Mark 14:65 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 14:65, NIV: "Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, 'Prophesy!' And the guards took him and beat him."

Mark 14:65, ESV: "And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows."

Mark 14:65, KJV: "And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands."

Mark 14:65, NASB: "And some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists and say to Him, 'Prophesy!' Then the officers took custody of Him and slapped Him in the face."

Mark 14:65, NLT: "Then some of them began to spit at him, and they blindfolded him and beat him with their fists. 'Prophesy to us,' they jeered. And the guards slapped him as they took him away."

Mark 14:65, CSB: "Then some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to beat him, saying, "Prophesy!" The temple servants also took him and slapped him."

What does Mark 14:65 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin was a mix of legalistic adherence to the law and blatant disregard for God's standards (Mark 14:53–64). First, the late-night / early-morning gathering is irregular, if not illegal, since it's purposefully being done in secrecy (Mark 14:1–2).

The council is searching for some way to convict Jesus of a crime, instead of weighing evidence of a specific infraction. They are willing to accept any false accusation—an egregious violation of the ninth commandment—but in a flagrant display of hypocrisy, will only condemn Jesus on the witness of two identical testimonies. When none of the lies match, the high priest gets frustrated. In what may have been a spur-of-the-moment explosion, he asks Jesus, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" (Mark 14:61). Although Jesus refuses to defend Himself against false testimony, He does acknowledge His own identity (Mark 14:62). Finally, the Sanhedrin has its charge, as they are all witness to His "blasphemy."

Under the Mosaic law, blasphemy against God is punishable by death (Leviticus 24:15–16). This establishes that Jesus—in the judgment of the Jewish court—is "worthy" of death. That doesn't mean the Sanhedrin's work is done. Under Roman rule, Jews are not allowed to execute their own prisoners (John 18:31). Only appointed officials, such as governors, can make that sentence. Soon, Jesus' enemies will have to find a non-religious charge to give to Pilate so Jesus can be crucified. Until then, they are free to vent their anger and frustrations on the prisoner.

Although the Romans do not allow the Jews to perform capital punishment, they could not have cared less about corporal punishments. Spitting and beating were traditional responses to inappropriate behavior. A woman who is denied a levirate marriage to carry on her husband's name is told to spit in the face of her brother-in-law (Deuteronomy 25:9). The Old Testament also specifically prophesies that the Suffering Servant will face such abuse. Isaiah 50:6 says, "I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting."