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Week 06 | Tuesday | Mark 7:9-13

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This week's readings are all from Mark chapter 7. Click here to see the full reading and a list of each day's readings. Each day's segments of the readings will be posted on this site during the week.

Today's Reading:

He also said to them, “You neatly reject the commandment of God in order to set up your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever insults his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone tells his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you would have received from me is corban’ (that is, a gift for God), then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like this.” (Mark 7.9–13 NET)

The previous translation is from the NET Bible translation. Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996, 2019 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

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2 Replies
Jay Smith
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Came across a neat reminder in some of my studies that I had not recognized yet. The parentheticals, (that is, a gift of God) were used by Mark to help bring context to the gentile readers. So that they would not be confused or lost in some of the conversations that dealt with the traditions of the Jewish faith. Pretty neat.

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Jimmy Doyle
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@jralphsmith A note on that word "corban." This is from the Hebrew qorban, it literally means "brought near" (qarob in Hebrew is "near"). It was a vowed gift to God made to the priests in the sanctuary. As a vowed-gift, it could be anything, and once vowed it was seen as belonging to God and not anyone else. However, stipulations could be placed on the corban, such as "I will use it until such-and-such time, but then it is corban, devoted to God." 

Additionally, the rabbis interpreted "honor your father and mother" as meaning "provide for your parents in their old age or in their need." What Jesus seems to be addressing is a situation where a person, instead of honoring their parents by taking care of them, they would say, "Well, I would give you this support, but ultimately this belongs to God as corban and I can't give it to you. I've vowed it to God." And then they would keep using it for themselves, invalidating the command to honor father and mother.

Interestingly, in the written traditions of the rabbis after the first-century, they essentially agree with Jesus: If a person makes a corban vow to God, that vow can and should be annulled in order to fulfill the command to provide for parents if they are in need.