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Mark 11:1

ESV Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples
NIV As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples,
NASB And as they *approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, He *sent two of His disciples,
CSB When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples
NLT As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead.
KJV And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,
NKJV Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples;

What does Mark 11:1 mean?

In Jesus' era, Galilee was a Jewish territory geographically separated from Judea by Samaria. Samaria was the district left over from when the Assyrians destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 18:9–12). The Israelites who either remained in the area or returned later intermarried with the settlers Assyria brought in, creating a mixed ethnicity: the Samaritans. Between their lost Israelite ethnicity and their idol worship, traditional Jews considered Samaritans beneath their attention (John 4:9). When Jews from Galilee needed to go to Jerusalem, they typically crossed the Jordan River south of the Sea of Galilee, traveled south through Decapolis and Perea, and crossed back near Jericho. Although Jesus had taken the disciples through Samaria in the past (John 4:1–45) and even made a Samaritan a hero of one of His parables (Luke 10:25–37), He apparently takes the traditional Galilean route this time.

Jesus is not alone, of course. Besides the twelve disciples, several women travel with Jesus to see to His needs (Mark 15:40–41). In addition, many people from Galilee are traveling to Jerusalem for the Passover.

The day Jesus arrives in Bethany, six days before Passover, He eats with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Mary is the sister of Martha, whom Jesus talked to about good priorities (Luke 10:38–42), and Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead (John 11:1–44). After dinner, Mary anoints His feet with expensive perfume and wipes His feet with her hair (John 12:1–8).

Mary apparently does this again two days before the crucifixion at the home of Simon the Leper (Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9). Although the details are very similar, including the expensive nature of the perfume, the objections of the disciples for the expense, and the details of Jesus' response are just different enough that some scholars think John's account might be a second, separate occasion from the one Mark and Matthew record.
What is the Gospel?
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