman ( Matthew 15:21-28) - Mark 7:24-30 gives us the account of how the Gentiles received the message of Jesus Christ when He recognized the strong faith of the Syrophoenician woman.

Mark 7:27 — "Let the children first be filled" - Comments- The feeding of the five thousand illustrates the Lord filling the children of Israel ( Mark 6:42).

Mark 6:42, "And they did all eat, and were filled."

Mark 7:27Comments- We see the heart of God in the statement, "Let the children be filled." In His earthly ministry, Jesus desires to fill the nation of Israel with manifold blessings until they were full; for these were His children, and the children of His friend Abraham. If Jesus' statement to the Syrophenician woman sounded too harsh, we must remember that we too, give our immediate family members and close friends the same priorities. We do for them first before we do for others.

Mark 7:28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children"s crumbs.

Mark 7:28Comments- One preacher paraphrases the woman's reply by saying, "You can call me anything you want; just call me when it's time to eat."

Mark 7:29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.

Mark 7:29Comments - Matthew's account adds that this woman's great faith made her daughter whole ( Matthew 15:28), a compliment that Jesus gave to only two individuals, both of whom were Gentiles, the other being the Roman centurion ( Matthew 8:10).

Matthew 15:28, "Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour."

Matthew 8:10, "When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."

Verses 24-32

Narrative - When we examine the miracles that Jesus performed for the people we see the persistence and determination of the Syro-Phoenician to receive her miracle. We see how some people from Decapolis begged Jesus to heal a deaf mute. We see how Jesus laid hands upon a blind man twice before his sight was fully restored. He also taught the people on the subject of taking up their cross and following Him, which refers to a lifestyle of perseverance.

When we examine Jesus' ministry to His disciples, we find Him warning them about the doctrine of the Pharisees making their faith weak. We see how they could not cast out a demon because they had not persisted in a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. We also see Jesus rebuking Peter for his speaking again the purpose and plans of Christ's death on Calvary.

Jesus Asks People not to Make Him Known- It is interesting to note how many times in this narrative material Jesus attempts to conceal Himself by asking others to not make Him known ( Mark 7:24; Mark 7:36; Mark 8:26; Mark 8:30; Mark 9:9; Mark 9:30).

Outline- Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Faith of the Syro-Phoenician Woman — Mark 7:24-30

2. Jesus Heals a Deaf Mute — Mark 7:31-37

3. Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand — Mark 8:1-10

4. The Pharisees Seek a Sign — Mark 8:11-13

5. Jesus Warns His Disciples of the Pharisees — Mark 8:14-21

6. Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida — Mark 8:22-26

7. Peter's Great Confession at Caesarea Philippi — Mark 8:27-30

8. Jesus' 1st Prediction of His Death — Mark 8:31 to Mark 9:1

9. Jesus On the Mount of Transfiguration — Mark 9:2-13

10. Jesus Heals the Epileptic Boy — Mark 9:14-29

11. Jesus' 2nd Prediction of His Death — Mark 9:30-32

Verses 24-50

Perseverance: Preaching and Offences - In Mark 7:24 to Mark 9:50 the emphasis moves from indoctrination to perseverance, where Jesus teaches His disciples the need to continue in the lifestyle of preaching and healing.

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

1. Narrative — Mark 7:24 to Mark 9:32

2. Sermon- Jesus Preaches on Humility and Offenses — Mark 9:33-50

Verses 31-37

Jesus Heals a Deaf Mute - Mark 7:31-37 gives us the unique account of Jesus healing a deaf and dumb man. As in the previous story of Syrophoenician woman, this man was probably another Gentile.

Mark 7:32 — "and they beseech him to put his hand upon him" - Comments- Jesus met them at their point of faith. He touched the man as they requested of Him.

Mark 7:32Comments- This person was deaf and dumb, so in verse 33Jesus touches his ears and his tongue. Note how the parallel passage in Mark differs:

Mark 8:23, "And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought."

Mark 7:33-37Comments- Jesus Heals a Deaf Mute- I pray that God would take me aside, cause me to hear His voice in order to speak His Gospel to a lost and dying world. (July 14, 1983)


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Mark 7:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology