Mark 9:42

Causing to Stumble

42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.

Mark 9:42 in Other Translations

KJV
42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
ESV
42 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.
NLT
42 “But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck.
MSG
42 "On the other hand, if you give one of these simple, childlike believers a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you'll soon wish you hadn't. You'd be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck.
CSB
42 "But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me-it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

Mark 9:42 Meaning and Commentary

Mark 9:42

And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that
believe in me
Whosoever shall do the, least injury to the meanest person that believes in Christ, who are mean both in their own eyes, and the eyes of others; for Christ is not speaking of little children in age, who are neither capable of believing in Christ, nor are they ready to take offence; but of such as belong to him; his disciples and followers, of whom he is speaking in the preceding verse:

it is better for him that a mill stone were hanged about his neck,
and he were cast into the sea;
and drowned there: the allusion is to the drowning of malefactors, by tying a stone, or any heavy thing about their necks, and casting them into the sea. Casaubon, and others, have shown out of Heathen writers, that this has been a practice of some nations, particularly the Grecians: Jerom says, Christ speaks according to the custom of the country; this being a punishment of the greatest crimes among the Jews; but I have no where met with it in their writings: Christ's sense is, that such who give offence to any of his ministers or people, how mean soever they may appear, shall undergo the severest punishment; (See Gill on Matthew 18:6).

Mark 9:42 In-Context

40 for whoever is not against us is for us.
41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.
43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Matthew 5:29
  • 2. Matthew 18:6; Luke 17:2