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Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges
Mark 9

 

 

Verse 1

1. καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς. The insertion of this introductory formula indicates a break of some kind. The words that follow can hardly be addressed to the multitude (Mark 8:34), and they may have been spoken on another occasion. Mt., as often, omits Mk’s imperf.

Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν. See on Mark 3:28.

εἰσίν τινες ὧδε τ. ἑστ. See crit. note. There be some here of them that stand by (R.V.). We have ὁ ἑστηκώς or ὁ ἑστώς of a “by-stander,” Mark 11:5, Mark 15:35 (?); John 3:29; Acts 22:25.

οὐ μὴ γεύσωνται θανάτου. Shall in no wise taste of death (R.V.); strong negative, as in Mark 9:41, Mark 10:15, Mark 13:2; Mark 13:19; Mark 13:30. The metaphor is taken, not from a death-cup, but from the idea of bitterness, a bitterness which to the believer is only a taste; Hebrews 2:9. See on John 8:52. The phrase is not found in O.T. Cf. γεύεσθαι μόχθων (Soph. Trach. 1101), γεύεσθαι πένθους (Eur. Alc. 1069).

ἕως ἂν ἴδωσιν. Cf. Mark 6:10, Mark 12:36; the constr. is freq. in Mt. and Lk.

τὴν βασιλείαν τ. θεοῦ ἐληλυθυῖαν ἐν δυνάμει. Mt. expands this, as he expands Mark 8:29, and here his expansion is a misinterpretation; he has “till ye see the Son of Man coming in His reign,” with obvious ref. to the Second Advent, which Mark 8:38 suggested to him. Probably, when Mt. wrote, “the reign of God come with power” was understood in that sense. See on Mark 1:15, and Dalman, Words, p. 133. That interpretation became untenable when all the Apostles had died before the Second Advent; and then other interpretations became necessary, of which the following are chief. 1. The Transfiguration (so most of the Fathers); 2. The Resurrection and Ascension (Cajetan, Calvin); 3. Pentecost and the Spread of Christianity (Godet, Hahn, Nösgen, Swete); 4. The Destruction of Jerusalem (Wetstein, Alford, Morison, Plumptre); 5. The internal Development of the Gospel (Erasmus). The test of correctness is εἰσίν τινες τ. ἑστ. Among the bystanders are some who will see the reign of God come with power, while others will not. That seems to exclude 2 and 3, unless the absence of Judas is held to justify εἰσίν τινες. The Transfiguration could be meant only in the sense that it was a sort of symbol or earnest of the reign of God; and “shall in no wise taste of death until” could hardly be used of an event which was to take place in about a week. No modern writer seems to adopt it. The destruction of Jerusalem was witnessed by a few of those present, and it swept away Judaism, leaving Christianity in full possession; Moses and Elijah vanished, and Jesus only, with His ministers, remained. Possibly no single event is intended, but only the solemn declaration that before long, by the power of God, the reign of God will be firmly established (Lagrange). In any case, it is not sound criticism to insist that Mt., who so often expands Christ’s words, alone in this case gives His words correctly, and that, in saying that some of those present would see the Second Advent, Christ said what has proved to be untrue. Moreover, we have to remember that Christ’s language, especially on this subject, reflects the pictorial symbolism of later Judaism. Much of it may be oriental imagery, setting forth the triumphant success of the Gospel, without any reference to Christ’s return in glory. In particular, ἐν δυνάμει does not refer to “glory” but to “power,” viz. the powerful energy which was manifested wherever the Gospel was preached.

The pert. ἐλήλυθα occurs nowhere else in Mk and nowhere at all in Mt. It is fairly freq. in Lk. and Jn, but Lk. omits it here, and his report of the words is the least eschatological of the three.


Verse 2

2. μετὰ ἡμέρας ἕξ. If μετὰ ἡμ. τρεῖς means “on the third day” (Mark 8:31), μετὰ ἡμ. ἕξ should mean “on the sixth day.” Lk. says “about eight days,” which would be no serious discrepancy, even “if on the sixth day” were certainly the right meaning. There is no special point in either “six” or “about eight,” and the statement that there was a week’s interval is a mark of historic truth, like “Legion” in Mark 5:9. Other marks of truth are the good connexions with what precedes and what follows, the fitness of the position in the Ministry as a whole, and the injunction to silence, a detail not likely to be invented. Moreover, there is no parallel in O.T., for the illumination of Moses’ face has little similarity. The additional details given by Lk., coupled with his independent wording, suggest that he had information besides that which he derived from Mk; and the mention of the Transfiguration in 2 Peter 1:16-18 shows what Christians of that age, whatever the date of 2 Pet. may be, believed respecting it. Its absence from Jn is no difficulty, for that Gospel omits so much that had been already sufficiently recorded.

The manner of the wonder, as in the feeding of the thousands, eludes us, and it is vain to ask in what way Moses and Elijah were visible and audible to the apostles; but the significance of it can in some measure be understood. It encouraged the three witnesses, who had been perplexed and depressed by the announcement that the Messiah must suffer and die; and this encouragement would spread to the other disciples, although for a few months they were not to know the reason for it. It intimated that His Kingdom was not of this world; it was no earthly reign. It is also possible that this foretaste of His glory imparted encouragement to the Messiah Himself, analogous to the strengthening which He received from an Angel, when His sufferings had already begun. Hastings’ D.B. and D.C.G. art. “Transfiguration” and the literature there quoted.

παραλαμβάνει. Cf. Mark 4:36, Mark 5:40, Mark 10:32.

τὸν Ἰάκωβον καὶ Ἰωάννην. One art. for the pair of brothers. Lk. reverses the order and has no art. See on Mark 5:37.

ἀναφέρει. Not a common use of the verb in class. Grk. In Bibl. Grk its general use is offering to God.

εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλόν. The mountain is nowhere named. The Mount of Olives is an extraordinary conjecture. It is not high, and both before and after the Transfiguration Christ is in or near Galilee. Tabor is the traditional scene, perhaps suggested by Psalms 89:12. In the Eastern Church the Feast of the Transfiguration (6 August) is sometimes called τὸ θαβώριον. But there was a fortified village on Tabor (Joseph. B.J. IV. i. 8, II. xx. 6). Hermon, which is over 9000 ft, is now generally adopted. It could easily be reached from Caesarea Philippi in a day or two. Lk. says that Christ went up the mountain to pray (cf. Mark 6:46), and that it was during His prayer that the Transfiguration took place.

κατʼ ἰδίαν μόνους. Characteristic fulness; Mk alone has the rather superfluous μόνους. He is fond of κατʼ ἰδίαν (Mark 4:34, Mark 6:31-32, Mark 7:33, Mark 9:2; Mark 9:28, Mark 13:3), which Mt. has here, but not Lk. Syr-Sin. omits κατʼ ἰδίαν.

μετεμορφώθη. Transfiguratus est (Vulg.). see on 2 Corinthians 3:18, where Vulg. has transformamur and neither A.V. nor R.V. has “transfigured.” See Lightfoot, Philippians, p. 131. The word, avoided by Lk., gives us no sure clue as to the nature of the change.

ἔμπροσθεν. Freq. in Mt. and not rare in Lk. and Jn, but here only in Mk.


Verses 2-8

2–8. THE TRANSFIGURATION

Matthew 17:1-8. Luke 9:28-36


Verse 3

3. στίλβοντα. Here only in N.T.; in LXX. of the gleaming of polished metal (Nahum 3:6; 1 Maccabees 6:39; etc.).

λίαν οἷα γναφεὺς κ.τ.λ. See crit. note. Again we have a fulness of description which is in Mk alone, but he omits the brightness of Christ’s face. Γναφεύς occurs nowhere else in N.T. Cf. ἄγναφος (Mark 2:21; Matthew 9:16), and the paradoxical ἐλεύκαναν αὐτὰς ἐν τῷ αἵματι τοῦ ἀρνίου (Revelation 7:14).

ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς. Not superfluous; it contrasts earthly with heavenly whiteness. Syr-Sin. omits λίανλευκᾶναι.


Verse 4

4. ὤφθη. The word used of the appearances of Christ after the Resurrection (Luke 24:34; Acts 9:17; Acts 13:31; Acts 26:16; 1 Corinthians 15:5-8). The three were thoroughly awake (Luke 9:32). The ὅραμα (Matthew 17:9) was no dream.

Ἠλείας σὺν ΄ωυσεῖ. Mt. and Lk. have “Moses and Elijah,” which is the more natural order. But Elijah was expected to return (Mark 6:15, Mark 8:28), whereas Moses was an unexpected addition; hence Mk’s expression. The possible reappearance of Moses seems to have been a later idea of the Jews. In spite of Deuteronomy 34:5 and Joshua 1:1-2, it was believed that he was taken up to heaven alive (Assumption of Moses). The power to recognize these representatives of the Law and the Prophets is analogous to that of St Paul recognizing Ananias in a vision (Acts 9:12). The recognition was necessary for the purposes of the Transfiguration, and it might confirm them in the belief that Christ was not overturning the Law and the Prophets, for the representatives of both were in conference with Him. “The Law and the Prophets paid homage to the Gospel” (Loisy).


Verse 5

5. ἀποκριθείς. See on Mark 8:29 sub fin. Peter’s “answer” was not to words addressed to him, but to facts which appealed to him. Cf. Mark 10:24; Mark 10:51, Mark 11:14, Mark 12:35, Mark 14:48, Mark 15:12. Lk. says that it was uttered as Moses and Elijah were parting from Christ after talking with Him about His exodus from this world. Peter wants them to stay in order that the existing ecstasy may continue.

Ῥαββεί. Mk alone preserves the original Aramaic; cf. Mark 11:21, Mark 14:45, and see on Mark 10:51. In all these places A.V. obscures a characteristic feature. Lk. translates it with his characteristic ἐπιστάτα, Mt. with κύριε.

καλόν ἐστιν. It is a good thing that we are here. “It is a beautiful coincidence. We are very happy, and we can make ourselves useful.” Perhaps he desires that the Master’s sufferings, if they cannot be avoided (Mark 8:32), may be indefinitely postponed. Cette intervention de Pierre, si elle est malavisée, donne à toute l’ épisode le cachet le plus réel (Lagrange).

τρεῖς σκηνάς. He may be thinking of booth-making at the [2079] of Tabernacles, which possibly was being celebrated at this time (Mackinlay); but neither possibility is required to explain Peter’s proposal.

καὶ ΄ωϋσεῖ μίαν καὶ Ἠλείᾳ μίαν. “Not so,” says Jerome; “the Law and the Prophets are now in the tabernacle of the Gospel.” Here Moses is placed before Elijah.


Verse 6

6. οὐ γὰρ ᾔδει τί ἀποκριθῇ. “Answer” as in Mark 9:5. No one spoke to him, and he knew not what to say, yet with his usual impulsiveness he says something. Mt. again spares one of the Twelve and omits this. See on Mark 6:52.

ἔκφοβοι. Strong compound (Hebrews 12:21); they became sore afraid (R.V.), or they had become, for the fear preceded and explained the ill-advised utterance. See on Mark 5:8. All three mention this fear, but at different points in the narrative; Mk before the cloud and the voice, Lk. after the cloud and before the voice, Mt. after both cloud and voice.


Verse 7

7. νεφέλη ἐπισκιάζουσα αὐτοῖς. Mt. says that it was “luminous” (φωτινή), which is somewhat out of harmony with “overshadow”; but the etymology of ἐπισκιάζω need not be pressed. Cf. ἐπέφωσκεν of evening coming on (Luke 23:54). The cloud hung over them and rested above them. Syr-Sin. has “Him” for “them.” The luminous cloud represents the Shechinah, symbolizing the Divine Presence, and it is in marked contrast to the petty shelter suggested by Peter. Similarity of sound may have suggested a connexion between Shechinah and ἐπισκιάζω. Cf. the cloud at the Ascension (Acts 1:9), and at the Second Advent (Luke 21:27).

Οὗτός ἐστιν. We have four reports of this Voice, those of the Synoptists and that of 2 Pet., and no two of them agree in wording. These differences are less important than the difference between this Voice and the one at the Baptism, viz. the ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ. At the Baptism (Mark 1:11) the words are addressed to Christ, here to the Apostles. The Law and the Prophets are consummated in Christ, and henceforth the disciples are to listen to Him. Thus the charge of the Heavenly Father agrees with the last recorded words of the earthly Mother, “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5). This Voice assured the disciples that, although the Jews might reject Him and the Romans put Him to death (Mark 8:31), yet He was accepted and beloved by God. The servants who prepared the way have passed; the Son abides (John 8:35). On the proposal to make ὁ ἀγαπητός a separate title of the Messiah, ὁ υἱός μου, ὁ ἀγαπητός, see Hastings’ D.B. II. 501.


Verse 8

8. ἐξάπινα. To be taken with εἶδον. Here only in N.T., but not rare in LXX. Elsewhere we have ἐξαίφνης (ἐξέφνης, W.H.); Mark 13:36; Luke 2:13; Luke 9:39; Acts 9:3. Sudden return to normal conditions. They expected to see some further marvel.

οὐκέτι οὐδένα. See on Mark 1:44; neither here nor there is there a double neg. in Mt.


Verse 9

9. Καὶ καταβαινόντων. See crit. note. The Transfiguration probably took place at night and the descent from the mount on the following morning (Luke 9:37).

ἐκ τοῦ ὄρους. The ἐκ suggests that they came out of some secluded spot on the mountain. [2080][2081][2082] 33 support ἐκ against ἀπό.

διεστείλατο. Mk’s favourite word; see on Mark 5:43; for αὐτοῖς after a gen. abs. see on Mark 5:21, for ἵνα see on Mark 3:9, for διηγήσωνται see on Mark 5:16.

εἰ μὴ ὅταν. Save when (R.V.) rather than “till” (A.V.). The ὅταν, “whenever,” leaves the time of the rising again quite indefinite. This agrees with the prohibition to proclaim Him as Messiah (Mark 8:30); to tell of the recent glory would intensify erroneous ideas about Him. This principle of concealing His Messiahship runs through the whole of Mk (Mark 3:12, Mark 8:30, Mark 9:9, Mark 10:18). The Resurrection showed where His true glory lay. For ἐκ νεκρῶν see on Mark 6:14.


Verses 9-13

9–13. THE DESCENT AND THE DISCUSSION ABOUT ELIJAH

Matthew 17:9-13


Verse 10

10. τὸν λόγον ἐκράτησαν. They kept the saying; they not only remembered it but obeyed it; cf. Mark 7:3-4; Mark 7:8.

πρὸς ἑαυτούς. Amphibolous, but better taken with συνζητοῦντες (R.V.) than with ἐκράτησαν. Syr-Sin. has “reasoning with themselves.” They would be familiar with the idea of rising from the dead, but the special resurrection of the Son of Man perplexed them. Syr-Sin. has “What is this word that He said, When He is risen from the dead?” [2083] and Lat.-Vet. have ὅταν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ for τὸ ἐκ ν. ἀναστῆναι. The ἐστί reproduces their wording; “what His rising again from the dead is.” This questioning is omitted by Mt., who again refrains from recording the Apostles’ want of intelligence; cf. Mark 6:52, Mark 9:6, Mark 10:24.


