Mark 7:11

11 But you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, "Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban"' (that is, given to God)[a]--

Mark 7:11 Meaning and Commentary

Mark 7:11

But ye say
Your elders, doctors, and wise men, in opposition to God and Moses:

if a man shall say to his father or his mother, it is Corban, that
is to say, a gift;
in the same manner is this word interpreted by Josephus, who speaking of some that call themselves Corban unto God, says F21 in the Greek tongue, (dwron de touto semainei) , "this signifies a gift": now, according to the traditions of the elders, whoever made use of that word to his father or his mother, signifying thereby, that what they might have expected relief from at his hands, he had devoted it; or it was as if it was devoted to sacred uses; adding,

by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me, [he shall be free];
and not under any obligation to regard and relieve his parents, let their case and circumstances be what they would. This is the form of a vow, which a man having made on purpose, to free himself from the charge of the maintenance of his parents, when reduced, repeats unto them; or which he makes upon their application to him: various forms of this kind of vows, are produced in the note "Mt 15:5",
which see: this was not the form of an oath, or swearing by Corban, or the sacred treasury in the temple, mentioned in ( Matthew 27:6 ) , of which I do not remember any instance; nor was it a dedication of his substance to holy and religious uses; to the service of God and the temple; but it was a vow he made, that what he had, should be as Corban, as a gift devoted to sacred uses: that as that could not be appropriated to any other use, so his substance, after such a vow, could not be applied to the relief of his parents; though he was not obliged by it to give it for the use of the temple, but might keep it himself, or bestow it upon others. L. Capellus has wrote a very learned dissertation upon this vow, at the end of his Spicilegium on the New Testament; very and our learned countryman, Dr. Pocock, has said many excellent things upon it, in his miscellaneous notes on his Porta Mosis; both which ought to be read and consulted, by those who have learning and leisure.


F21 Autiqu. Jud. l. 4. c. 4. sect. 4.

Mark 7:11 In-Context

9 And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!
10 For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.'
11 But you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, "Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban"' (that is, given to God)--
12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother,
13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do."

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.