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Mark 12:28 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And one of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together, and knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, What commandment is the first of all?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And one of the scribes who had come up, and had heard them reasoning together, perceiving that he had answered them well, demanded of him, Which is [the] first commandment of all?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And one of the Scribes, coming near, hearing them discussing, seeing that, well, he had answered them, began to question him—Which is the chief commandment of all?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And one of the scribes having come near, having heard them disputing, knowing that he answered them well, questioned him, 'Which is the first command of all?'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And there came one of the scribes that had heard them reasoning together, and seeing that he had answered them well, asked him which was the first commandment of all.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And one of the Scribes came, and hauing heard them reasoning together, and perceiuing that he had answered them well, asked him which is the first commandement of all.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— AND one from the Sophree approached and heard how they disputed, and, perceiving that he had well rendered to them the answer, inquired of him, Which is the first commandment of all?
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And one of the Scribes came, and heard them as they discussed, and he saw that he gave them an excellent answer; and he asked him, Which is the first of all the commandments?

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
one 1520
{1520} Prime
εἷς
heis
{hice}
(Including the neuter [etc.] ἕν [[hen]]); a primary numeral; one.
of the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
scribes 1122
{1122} Prime
γραμματεύς
grammateus
{gram-mat-yooce'}
From G1121; a writer, that is, (professionally) scribe or secretary.
came, 4334
{4334} Prime
προσέρχομαι
proserchomai
{pros-er'-khom-ahee}
From G4314 and G2064 (including its alternate); to approach, that is, (literally) come near, visit, or (figuratively) worship, assent to.
z5631
<5631> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 889
and having heard 191
{0191} Prime
ἀκούω
akouo
{ak-oo'-o}
A primary verb; to hear (in various senses).
z5660
<5660> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 714
them 846
{0846} Prime
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
reasoning together, 4802
{4802} Prime
συζητέω
suzeteo
{sood-zay-teh'-o}
From G4862 and G2212; to investigate jointly, that is, discuss, controvert, cavil.
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
and perceiving 1492
{1492} Prime
εἰδῶ
eido
{i-do'}
A primary verb; used only in certain past tenses, the others being borrowed from the equivalent, G3700 and G3708; properly to see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perfect only) to know.
z5761
<5761> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 193
that 3754
{3754} Prime
ὅτι
hoti
{hot'-ee}
Neuter of G3748 as conjugation; demonstrative that (sometimes redundant); causatively because.
he had answered 611
{0611} Prime
ἀποκρίνομαι
apokrinomai
{ap-ok-ree'-nom-ahee}
From G0575 and κρινω [[krino]]; to conclude for oneself, that is, (by implication) to respond; by Hebraism (compare [H6030]) to begin to speak (where an address is expected).
z5662
<5662> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Middle Deponent (See G5788)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 352
them 846
{0846} Prime
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
well, 2573
{2573} Prime
καλῶς
kalos
{kal-oce'}
Adverb from G2570; well (usually morally).
asked 1905
{1905} Prime
ἐπερωτάω
eperotao
{ep-er-o-tah'-o}
From G1909 and G2065; to ask for, that is, inquire, seek.
z5656
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
him, 846
{0846} Prime
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
Which 4169
{4169} Prime
ποῖος
poios
{poy'-os}
From the base of G4226 and G3634; individualizing interrogitive (of character) what sort of, or (of number) which one.
is 2076
{2076} Prime
ἐστί
esti
{es-tee'}
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
z5748
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
the first 4413
{4413} Prime
πρῶτος
protos
{pro'-tos}
Contracted superlative of G4253; foremost (in time, place, order or importance).
commandment 1785
{1785} Prime
ἐντολή
entole
{en-tol-ay'}
From G1781; injunction, that is, an authoritative prescription.
of all? 3956
{3956} Prime
πᾶς
pas
{pas}
Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Mark 12:28

_ _ Mark 12:28-34. The great commandment.

_ _ “But when the Pharisees had heard that He had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together” (Matthew 22:34).