Verse 11

11. ἐπηρώτων. Conversational imperf. which Mt., as often, changes to aor. Some would place Mark 9:11-13 after Mark 8:38, and they would fit that position; but there is no other evidence that they ever had it.

Ὅτι λέγουσιν. Here and in Mark 9:28 R.V. makes ὅτι recitative; but it is probably interrogative in both places, as perhaps in 1 Chronicles 17:6. In Mark 2:16 the reading is doubtful. The question seems to imply that the appearance of Elijah after the appearance of the Messiah had perplexed them. It reminded them of Malachi 4:5, which the Scribes interpreted to mean that Elijah would appear again before the Messiah came. Cf. Sirach 48:10.


Verse 12

12. Ἠλείας μὲν ἐλθών. The μὲν is concessive; “It is true,” “indeed.” The corresponding δέ is lost in the interjected question; ἀλλὰ λέγω takes its place. Cf. 1 Corinthians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:18; Romans 7:12; Romans 10:1. The correlation μὲνδὲ … is much less freq. in N.T. than in class. Grk.

ἀποκαθιστάνει. MSS. differ as to the form used, whether from ἀποκατιστάνω, which W.H. “with hesitation” prefer (App. p. 168), or ἀποκθίστημι, or ἀποκαθιστάνω.

καὶ πῶς γέγραπται; This is a direct (R.V.) and not an indirect (A.V.) question. Christ answers their question with another, which points to the answer to theirs. “How is it that it stands written that the Messiah is to suffer? If the Messiah is about to surfer, Elijah must already have come.” This repetition of the prediction that He must suffer is remarkable, so soon after the glory on the mount.


Verse 13

13. ἀλλὰ λέγω ὑμῖν. But, so far from this being a difficulty, I say to you that Elijah moreover is come. There is no ἐγώwith λέγω (contrast Matthew 5:22; Matthew 5:28; Matthew 5:32, etc.), because there is no opposition between what Christ says and what the Scribes say. Christ confirms the belief that an Elijah must come. His statement goes beyond that of the Scribes. Not only must he come, but “moreover he is come and they did to him, etc.”

ἐποίησαν αὐτῷ. They did to him whatsoever they listed. They imprisoned him and put him to death. There was no need to say who had treated “Elijah” in this manner. The phrase is in O.T. style (1 Kings 9:1; 1 Kings 10:13; Psalms 113:1; Daniel 8:4; 1 Maccabees 7:16), and indicates absolute power. Both Mk and Mt. have ἐποίησαν, which A.V. renders “have done.” R.V. has “did” in Mt., but leaves “have done” in Mk.

καθὼς γέγραπται ἐπʼ αὐτόν. Even as it stands written about him. Antipas and Herodias were foreshadowed in Ahab and Jezebel.


Verse 14

14. ἐλθόντεςεἶδον. See crit. note. Written from the point of view of one of those (Peter) who had been on the mount. Zahn, Introd. to N.T. II. pp. 494 f. Mt. and Lk. are different. The contrast between the peace and glory on the mount and the conflict below will never be forgotten so long as Raffaelle’s great picture, the last which he completed, survives. Compare Moses on the mount communing with Jehovah, and Aaron compromising with idolatry below.

πρὸς τ. μαθητάς. The Apostles who had not witnessed the Transfiguration.

γραμματεῖς. They had been successfully attacking the nine in the absence of the Master. Their presence in the North is evidence of their watchfulness. Some, however, would omit γραμματεῖς as a gloss—against all evidence—and make the disciples dispute with one another about their failure. We hear no more of these Scribes.


