Mark 13:14-22

Mark 13:14-22
A Women’s Lectionary 17


14 “But when you seeA the desolatingB sacrilegeC, D

Notes on verse 14a

A “see” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
B “desolating” = eremosis. 3x in NT– all in reference to the “desolating sacrilege” in Gospel parallels. From eremoo (to desolate, destroy, rob, abandon, desert; to lay waste in a literal or figurative sense); from eremos (properly, a place that is not settled or farmed, not populated; could be a deserted area or a desert place; secluded, solitary, or lonesome; any kind of vegetation is sparse, but so are people generally). This is a desolation or devastation that comes from being cut off or separated.
C “sacrilege” = bdelugma. 6x in NT. From bdelussomai (properly, to stink; to be foul and thus detestable like a bad odor; to be abhorrent or disgusted); from bdeo (to stink). This is something accursed or abominable. It is something that stinks and so is abhorrent. Specially, it can refer to an abomination or idolatry.
D Some manuscripts add “which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet” = ho + ereo + hupo + Daniel + ho + prophetes. Daniel is 2x in NT. From Hebrew Danieyl (Daniel, meaning “God is my judge”); {from din (to judge) + el (God, a god)}. This is Daniel, meaning “God is my judge.” Prophetes is from pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}. This is a prophet or poet – one who speaks with inspiration from God.

set upE where it oughtF not to be (let the readerG understand),H

Notes on verse 14b

E “set up” = histemi. This is to stand, place, establish, appoint, stand ready, be steadfast.
F “ought” = dei. From deo (to tie, bind, compel; declare unlawful). This is what is necessary or proper. It is what is needed or what one should do – a duty or something inevitable. This refers to something absolutely necessary.
G “reader” = anaginosko. From ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is literally to know again – to recognize, read, or discern.
H “understand” = noeo. Related to “reader” in v14. 14x in NT. From nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect); from noos (mind); probably from the base as ginosko (see note G above)}. This is to think, understand, conceive, realize, see. It is one who thinks things through sufficiently to reach a conclusion or value judgment. It is also one’s moral reasoning.

then those in JudeaI must fleeJ to the mountains;K 

Notes on verse 14c

I “Judea” = Ioudaia. From Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judea, which was a Roman province.
J “flee” = pheugo. This is to run away in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be to flee, escape, shun, or vanish.
K “mountains” = oros. Perhaps from oro (to rise); perhaps akin to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is mountain or hill.

15 the one on the housetopL must not go downM or enterN the houseO to takeP anything away; 

Notes on verse 15

L “housetop” = doma. 7x in NT. From demo (to build). This is housetop or roof – a flat roof. Properly, it is more generally a building, but used specifically for roofs.
M “go down” = katabaino. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + baino (to walk, go). This is to come down whether from the sky to the ground or from higher ground to lower. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense.
N “enter” = eiserchomai. From eis (to, into, for, among) + erchomai (to come, go). This is to go in in a literal or figurative sense.
O “house” = oikia. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple). This is a house, household, goods, property, family, or means.
P “take” = airo. Related to “mountains” in v14. See note K above.

16 the one in the fieldQ must not turnR back to getS a coat.T 

Notes on verse 16

Q “field” = agros. This is a field as a place where one grows crops or pastures cattle. It can also refer to a farm or lands. This is one of the roots of “agriculture.”
R “turn” = epistrepho. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + strepho (to turn, change, turn back, be converted; to turn around completely to take the opposite path or a completely different one); {from trope (turning, shifting, a revolution; figuratively, a variation); from trepo (to turn)}. This is to turn, return, or come again. It can also mean to revert. It is turning in a literal or figurative sense – also a moral turning.
S “get” = airo. Same as “take” in v15. See note P above.
T “coat” = himation. From heima (garment) OR from ennumi (to put on). This is the outer garment, cloak, robe, or mantle. It is worn loosely over a tunic.

17 WoeU to those who are pregnantV and to those who are nursing infantsW in those days!X 

Notes on verse 17

U “woe” = ouai. This is alas or woe to show grief or to denounce something.
V “are pregnant” = en + gaster + echo. Gaster is 9x in NT. This is belly or womb. It can be used specifically to mean pregnant. This is one of the roots of the word “gastronomy.” Echo is to have hold, or possess.
W “nursing infants” = thelazo. 5x in NT. From thele (a nipple). This is to nurse or suckle – a nursing baby.
X “days” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.

18 PrayY that it may not beZ in winter.AA 

Notes on verse 18

Y “pray” = proseuchomai. From pros (advantageous for, at, toward) + euchomai (to wish, make a request, pray). This is to pray or pray for, to worship or supplicate. It is more literally exchanging one’s own wishes for God’s.
Z “be” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
AA “winter” = cheimon. 6x in NT. Related to the base of chasma (chasm, gap, gulf); from chasko (to yawn)}. This is winter, storm, bad weather – winter as the rainy season.

19 For in those days there will be suffering,BB such as has not been from the beginningCC of the creationDD that GodEE createdFF until now, no, and never will be.

Notes on verse 19

BB “suffering” = thlipsis. From thlibo (to press in on and make narrow, rub together, constrict; figuratively to oppress or afflict). This is pressure that hems us in – used often of internal pressure that makes us feel like we have no other options and are confined or restricted. So, this is persecution, affliction, trouble, distress, and anguish. There is a different word, stenoxoria, that refers to external pressure that we feel from what’s going on.
CC “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.
DD “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.
EE “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
FF “created” = ktizo. Related to “creation” in v19. 15x in NT. Se note DD above.

 20 And if the LordGG had not cut shortHH those days, no oneII

Notes on verse 20a

GG “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
HH “cut short” = koloboo. 4x in NT– all in Mt 24 & parallel in Mk 13.  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 curtail, cut short, abbreviate, or figuratively to abridge.
II “one” = pas + sarx. Literally, “all flesh.” Pas is all or every. 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).

would be saved;JJ but for the sake of the elect,KK whom he chose,LL he has cut short those days. 

Notes on verse 20b

JJ “saved” = sozo. From sos (safe, rescued, well). This is to save, heal, preserve, or rescue. Properly, this is taking someone from danger to safety. It can be delivering or protecting literally or figuratively. This is the root that “savior” and “salvation” come from in Greek.
KK “elect” = eklektos. From eklego (to choose, select, elect); {from ek (from, from out of) + lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. This is to select or choose. It is making a personal choice – a favorite.
LL “choose” = eklego. Related to “elect” in v20. Se note KK above.

21 And if anyone says to you at that time, ‘Look!MM Here is the Messiah!’NN or ‘Look! There he is!’—do not believeOO it. 

Notes on verse 21

MM “look” = idou. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
NN “Messiah” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
OO “believe” = pisteuo. From pistis(faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.

22 False messiahsPP and false prophetsQQ will appearRR

Notes on verse 22a

PP “false messiahs” = pseudochristos. Related to “Messiah” in v21. 2x in NT. From pseudes (false, lying, wicked); {from pseudomai (to lie, deceive, falsify)} + christos (see note NN above). This is false Christ or false Messiah.
QQ “false prophets” = psuedoprophetes. Related to {untranslated} in v14 & “false messiahs” in v22. 11x in NT. From pseudes (see note PP above) + prophetes (see note D above). This is false prophet – one who pretends they are prophesying from God or who teaches something that is false, but still attributes it to God.
RR “appear” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.

and produceSS signsTT and omens,UU to lead astray,VV if possible,WW the elect.

Notes on verse 22b

SS “produce” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.
TT “signs” = semeion. From the same as semaino (to give a sign, signify, indicate, make known); from sema (a sign or mark). It is literally a sign of any kind. It also refers to a sign given by God to confirm or authenticate a message or prophecy. It is not necessarily miraculous, but it can be. The Gospel of John generally uses this word instead of miracle.
UU “omens” = teras. 16x in NT. This is a wonder or marvel performed to get bystanders to react. It could also be a portent or omen.
VV “lead astray” = apoplanao. 2x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + planao (to wander, lead astray, mislead, mistake, seduce, or deceive. Generally used to refer to sin – going off the right path or roaming from truth/virtue); from plane (wandering – used figuratively for deceit, error, sin, fraudulence, or wandering from orthodoxy); from planos (wandering, misleading, a deceiver or imposter). This is to wander away, seduce, lead astray.
WW “possible” = dunatos. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is mighty or powerful. It speaks of ability of persons, possibility of things. It is what can be given the power or ability that the subject exhibits. The root verb is also related to miracles i.e. deeds of power.

Image credit: “Rome, Arch of Titus, triumphal procession” – photo by Dnalor 01, 2007.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply