Mark 14:43 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 14:43, NIV: "Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders."

Mark 14:43, ESV: "And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders."

Mark 14:43, KJV: "And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders."

Mark 14:43, NASB: "And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, *came up, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs who were from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders."

Mark 14:43, NLT: "And immediately, even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders."

Mark 14:43, CSB: "While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. With him was a mob, with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders."

What does Mark 14:43 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Scripture gives few deep details about Judas. He is called "Judas Iscariot," which could mean that he is from the town of Kerioth. Or, it might mean he is a member of the Sicarii, a group of Jewish Zealots who use murder and terrorism to rebel against Roman rule. The Bible doesn't mention where Jesus met Judas or when Jesus called him to be a disciple.

Judas' treachery is extreme, but he is not alone in using Jesus for his own gain. The disciples have regularly asked about their future positions of authority (Mark 9:33–37; 10:35–45) and even started presuming authority where Jesus didn't intend (Mark 9:38–41; 10:13–16). But while the other eleven want power, Judas wants money (Matthew 26:14–15). And while the other disciples are content ruling under Jesus, Judas would just as soon have his money for himself (John 12:4–6).

The chief priests, scribes, and elders make up the Sanhedrin, the Jewish court. The Sanhedrin originated when Moses realized he could not hear all the Israelites' issues, and Moses' father-in-law suggested he find seventy elders who could take care of most of the issues and bring only the most serious to Moses (Exodus 18:13–27). With the occupation of Rome, the Sanhedrin is not allowed to sentence anyone to death (John 18:31), which is why they will take Jesus to Pilate, the governor (Mark 15:1–15).

The chief priests and scribes have already decided they want to arrest Jesus "by stealth," away from the feast to prevent Jesus' many supporters from rebelling against the Roman occupiers (Mark 14:1–2). "The feast" may mean the eight-day period including the Passover and the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. If so, arresting Jesus in the middle of the Passover day is a failure of their plan. But "the feast" may also refer to the crowd gathered for the holidays. This more reasonably fits the choice of a nighttime arrest. The number who follow Judas is a precaution against the closer disciples that always surround Jesus.