Verses 14-29

14–29. CURE OF A DEMONIAC BOY

Matthew 17:14-20. Luke 9:37-43


Verse 15

15. ἐξεθάμβησαν. The strong compound is peculiar to Mk in N.T. (Mark 14:33, Mark 16:5-6). The crowd were awe-struck at the opportuneness of His unexpected arrival. They leave the disputants and run to welcome the great Healer and Teacher. It is improbable that “traces of the celestial glory” of the Transfiguration struck them with awe. Christ had enjoined silence about that, and such traces would have made silence almost impossible. Vulg. translates both readings, ἐξεθαμβήθη and ἐξεθάμβησαν, omnis populus videns eum stupefactus est et expaverunt et accurrentes salutabant eum. Jerome cannot have meant both to stand. Syr-Sin. omits πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος.


Verse 16

16. ἐπηρώτησεν. Only here, Mark 9:21, and Mark 12:28 does Mk use the aor. of this verb; elsewhere the imperf. (Mark 5:9, Mark 7:5; Mark 7:17, etc.). Mt. of course omits the question as implying that Christ was ignorant. Cf. Mark 5:9; Mark 5:30, Mark 6:38, Mark 8:12; Mark 8:23, etc. The question is addressed to the crowd (see crit. note), who had joined in attacking the nine for their failure to heal. Their sympathy would be with the father of the boy. These Apostles had healed people during their mission (Mark 6:13); why would they not heal the only son (Lk.) of this poor man?


Verse 17

17. εἷς ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου. The question was addressed to the multitude; the man who was specially interested at once replies. He was eager to secure help before more time was lost.

Διδάσκαλε. Mt., as at Mark 9:5, has the more reverent Κύριε. The Aramaic would be Rabbi in both places. The father tells much more than Christ had asked, and his statement is very natural, though not quite accurate. He had set out intending to bring his boy to Christ, but had arrived during His absence, and so had brought him to the disciples (Mt.). The spirit is called “dumb” either because of its effect on the boy, or because it refused to answer when addressed. Lagrange quotes Plut. De defectu orac. p. 438 B of a Pythia who gave no response ἀλάλου καὶ κακοῦ πνεύματος οὖσα πλήρης. Cf. Luke 11:14; Matthew 12:22.


Verse 18

18. ῥήσσει αὐτόν. Convulses him; Lk. σπαράσσει. But ῥήσσει may mean dashes him down (R.V.); cf. Wisdom of Solomon 4:19, ῥήξει αὐτοὺς ἀφώνους πρηνεῖς.

ἀφρίζει καὶ τρίζει. Neither verb is found elsewhere in N.T. Each Evangelist describes the symptoms differently, and Hobart (pp. 17–20) regards three expressions used by Lk. as medical. The father is anxious that Christ should know how grievous his son’s case is. Cf. Soph. Electr. 709.

ξηραίνεται. Withereth away; or perhaps “becomes like a dry stick, bloodless and motionless.” Trench, Miracles, p. 372.

οὐκ ἴσχυσαν. They were powerless. We must distinguish the οὐκ ἴσχυσαν of Mk and Mt. from Lk.’s οὐκ ἠδυνήθησαν, and εἰ δύνῃ (Mark 9:22-23), and οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν (Mark 9:28); but here “had not strength” (Luke 16:3) would not be suitable.


Verse 19

19. Ὦ γενεὰ ἄπιστος, ἕως πότε ἔσομαι. In all three, who agree much more closely in the wording of Christ’s reply than in that of the father’s appeal. Throughout the Synoptics, the chief agreements are in Christ’s Sayings, which tradition preserved more carefully than narrative or the sayings of others. The whole company, esp. the powerless disciples, are included in the “unbelieving generation.” The repeated ἕως πότε is “the Lord’s quousque tandem” (Swete). There is weariness and disappointment in the reproach. Bede compares it to that of a physician whose directions have not been followed. Cf. John 14:9; Revelation 6:10; and with πρὸς ὑμᾶς the πρὸς ὑμᾶς, Mark 6:3, and πρὸς ὑμᾶς, Mark 14:49.