_ _ And one of the scribes — “a lawyer,” says Matthew (Matthew 22:35); that is, teacher of the law.

_ _ came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him — manifestly in no bad spirit. When Matthew (Matthew 22:35) therefore says he came “tempting,” or “trying him,” as one of the Pharisaic party who seemed to enjoy the defeat He had given to the Sadducees, we may suppose that though somewhat priding himself upon his insight into the law, and not indisposed to measure his knowledge with One in whom he had not yet learned to believe, he was nevertheless an honest-hearted, fair disputant.

_ _ Which is the first commandment of all? — first in importance; the primary, leading commandment, the most fundamental one. This was a question which, with some others, divided the Jewish teachers into rival schools. Our Lord’s answer is in a strain of respect very different from what He showed to cavilers — ever observing His own direction, “Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine; lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matthew 7:6).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Mark 12:28-34

_ _ The scribes and Pharisees were (however bad otherwise) enemies to the Sadducees; now one would have expected that, when they heard Christ argue so well against the Sadducees, they would have countenanced him, as they did Paul when he appeared against the Sadducees (Acts 23:9); but it had not the effect: because he did not fall in with them in the ceremonials of religion, he agreeing with them in the essentials, gained him no manner of respect with them. Only we have here an account of one of them, a scribe, who had so much civility in him as to take notice of Christ's answer to the Sadducees, and to own that he had answered well, and much to the purpose (Mark 12:28); and we have reason to hope that he did not join with the other scribes in persecuting Christ; for here we have his application to Christ for instruction, and it was such as became him; not tempting Christ, but desiring to improve his acquaintance with him.

_ _ I. He enquired, Which is the first commandment of all? Mark 12:28. He doth not mean the first in order, but the first in weight and dignity; “Which is that command which we ought to have in a special manner an eye to, and our obedience to which will lay a foundation for our obedience to all the rest?” Not that any commandment of God is little (they are all the commands of a great God), but some are greater than others, moral precepts than rituals, and of some we may say, They are the greatest of all.

_ _ II. Christ gave him a direct answer to this enquiry, Mark 12:29-31. Those that sincerely desire to be instructed concerning their duty, Christ will guide in judgment, and teach his way. He tells him,

_ _ 1. That the great commandment of all, which is indeed inclusive of all, is, that of loving God with all our hearts. (1.) Where there is a commanding principle in the soul, there is a disposition to every other duty. Love is the leading affection of the soul; the love of God is the leading grace in the renewed soul. (2.) Where this is not, nothing else that is good is done, or done aright, or accepted, or done long. Loving God with all our heart, will effectually take us off fRom. and arm us against, all those things that are rivals with him for the throne in our souls, and will engage us to every thing by which he may be honoured, and with which he will be pleased; and no commandment will be grievous where this principle commands, and has the ascendant. Now here in, Mark, our Saviour prefixes to this command the great doctrinal truth upon which it is built (Mark 12:29); Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord; if we firmly believe this, it will follow, that we shall love him with all our heart. He is Jehovah, who has all amiable perfections in himself; he is our God, to whom we stand related and obliged; and therefore we ought to love him, to set our affections on him, let out own desire toward him, and take a delight in him; and he is one Lord, therefore he must be loved with our whole heart; he has the sole right to us, and therefore ought to have the sole possession of us. If he be one, our hearts must be one with him, and since there is no God besides, no rival must be admitted with him upon the throne.

_ _ 2. That the second great commandment is, to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12:31), as truly and sincerely as we love ourselves, and in the same instances, and we must show it by doing as we would be done by. As we must therefore love God better than ourselves, because he is Jehovah, a being infinitely better than we are, and must love him with all our heart, because he is one Lord, and there is no other like him; so we must love our neighbour as ourselves, because he is of the same nature with ourselves; our hearts are fashioned alike, and my neighbour and myself are of one body, of one society, that of the world of mankind; and if a fellow-Christian, and of the same sacred society, the obligation is the stronger. Hath not one God created us? Malachi 2:10. Has not one Christ redeemed us? Well might Christ say, There is no other commandment greater than these; for in these all the law is fulfilled, and if we make conscience of obedience to these, all other instances of obedience will follow of course.

_ _ III. The scribe consented to what Christ said, and descanted upon it, Mark 12:32, Mark 12:33. 1. He commends Christ's decision of this question; Well, Master, thou hast said the truth. Christ's assertions needed not the scribe's attestations; but this scribe, being a man in authority, thought it would put some reputation upon what Christ said, to have it commended by him; and it shall be brought in evidence against those who persecuted Christ, as a deceiver, that one of themselves, even a scribe of their own, confessed that he said the truth, and said it well. And thus must we subscribe to Christ's sayings, must set to our seal that they are true. 2. He comments upon it. Christ had quoted that great doctrine, that the Lord our God is one Lord; and this he not only assented to, but added, “There is none other but he; and therefore we must have no other God besides.” This excludes all rivals with him, and secures the throne in the heart entire for him. Christ had laid down that great law, of loving God with all our hearts; and this also he explains — that it is loving him with the understanding, as those that know what abundant reason we have to love him. Our love to God, as it must be an entire, so it must be an intelligent, love; we must love him with all the understanding, ex hols ts sunesesout of the whole understanding; our rational powers and faculties must all be set on work to lead out the affections of our souls toward God. Christ has said, “To love God and our neighbour is the greatest commandment of all;” “Yea,” saith the scribe, “it is better, it is more than all whole-burnt-offerings and sacrifices, more acceptable to God, and will turn to a better account to ourselves.” There were those who held, that the law of sacrifices was the greatest commandment of all; but this scribe readily agreed with our Saviour in this — that the law of love to God and our neighbour is greater than that of sacrifice, even than that of whole-burnt-offerings, which were intended purely for the honour of God.

_ _ IV. Christ approved of what he said, and encouraged him to proceed in his enquiries of him, Mark 12:34. 1. He owned that he understood well, as far as he went; so far, so good. Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, and was the more pleased with it, because he had of late met with so many even of the scribes, men of letters, that answered indiscreetly, as those that had no understanding, nor desired to have any. He answered nounechsas one that had a mind; as a rational intelligent man, as one that had his wits about him; as one whose reason was not blinded, whose judgment was not biassed, and whose forethought was not fettered, by the prejudices which other scribes were so much under the power of. He answered as one that allowed himself liberty and leisure to consider, as one that had considered. 2. He owned that he stood fair for a further advance; “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God, the kingdom of grace and glory; thou art in a likely way to be a Christian, a disciple of Christ. For the doctrine of Christ insists most upon these things, and is designed, and has a tendency direct, to bring thee to this.” Note, There is hope of those who make a good use of the light they have, and go as far as that will carry them, that by the grace of God they will be led further, by the clearer discoveries God has to make to them. What became of this scribe we are not told, but would willingly hope that he took the hint Christ hereby gave him, and that, having been told by him, so much to his satisfaction, what was the great commandment of the law, he proceeded to enquire of him, or his apostles, what was the great commandment of the gospel too. Yet, if he did not, but took, up here, and went no further, we are not to think it strange; for there are many who are not far from the kingdom of God, and yet never come thither. Now, one would think, this should have invited many to consult him: but it had a contrary effect; No man, after that, durst ask him any question; every thing he said, was spoken with such authority and majesty, that every one stood in awe of him; those that desired to learn, were ashamed to ask, and those that designed to cavil, were afraid to ask.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Mark 12:28

Which is the first commandment? — The principal, and most necessary to be observed. Matthew 22:34; Luke 10:25.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Mark 12:28

(4) And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

(4) Sacrifices and outward worship never pleased God unless we first did the things which we owe to God and our neighbours.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
one:

Matthew 22:34-40 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. ... On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Which:

Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier [matters] of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
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