Mark 10:46 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 10:46, NIV: "Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means 'son of Timaeus'), was sitting by the roadside begging."

Mark 10:46, ESV: "And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside."

Mark 10:46, KJV: "And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging."

Mark 10:46, NASB: "Then they *came to Jericho. And later, as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a beggar who was blind named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road."

Mark 10:46, NLT: "Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road."

Mark 10:46, CSB: "They came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the road."

What does Mark 10:46 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jericho is in Judea, five miles west of the Jordan River, just north of the Dead Sea. Jerusalem is eighteen miles southwest. Jericho features prominently in Israelite history. Moses died just the other side of the Jordan River (Deuteronomy 34:1–6). Jericho was the first city Joshua and the Israelites conquered after they crossed the Jordan River and entered the Promised Land (Joshua 6). God had the Israelites march around the city once for six days, then seven times on the seventh day. The walls crumbled down, and the Israelites destroyed everyone inside except the family of Rahab.

Joshua cursed whomever would refortify the city, saying, "At the cost of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son shall he set up its gates" (Joshua 6:26). Over five hundred years later, the curse came to fruition. Hiel of Bethel "laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub" (1 Kings 16:34). Archaeological findings confirm that for a five-hundred-year period, from about 1400 BC to 900 BC, Jericho appears to have been uninhabited.

Mark and Matthew (Matthew 20:29) say that Bartimaeus met them as they left Jericho, but Luke says as they "drew near to Jericho" (Luke 18:35). One possible reconciliation is that at this time, there were two locations referred to with the name "Jericho." The original mentioned in the Old Testament was, by the time of Jesus, a small village about two miles south of the larger city. The later Jericho was built by Herod the Great around 35 BC. So, Matthew and Mark would be saying Jesus is leaving the old Jericho while Luke is saying He is approaching the new Jericho.

Bartimaeus is one of only two non-recurring figures whom Mark names, the other being Jairus (Mark 5:22). "Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus" is a bit redundant; in Hebrew, bar means "son of." Scholars suggest that Mark is so specific with his identification because Bartimaeus is known to those in the early church. Matthew 20:30 says that Bartimaeus has a companion who is also healed (Matthew 20:34). Mark and Luke may only mention the beggar with the loudest voice or, perhaps, the man they knew personally.