Mark 2:27

27 And Jesus concluded, "The Sabbath was made for the good of human beings; they were not made for the Sabbath.

Mark 2:27 Meaning and Commentary

Mark 2:27

And he said unto them
Continuing his answer to them, and adding, in confirmation of what he had said, and for the further vindication of his disciples,

the sabbath was made for man;
for his good, and not for his hurt; both for the good of his soul, that he might have an opportunity of attending divine worship, both in public and private; and for the good of his body, that he might have rest from his labour; and this was the end of the original institution and appointment of it; and therefore works of necessity are not forbidden on this day; such as are for the necessary comfort, support, and preservation of life; or otherwise it would be apparent, that the sabbath was not appointed for the good, but for the hurt of men. By "man", is not meant all mankind; for the sabbath was never appointed for all mankind, nor binding upon all; only the Jews, who are emphatically called "man", or "men"; see ( Ezekiel 34:30 Ezekiel 34:31 ) , upon which the Jewish writers remark {o}, that

``they are called, (Mda) , "man"; but the idolatrous Gentiles, and nations of the World, are not called "men";''

but dogs, beasts Our Lord may here be thought to speak in their language, as he does in Mt. 15:26, (See Gill on Matthew 15:26). And that the observation of the seventh day, was only designed for the children of Israel, seems manifest from ( Exodus 31:16 Exodus 31:17 ) , "wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant; it is a sign between me and the children of Israel"; and not between him and the rest of the world: and in ( Exodus 31:14 ) , "ye shall keep the sabbath, for it is holy unto you": on which the Jews F16 make this remark, (Nymme) (ravl alw Mkl) , "to you, and not to the rest of the nations": nor did they ever think that the Gentiles were obliged to observe their sabbath, only such who became proselytes to their religion; even those who were proselytes of righteousness: for a proselyte of the gate, was not bound to observe it; for so says F17 Maimonides,

``those who take upon them the seven commandments of Noah only, lo! they are as a proselyte of the gate, and they are free to do work on the sabbath day for themselves, openly, as an Israelite on a common day.''

Yea, they not only say, they were not obliged to keep the sabbath, but that it was not lawful for them to observe it; and that it was even punishable with death them to regard it; for so they say F18,

``a Gentile that keeps the sabbath before he is circumcised, is guilty of death, because it is not commanded him.''

They judged them unworthy of having this precept enjoined them, as being not men, but beasts, and worse than they, and had not the privilege the ass has: hence one of their commentators F19 says,

``concerning the rest of an ass, thou (O Israelite!) art commanded; but concerning the rest of a Gentile, thou art not commanded.''

And not man for the sabbath;
who was in being long before that was appointed and enjoined.


F15 T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 114. 2. Zohar in Exod. fol. 35. 4.
F16 Zohar in Exod. fol. 26. 4.
F17 Hilchot Sabbat, c. 20. sect. 14.
F18 Debarim Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 234. 4.
F19 Bartenora in Misn. Sabbat, c. 24. sect. 1.

Mark 2:27 In-Context

25 Jesus answered, "Have you never read what David did that time when he needed something to eat? He and his men were hungry,
26 so he went into the house of God and ate the bread offered to God. This happened when Abiathar was the High Priest. According to our Law only the priests may eat this bread - but David ate it and even gave it to his men."
27 And Jesus concluded, "The Sabbath was made for the good of human beings; they were not made for the Sabbath.
28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.