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1 Chronicles 5 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Reuben’s Descendants

The sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn—

(Now he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father’s bed,[a] his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph, Israel’s son. So Reuben is not listed as firstborn in the genealogical records.[b] Though Judah was the strongest among his brothers and a leader descended from him,[c] the right of the firstborn belonged to Joseph.)

The sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.

The descendants of Joel: his son Shemaiah, his son Gog, his son Shimei, his son Micah, his son Reaiah, his son Baal, and his son Beerah, whom King Tiglath-Pileser[d] of Assyria carried into exile. Beerah[e] was the tribal leader of Reuben.

His brothers by their clans, as listed in their genealogical records:

The leader Jeiel, Zechariah, and Bela son of Azaz, son of Shema, son of Joel.

They lived in Aroer as far as Nebo and Baal Meon. In the east they settled as far as the entrance to the wilderness that stretches to the Euphrates River, for their cattle had increased in numbers in the land of Gilead. 10 During the time of Saul they attacked the Hagrites and defeated them. They took over their territory in the entire eastern region of Gilead.[f]

Gad’s Descendants

11 The descendants of Gad lived near them in the land of Bashan, as far as Salecah.

12 They included Joel the leader, Shapham the second in command, Janai, and Shaphat in Bashan. 13 Their relatives, listed according to their families,[g] included Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jacan, Zia, and Eber—seven in all.

14 These were the sons of Abihail son of Huri, son of Jaroah, son of Gilead, son of Michael, son of Jeshishai, son of Jahdo, son of Buz. 15 Ahi son of Abdiel, son of Guni, was the leader of the family.[h] 16 They lived in Gilead, in Bashan and its surrounding settlements, and in the pasturelands of Sharon to their very borders.[i] 17 All of them were listed in the genealogical records in the time of King Jotham of Judah and in the time of King Jeroboam of Israel.

18 The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had 44,760 men in their combined armies, warriors who carried shields and swords, were equipped with bows, and were trained for war.[j] 19 They attacked[k] the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. 20 They received divine help in fighting them, and the Hagrites and all their allies were handed over to them. They cried out to God during the battle; he responded to their prayers because they trusted in him.[l] 21 They seized the Hagrites’[m] animals, including 50,000 camels, 250,000 sheep, and 2,000 donkeys. They also took captive 100,000 people. 22 Because God fought for them,[n] they killed many of the enemy.[o] They dispossessed the Hagrites and lived in their land until the exile.[p]

The Half-Tribe of Manasseh

23 The half-tribe of Manasseh settled in the land from Bashan as far as Baal Hermon, Senir, and Mount Hermon. They grew in number.

24 These were the leaders of their families:[q]

Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel. They were skilled warriors, men of reputation,[r] and leaders of their families. 25 But they were unfaithful to the God of their ancestors[s] and worshiped instead[t] the gods of the native peoples[u] whom God had destroyed before them. 26 So the God of Israel stirred up[v] King Pul of Assyria (that is, King Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria),[w] and he carried away the Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh and took them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river of Gozan, where they remain to this very day.


  1. 1 Chronicles 5:1 sn The phrase when he defiled his father’s bed refers to Reuben having sexual relations with his father Jacob’s concubine Bilhah. This incident is recorded in Gen 35:22.
  2. 1 Chronicles 5:1 tn Heb “and not to be listed in the genealogical records as (having) the right of the firstborn.”
  3. 1 Chronicles 5:2 tn Heb “and [one] for a leader [was] from him.” This probably refers to the Davidic king.
  4. 1 Chronicles 5:6 tn Heb “Tilgath-Pilneser,” a variant spelling of Tiglath-Pileser (also in v. 26).
  5. 1 Chronicles 5:6 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Beerah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  6. 1 Chronicles 5:10 tn Heb “and in the days of Saul they made war with the Hagrites and they fell by their hand and they lived in their tents unto all the face of the east of Gilead.”
  7. 1 Chronicles 5:13 tn Heb “and their brothers by the house of their fathers.”
  8. 1 Chronicles 5:15 tn Heb “was the head of the house of their fathers.”
  9. 1 Chronicles 5:16 tn Heb “unto their extremities.”
  10. 1 Chronicles 5:18 tn Heb “the sons of Reuben and the Gadites and half of the tribe of Manasseh, from the sons of bravery, men carrying a shield and sword and treading a bow and trained for war, 44,760 going out for warfare.”
  11. 1 Chronicles 5:19 tn Heb “made war with.”
  12. 1 Chronicles 5:20 tn Heb “and they were helped against them and they were given over into their hand, the Hagrites and all who were with them, for to God they cried out in the battle and he was entreated [or “allowed himself to be entreated”] by them for they trusted in him.”
  13. 1 Chronicles 5:21 tn Heb “their”; the referent (the Hagrites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  14. 1 Chronicles 5:22 tn Heb “from God [was] the battle.”
  15. 1 Chronicles 5:22 tn Heb “many slain fell.”
  16. 1 Chronicles 5:22 tn Heb “and they lived in place of them until the exile.” The referent of “them” (the Hagrites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  17. 1 Chronicles 5:24 tn Heb “and these [were] the heads of the house of their fathers.”
  18. 1 Chronicles 5:24 tn Heb “men of names.”
  19. 1 Chronicles 5:25 tn Heb “fathers.”
  20. 1 Chronicles 5:25 tn Heb “prostituted themselves after.”
  21. 1 Chronicles 5:25 tn Heb “the peoples of the land.”
  22. 1 Chronicles 5:26 tn Heb “stirred up the spirit of.”
  23. 1 Chronicles 5:26 tn Heb “and the spirit of Tilgath-Pilneser king of Assyria.” “Pul” and “Tilgath-Pilneser” were names of the same Assyrian ruler, more commonly known as Tiglath-Pileser (cf. 2 Kgs 15:29).
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Psalm 34 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Psalm 34[a]

By David, when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, causing the king to send him away.[b]

34 I will praise[c] the Lord at all times;
my mouth will continually praise him.[d]
I will boast[e] in the Lord;
let the oppressed hear and rejoice.[f]
Magnify the Lord with me.
Let us praise[g] his name together.
I sought the Lord’s help[h] and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him and be radiant;
do not let your faces be ashamed.[i]
This oppressed man cried out and the Lord heard;
he saved him[j] from all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord camps around
the Lord’s[k] loyal followers[l] and delivers them.[m]
Taste[n] and see that the Lord is good.
How blessed[o] is the one[p] who takes shelter in him.[q]
Fear the Lord, you chosen people of his,[r]
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 Even young lions sometimes lack food and are hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come children. Listen to me.
I will teach you what it means to fear the Lord.[s]
12 Do you want to really live?[t]
Would you love to live a long, happy life?[u]
13 Then make sure you don’t speak evil words[v]
or use deceptive speech.[w]
14 Turn away from evil and do what is right.[x]
Strive for peace and promote it.[y]
15 The Lord pays attention to the godly
and hears their cry for help.[z]
16 But the Lord opposes evildoers
and wipes out all memory of them from the earth.[aa]
17 The godly[ab] cry out and the Lord hears;
he saves them from all their troubles.[ac]
18 The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
he delivers[ad] those who are discouraged.[ae]
19 The godly[af] face many dangers,[ag]
but the Lord saves[ah] them[ai] from each one of them.
20 He protects[aj] all his bones;[ak]
not one of them is broken.[al]
21 Evil people self-destruct;[am]
those who hate the godly are punished.[an]
22 The Lord rescues his servants;[ao]
all who take shelter in him escape punishment.[ap]


  1. Psalm 34:1 sn Psalm 34. In this song of thanksgiving the psalmist praises God for delivering him from distress. He encourages others to be loyal to the Lord, tells them how to please God, and assures them that the Lord protects his servants. The psalm is an acrostic; vv. 1-21 begin with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. (Verse 6 begins with the letter he (ה) and v. 7 with the letter zayin (ז). The letter vav (ו), which comes between ה and ז, seems to be omitted, although it does appear at the beginning of v. 6b. The final verse of the psalm, which begins with the letter pe (פ), is outside the acrostic scheme.
  2. Psalm 34:1 tn Heb “By David, when he changed his sense before Abimelech and he drove him away and he went.”sn Pretended to be insane. The psalm heading appears to refer to the account in 1 Sam 21:10-15 which tells how David, fearful that King Achish of Gath might kill him, pretended to be insane in hopes that the king would simply send him away. The psalm heading names the king Abimelech, not Achish, suggesting that the tradition is confused on this point. However, perhaps “Abimelech” was a royal title, rather than a proper name. See P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 (WBC), 278.
  3. Psalm 34:1 tn Heb “bless.”
  4. Psalm 34:1 tn Heb “continually [will] his praise [be] in my mouth.”
  5. Psalm 34:2 tn Heb “my soul will boast”; or better, “let my soul boast.” Following the cohortative form in v. 1, it is likely that the prefixed verbal form here is jussive.
  6. Psalm 34:2 tn The two prefixed verbal forms in this verse are best taken as jussives, for the psalmist is calling his audience to worship (see v. 3).
  7. Psalm 34:3 tn Or “exalt.”
  8. Psalm 34:4 tn Heb “I sought the Lord.”
  9. Psalm 34:5 tc The translation follows the LXX. The MT reads “they looked to him and were radiant; let their faces not be ashamed.” The MT reads the first verb as a perfect (הִבִּיטוּ, hibbitu), which would be past time, while the LXX (supported by Aquila, the Syriac, Jerome, and some medieval Hebrew mss) reads an imperative (הַבִּיטוּ, habbitu). The MT reads the second verb as a vav plus perfect, while the LXX reads it as an imperative, again a difference of the initial vowel. The third verb is a jussive preceded by אַל (ʾal), which supports reading the first two as imperatives. The second masculine plural pronoun (“your faces”) of the LXX and the Syriac, matches this understanding of the preceding verbs. The MT reading (“their faces”) is consistent with its view of the previous verbs. The reading adopted here interprets the verse as interrupting a testimony given to the congregation with an admonition based on that testimony.
  10. Psalm 34:6 tn The pronoun refers back to “this oppressed man,” namely, the psalmist.
  11. Psalm 34:7 tn Heb “his”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  12. Psalm 34:7 tn Heb “those who fear him.”
  13. Psalm 34:7 tn The prefixed verb with vav (ו) consecutive here carries the same generalizing force as the active participle in the first line. See GKC 329 §111.u.
  14. Psalm 34:8 tn This verb is normally used of tasting food, as in eating a little bit of food (1 Sam 14:43; Jonah 3:7) or evaluating it (Job 12:11; 34:3). The two references to the physical senses stand for invitation and realization. Even a small or beginning experience of God reveals that he is good.
  15. Psalm 34:8 tn The Hebrew noun is an abstract plural. The word often refers metonymically to the happiness that God-given security and prosperity produce (see Pss 1:1, 3; 2:12; 41:1; 65:4; 84:12; 89:15; 106:3; 112:1; 127:5; 128:1; 144:15).
  16. Psalm 34:8 tn Heb “man.” The principle of the psalm is certainly applicable to all people, regardless of their gender or age. To facilitate modern application, we translate the gender and age specific “man” with the more neutral “one.”
  17. Psalm 34:8 tn “Taking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear, and serve the Lord (Pss 2:12; 5:11-12; 31:17-20; 34:21-22).
  18. Psalm 34:9 tn Heb “O holy ones of his.”
  19. Psalm 34:11 tn Heb “the fear of the Lord I will teach you.” In vv. 13-14 the psalmist explains to his audience what it means to “fear” the Lord.
  20. Psalm 34:12 tn Heb “Who is the man who desires life?” The rhetorical question is used to grab the audience’s attention. “Life” probably refers here to quality of life, not just physical existence or even duration of life. See the following line.
  21. Psalm 34:12 tn Heb “[Who] loves days to see good?”
  22. Psalm 34:13 tn Heb “guard your tongue from evil.”
  23. Psalm 34:13 tn Heb “and your lips from speaking deception.”
  24. Psalm 34:14 tn Or “do good.”
  25. Psalm 34:14 tn Heb “seek peace and pursue it.”
  26. Psalm 34:15 tn Heb “the eyes of the Lord [are] toward the godly, and his ears [are] toward their cry for help.”
  27. Psalm 34:16 tn Heb “the face of the Lord [is] against the doers of evil to cut off from the earth memory of them.”
  28. Psalm 34:17 tn Heb “they” (i.e., the godly mentioned in v. 15).
  29. Psalm 34:17 tn The three perfect verbal forms are taken in a generalizing sense in v. 17 and translated with the present tense (note the generalizing mood of vv. 18-22).
  30. Psalm 34:18 tn The Hebrew imperfect verbal form highlights the generalizing statement and draws attention to the fact that the Lord typically delivers the oppressed and needy.
  31. Psalm 34:18 tn Heb “the crushed in spirit.”
  32. Psalm 34:19 tn The Hebrew text uses the singular form; the representative or typical godly person is envisioned.
  33. Psalm 34:19 tn Or “trials.”
  34. Psalm 34:19 tn The Hebrew imperfect verbal form highlights the generalizing statement and draws attention to the fact that the Lord typically delivers the godly.
  35. Psalm 34:19 tn Heb “him,” agreeing with the singular form in the preceding line.
  36. Psalm 34:20 tn The Hebrew participial form suggests such protection is characteristic.
  37. Psalm 34:20 tn That is, he protects the godly from physical harm.
  38. Psalm 34:20 sn Not one of them is broken. The author of the Gospel of John saw a fulfillment of these words in Jesus’ experience on the cross (see John 19:31-37), for the Roman soldiers, when they saw that Jesus was already dead, did not break his legs as was customarily done to speed the death of crucified individuals. John’s use of the psalm seems strange, for the statement in its original context suggests that the Lord protects the godly from physical harm. Jesus’ legs may have remained unbroken, but he was brutally and unjustly executed by his enemies. John seems to give the statement a literal sense that is foreign to its original literary context by applying a promise of divine protection to a man who was seemingly not saved by God. However, John saw in this incident a foreshadowing of Jesus’ ultimate deliverance and vindication. His unbroken bones were a reminder of God’s commitment to the godly and a sign of things to come. Jesus’ death on the cross was not the end of the story; God vindicated him, as John goes on to explain in the following context (John 19:38-20:18).
  39. Psalm 34:21 tn Heb “evil kills the wicked [one].” The singular form is representative; the typical evil person is envisioned. The Hebrew imperfect verbal form draws attention to the typical nature of the action.
  40. Psalm 34:21 tn Heb “are guilty,” but the verb is sometimes used metonymically with the meaning “to suffer the consequences of guilt,” the effect being substituted for the cause.
  41. Psalm 34:22 tn Heb “redeems the life of his servants.” The Hebrew participial form suggests such deliverance is characteristic.
  42. Psalm 34:22 tn “Taking shelter” in the Lord is an idiom for seeking his protection. Seeking his protection presupposes and even demonstrates the subject’s loyalty to the Lord. In the psalms those who “take shelter” in the Lord are contrasted with the wicked and equated with those who love, fear, and serve the Lord (Pss 2:12; 5:11-12; 31:19).
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Mark 2 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Healing and Forgiving a Paralytic

Now[a] after some days, when he returned to Capernaum,[b] the news spread[c] that he was at home. So many gathered that there was no longer any room, not even by[d] the door, and he preached the word to them. Some people[e] came bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them.[f] When they were not able to bring him in because of the crowd, they removed the roof[g] above Jesus.[h] Then,[i] after tearing it out, they lowered the stretcher the paralytic was lying on. When Jesus saw their[j] faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”[k] Now some of the experts in the law[l] were sitting there, turning these things over in their minds:[m] “Why does this man speak this way? He is blaspheming![n] Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Now[o] immediately, when Jesus realized in his spirit that they were contemplating such thoughts,[p] he said to them, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?[q] Which is easier,[r] to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up, take your stretcher, and walk’? 10 But so that you may know[s] that the Son of Man[t] has authority on earth to forgive sins,”—he said to the paralytic[u] 11 “I tell you, stand up, take your stretcher, and go home.”[v] 12 And immediately the man[w] stood up, took his stretcher, and went out in front of them all. They were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

The Call of Levi; Eating with Sinners

13 Jesus[x] went out again by the sea. The whole crowd came to him, and he taught them. 14 As he went along, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax booth.[y] “Follow me,” he said to him. And he got up and followed him. 15 As Jesus[z] was having a meal[aa] in Levi’s[ab] home, many tax collectors[ac] and sinners were eating with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the experts in the law[ad] and the Pharisees[ae] saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”[af] 17 When Jesus heard this he said to them, “Those who are healthy don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do.[ag] I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

The Superiority of the New

18 Now[ah] John’s[ai] disciples and the Pharisees[aj] were fasting.[ak] So[al] they came to Jesus[am] and said, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don’t fast?” 19 Jesus[an] said to them, “The wedding guests[ao] cannot fast while the bridegroom[ap] is with them, can they?[aq] As long as they have the bridegroom with them they do not fast. 20 But the days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them,[ar] and at that time[as] they will fast. 21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear becomes worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins;[at] otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be destroyed. Instead new wine is poured into new wineskins.”[au]

Lord of the Sabbath

23 Jesus[av] was going through the grain fields on a Sabbath, and his disciples began to pick some heads of wheat[aw] as they made their way. 24 So[ax] the Pharisees[ay] said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is against the law on the Sabbath?” 25 He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry— 26 how he entered the house of God when Abiathar was high priest[az] and ate the sacred bread,[ba] which is against the law[bb] for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to his companions?”[bc] 27 Then[bd] he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for people,[be] not people for the Sabbath. 28 For this reason the Son of Man is lord[bf] even of the Sabbath.”


  1. Mark 2:1 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
  2. Mark 2:1 sn Capernaum was a town located on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It existed since Hasmonean times and was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region. The population in the first century is estimated to be around 1,500. Capernaum became the hub of operations for Jesus’ Galilean ministry (Matt 4:13; Mark 2:1). In modern times the site was discovered in 1838 by the American explorer E. Robinson, and major excavations began in 1905 by German archaeologists H. Kohl and C. Watzinger. Not until 1968, however, were remains from the time of Jesus visible; in that year V. Corbo and S. Loffreda began a series of annual archaeological campaigns that lasted until 1985. This work uncovered what is thought to be the house of Simon Peter as well as ruins of the first century synagogue beneath the later synagogue from the fourth or fifth century A.D. Today gently rolling hills and date palms frame the first century site, a favorite tourist destination of visitors to the Galilee.
  3. Mark 2:1 tn Grk “it was heard.”
  4. Mark 2:2 tn Some translations (e.g., NIV, NLT) take the preposition πρός (pros), which indicates proximity, to mean “outside the door.” Others render it as “in front of the door” (TEV, CEV), and still others, “around the door” (NAB). There is some ambiguity inherent in the description here.
  5. Mark 2:3 tn Grk “they”; the referent (some unnamed people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  6. Mark 2:3 tn The redundancy in this verse is characteristic of the author’s rougher style.
  7. Mark 2:4 sn A house in 1st century Palestine would have had a flat roof with stairs or a ladder going up. This access was often from the outside of the house.
  8. Mark 2:4 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  9. Mark 2:4 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
  10. Mark 2:5 sn The plural pronoun their makes it clear that Jesus was responding to the faith of the entire group, not just the paralyzed man.
  11. Mark 2:5 sn The passive voice here is a divine passive (ExSyn 437). It is clear that God does the forgiving.
  12. Mark 2:6 tn Or “some of the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 1:22.
  13. Mark 2:6 tn Grk “Reasoning within their hearts.”
  14. Mark 2:7 sn Blaspheming in the NT has a somewhat broader meaning than mere utterances. It could mean to say something that dishonored God, but it could also involve claims to divine prerogatives (in this case, to forgive sins on God’s behalf). Such claims were viewed as usurping God’s majesty or honor. The remark here raised directly the issue of the nature of Jesus’ ministry, and even more importantly, the identity of Jesus himself as God’s representative.
  15. Mark 2:8 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the shift from the thoughts of the experts in the law to Jesus’ response.
  16. Mark 2:8 tn Grk “they were thus reasoning within themselves.”
  17. Mark 2:8 tn Grk “Why are you reasoning these things in your hearts?”
  18. Mark 2:9 sn Which is easier is a reflective kind of question. On the one hand to declare sins are forgiven is easier, since one does not need to see it, unlike telling a paralyzed person to walk. On the other hand, it is harder, because for it to be true one must possess the authority to forgive the sin.
  19. Mark 2:10 sn Now Jesus put the two actions together. The walking of the man would be proof (so that you may know) that his sins were forgiven and that God had worked through Jesus (i.e., the Son of Man).
  20. Mark 2:10 sn The term Son of Man, which is a title in Greek, comes from a pictorial description in Dan 7:13 of one “like a son of man” (i.e., a human being). It is Jesus’ favorite way to refer to himself. Jesus did not reveal the background of the term here, which mixes human and divine imagery as the man in Daniel rides a cloud, something only God does. He just used it. It also could be an idiom in Aramaic meaning either “some person” or “me.” So there is a little ambiguity in its use here, since its origin is not clear at this point. However, the action makes it clear that Jesus used it to refer to himself here.
  21. Mark 2:10 sn Jesus did not finish his sentence with words but with action, that is, healing the paralytic with an accompanying pronouncement to him directly.
  22. Mark 2:11 tn Grk “to your house.”
  23. Mark 2:12 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the man who was healed) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  24. Mark 2:13 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  25. Mark 2:14 tn While “tax office” is sometimes given as a translation for τελώνιον (telōnion, so L&N 57.183), this could give the modern reader a false impression of an indoor office with all its associated furnishings.sn The tax booth was a booth located at a port or on the edge of a city or town to collect taxes for trade. These taxes were a form of customs duty or toll applied to the movement of goods and produce brought into an area for sale. As such these tolls were a sort of “sales tax” paid by the seller but obviously passed on to the purchaser in the form of increased prices (L&N 57.183). The system as a whole is sometimes referred to as “tax farming” because a contract to collect these taxes for an entire district would be sold to the highest bidder, who would pay up front, hire employees to do the work of collection, and then recoup the investment and overhead by charging commissions on top of the taxes. Although rates and commissions were regulated by law, there was plenty of room for abuse in the system through the subjective valuation of goods by the tax collectors, and even through outright bribery. Tax overseers and their employees were obviously not well liked. There was a tax booth in Capernaum, which was on the trade route from Damascus to Galilee and the Mediterranean. It was here that Jesus met Levi (also named Matthew [see Matt 9:9]) who, although indirectly employed by the Romans, was probably more directly responsible to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee appointed by Rome. It was Levi’s job to collect customs duties for Rome and he was thus despised by his fellow Jews, many of whom would have regarded him as a traitor.
  26. Mark 2:15 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  27. Mark 2:15 tn Grk “As he reclined at table.”sn As Jesus was having a meal. 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away.
  28. Mark 2:15 tn Grk “his.”
  29. Mark 2:15 sn The Roman system of taxation was frequently characterized by “tax farming” where an individual would bid to collect taxes for the Roman government throughout an entire district and then add a surcharge or commission (often exorbitant) which they kept for themselves as their profit. The tax collectors referred to in the NT were generally not the holders of these tax contracts themselves, but hired subordinates who were often local residents. Since these tax collectors worked for Rome (even indirectly), they were viewed as traitors to their own people and were not well liked. In addition, the system offered many opportunities for dishonesty and greed, both of which were often associated with local tax collectors.
  30. Mark 2:16 tn Or “the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 1:22.
  31. Mark 2:16 sn Pharisees were members of one of the most important and influential religious and political parties of Judaism in the time of Jesus. There were more Pharisees than Sadducees (according to Josephus, Ant. 17.2.4 [17.42] there were more than 6,000 Pharisees at about this time). Pharisees differed with Sadducees on certain doctrines and patterns of behavior. The Pharisees were strict and zealous adherents to the laws of the OT and to numerous additional traditions such as angels and bodily resurrection.
  32. Mark 2:16 sn The issue here is inappropriate associations. Jews were very careful about personal associations and contact as a matter of ritual cleanliness. Their question borders on an accusation that Jesus is ritually unclean.
  33. Mark 2:17 sn Jesus’ point is that he associates with those who are sick because they have the need and will respond to the offer of help. A person who is healthy (or who thinks mistakenly that he is) will not seek treatment.
  34. Mark 2:18 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
  35. Mark 2:18 sn John refers to John the Baptist.
  36. Mark 2:18 sn See the note on Pharisees in 2:16.
  37. Mark 2:18 sn John’s disciples and the Pharisees followed typical practices with regard to fasting and prayer. Many Jews fasted regularly (Lev 16:29-34; 23:26-32; Num 29:7-11). The zealous fasted twice a week on Monday and Thursday.
  38. Mark 2:18 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “So” to indicate that in the narrative this question happened as a result of the fasting of John’s disciples and the Pharisees.
  39. Mark 2:18 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  40. Mark 2:19 tn Grk “And Jesus.”
  41. Mark 2:19 tn Grk “sons of the wedding hall,” an idiom referring to wedding guests, or more specifically, friends of the bridegroom present at the wedding celebration (L&N 11.7).
  42. Mark 2:19 sn The expression while the bridegroom is with them is an allusion to messianic times (John 3:29; Isa 54:5-6; 62:4-5).
  43. Mark 2:19 tn Questions prefaced with μή () in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here the tag is “can they?”).
  44. Mark 2:20 sn The statement the bridegroom will be taken from them is a veiled allusion by Jesus to his death, which he did not make explicit until the incident at Caesarea Philippi in 8:27ff. (cf. 8:31; 9:31; 10:33).
  45. Mark 2:20 tn Grk “then on that day.”
  46. Mark 2:22 sn Wineskins were bags made of skin or leather, used for storing wine in NT times. As the new wine fermented and expanded, it would stretch the new wineskins. Putting new (unfermented) wine in old wineskins, which had already been stretched, would result in the bursting of the wineskins.
  47. Mark 2:22 sn The meaning of the saying new wine is poured into new skins is that the presence and teaching of Jesus was something new and signaled the passing of the old. It could not be confined within the old religion of Judaism, but involved the inauguration and consummation of the kingdom of God.
  48. Mark 2:23 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  49. Mark 2:23 tn Or “heads of grain.” While the generic term στάχυς (stachus) can refer to the cluster of seeds at the top of grain such as barley or wheat, in the NT the term is restricted to wheat (L&N 3.40; BDAG 941 s.v. 1). KJV “corn” is the result of British English, in which “corn” refers to the main cereal crop of a district, wheat in England and oats in Scotland (British English uses “maize” to refer to American corn).
  50. Mark 2:24 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.
  51. Mark 2:24 sn See the note on Pharisees in 2:16.
  52. Mark 2:26 tn A decision about the proper translation of this Greek phrase (ἐπὶ ᾿Αβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως, epi Abiathar archiereōs) is very difficult for a number of reasons. The most natural translation of the phrase is “when Abiathar was high priest,” but this is problematic because Abiathar was not the high priest when David entered the temple and ate the sacred bread; Ahimelech is the priest mentioned in 1 Sam 21:1-7. Three main solutions have been suggested to resolve this difficulty. (1) There are alternate readings in various manuscripts, but these are not likely to be original: D W 271 it sys and a few others omit ἐπὶ ᾿Αβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως, no doubt in conformity to the parallels in Matt 12:4 and Luke 6:4; A C Θ Π Σ Φ 074 ƒ13 and many others add τοῦ before ἀρχιερέως, giving the meaning “in the days of Abiathar the high priest,” suggesting a more general time frame. Neither reading has significant external support and both most likely are motivated by the difficulty of the original reading. (2) Many scholars have hypothesized that one of the three individuals who would have been involved in the transmission of the statement (Jesus who uttered it originally, Mark who wrote it down in the Gospel, or Peter who served as Mark’s source) was either wrong about Abiathar or intentionally loose with the biblical data in order to make a point. (3) It is possible that what is currently understood to be the most natural reading of the text is in fact not correct. (a) There are very few biblical parallels to this grammatical construction (ἐπί + genitive proper noun, followed by an anarthrous common noun), so it is possible that an extensive search for this construction in nonbiblical literature would prove that the meaning does involve a wide time frame. If this is so, “in the days of Abiathar the high priest” would be a viable option. (b) It is also possible that this phrasing serves as a loose way to cite a scripture passage. There is a parallel to this construction in Mark 12:26: “Have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush?” Here the final phrase is simply ἐπὶ τοῦ βάτου (epi tou batou), but the obvious function of the phrase is to point to a specific passage within the larger section of scripture. Deciding upon a translation here is difficult. The translation above has followed the current consensus on the most natural and probable meaning of the phrase ἐπὶ ᾿Αβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως: “when Abiathar was high priest.” It should be recognized, however, that this translation is tentative because the current state of knowledge about the meaning of this grammatical construction is incomplete, and any decision about the meaning of this text is open to future revision.
  53. Mark 2:26 tn Grk “the bread of presentation.” sn The sacred bread refers to the “bread of presentation,” “showbread,” or “bread of the Presence,” twelve loaves prepared weekly for the tabernacle and later, the temple. See Exod 25:30; 35:13; 39:36; Lev 24:5-9. Each loaf was made from 3 quarts (3.5 liters; Heb “two-tenths of an ephah”) of fine flour. The loaves were placed on a table in the holy place of the tabernacle, on the north side opposite the lampstand (Exod 26:35). It was the duty of the priest each Sabbath to place fresh bread on the table; the loaves from the previous week were then given to Aaron and his descendants, who ate them in the holy place, because they were considered sacred (Lev 24:9). See also Matt 12:1-8, Luke 6:1-5.
  54. Mark 2:26 sn Jesus’ response to the charge that what his disciples were doing was against the law is one of analogy: “If David did it for his troops in a time of need, then so can I with my disciples.” Jesus is clear that on the surface there was a violation here. What is not as clear is whether he is arguing a “greater need” makes this permissible or that this was within the intention of the law all along.
  55. Mark 2:26 sn See 1 Sam 21:1-6.
  56. Mark 2:27 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
  57. Mark 2:27 tn The Greek term ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used twice in this verse in a generic sense, referring to both men and women, thus “people.”
  58. Mark 2:28 tn The term “lord” is in emphatic position in the Greek text.sn A second point in Jesus’ defense of his disciples’ actions was that his authority as Son of Man also allowed it, since as Son of Man he was lord of the Sabbath.
New English Translation (NET)

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