Mark 12:41 MEANING

Mark 12:41
(41) And Jesus sat over against the treasury.--The narrative that follows is found in St. Luke also, but not in St. Matthew. The word used is not the "Corban" of Matthew 27:6, and is, perhaps, more definitely local. The treasure-chamber of the Temple would receive the alms which were dropped into the trumpet-shaped vessels that stood near the entrance for the purpose of receiving them, but they probably contained also the cups and other implements of gold and silver that were used in the Temple ritual.

Cast money into.--The word indicates primarily copper or bronze coin, but probably, like the French argent, had acquired a wider range of meaning.

Verse 41. - He sat down over against the treasury (γαζοφυλάκιον, from γάζα, a Persian word meaning "treasure," and φυλάττειν, to guard). This was the receptacle into which the offerings of the people were east, for the uses of the temple and for the benefit of the priests and of the poor. Hence that part of the temple in which these gifts were kept was called the treasury. He beheld (ἐθεώρει) - literally, he was beholding; he was observing - how the multitude πῶς ὁ ὄχλος - that is, in what manner, with what motives (for he was the heart-searcher) the crowd of givers - cast money (βάλλει χαλκόν); literally, is casting· St. Luke uses the term (τὰ δῶρα) "their gifts." Many that were rich cast in much (πολλά), that is, "many pieces." There were several apertures in the treasury, which from their shape were called trumpets. Some of these had special inscriptions, marking the destination of the offerings.

12:41-44 Let us not forget that Jesus still sees the treasury. He knows how much, and from what motives, men give to his cause. He looks at the heart, and what our views are, in giving alms; and whether we do it as unto the Lord, or only to be seen of men. It is so rare to find any who would not blame this widow, that we cannot expect to find many who will do like to her; and yet our Saviour commends her, therefore we are sure that she did well and wisely. The feeble efforts of the poor to honour their Saviour, will be commended in that day, when the splendid actions of unbelievers will be exposed to contempt.And Jesus sat over against the treasury,.... the Arabic version reads, "at the door of the treasury"; the place where the chests stood, into which money was put for various uses: there were thirteen chests in the temple (d); six of them were, for voluntary oblations, or freewill offerings; for what remained of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the turtles; for those that had fluxes, and for new mothers; and of the sacrifices of the Nazarite, and of the trespass offering for the leper; and the last was for a freewill offering in general; and into one of these chests, or all them, was the money cast, afterwards spoken of. The Ethiopic version renders it, "over against the alms chest"; but this contribution in the temple, was not for the maintenance of the poor, but for the supply of sacrifices, and other things, as mentioned. Jesus having done preaching, and the Scribes and Pharisees having left him, and the multitude being dismissed, he sat down, being weary, and rested himself in this place:

and beheld; with pleasure.

how the people, of all sorts, rich and poor,

cast money into the treasury; into one or other of the above chests: the word rendered "money", signifies "brass", which the Jews call, for they had shekels of brass, as well as silver; and brazen pence, as well as silver pence (e); and also "prutas", or mites of brass (f); and such, the poor woman cast in:

and many that were rich cast in much: they gave very liberally and largely, as they were possessed with much worldly substance; for though religion was at a low ebb with them, yet they took care to support the external and ritual part of it.

(d) Misn. Shekalhim, c. 6. sect. 5. & Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. & Moses Kotsensis, Mitzvot Tora, pr. affirm. 44. & Maimon. Hilch. Shekalim, c. 2. sect. 2, 3.((e) Misn. Maaser Sheni, c. 2. sect. 8, 9. & Ediot, c. 1. sect. 9, 10. (f) Vid. Hottinger de Nummis Heb. p. 118.

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