Verse 20

20. καὶ ἰδὼν κ.τ.λ. There is the common confusion of personality between the demoniac and the demon; cf. Mark 3:11. In any case we have a confusion of construction, as often in Mk. Either ἰδών refers to τὸ πνεῦμα, the masc. being used because Mk thinks of the demon as a person; or ἰδών refers to the boy, and the sentence means “when the boy saw Jesus, straightway he was convulsed by the demon.”

συνεσπάραξεν. Also in Lk. Stronger than σπάραξαν (Mark 1:26), where, as here, Syr-Sin. has “threw him down.” Cf. συμπληρόω, συντέμνω.

ἐκυλίετο. Here only in N.T., but freq. in LXX. Cf. κυλισμός (2 Peter 2:22). The change from aor. to imperf. is accurate.


Verse 21

21. ἐπηρώτησεν. Our Lord is asking for information, as in Mark 9:16, Mark 6:38, Mark 8:23. Both Mt. and Lk. omit the question. Cf. Soph. O.T. 558. How long time is it since this hath come to him? Here only in Mk is ὡς used in a temporal sense. In Lk., Jn, and Acts it is very freq.

Ἐκ παιδιόθεν. Pleonastic, like ἀπὸ μακρόθεν (Mark 5:6), and our “from whence,” “from henceforth”; παιδιόθεν ([2084][2085][2086]) or ἐκ παιδίου would suffice. The A text of Genesis 47:3 has ἐκ παιδιόθεν.


Verse 22

22. ὕδατα. The plur. may mean pools and streams. We are not to think of suicidal mania; a convulsion near fire or water often nearly proved fatal. To understand this of feverish alternations of heat and shivering is unnatural.

εἴ τι δύνῃ. When he left home, the father was confident that Jesus could heal his son; but the disciples’ failure has weakened his trust in the Master’s power. Syr-Sin. has “as much as thou canst do.”


Verse 23

23. Τὸ εἰ δύνῃ. See crit. note. Christ quotes with surprise the father’s expression of doubt, and τό is a mark of quotation. It depends on the father rather than on Christ whether the son can be healed or not. Christ can heal, if the father has faith (Mark 2:5, Mark 5:34; Mark 5:36, Mark 6:5). The leper (Mark 1:40) doubted whether Christ had the will to cleanse so unworthy a person as himself; this father doubts whether Christ has the power to heal his son. The proposal to retain the common reading and make the inserted verb imperat. (πίστευσαι instead of πιστεῦσαι) does not make the reading more probable. Both δύνῃ (Luke 16:2) and δύνασαι (Mark 1:40; Matthew 5:36) occur in N.T.

πάντα δυνατὰ τῷ πιστεύοντι. As often, Christ states a comprehensive principle and leaves us to find out the necessary limitations. See on Mark 10:27, Mark 14:36. Faith enables us to take hold of the power of God to be used in accordance with His will. Syr-Sin. has “all things can happen unto thee, if thou believest.”


Verse 24

24. εὐθὺς κράξας. See crit. note. The father does not lose an instant in expressing his desire to raise his trust in Christ to the utmost, though he cannot feel that he completely fulfils the condition implied in τῷ πιστεύοντι. He prays Christ to strengthen his faith, and his prayer has been echoed by thousands since Mk put it on record. “Help me, although unbelieving” is not the meaning, but “Help my faith where it is ready to fail” (Swete). The whole of this impressive conversation (ἵνα ἀπολέσῃ αὐτόνἀπιστίᾳ) is peculiar to Mk. The Freer MS. has “the spirit of the child” instead of “the father of the child.” This looks like a slip of the careless copyist. See Appendix.


Verse 25

25. ἐπισυντρέχει ὄχλος. A multitude came running together (R.V.). Not “the people” (A.V.); there is no art. in the true text, and therefore no ref. to the crowd already mentioned. Apparently Christ and the father had drawn away from it (Mark 7:33, Mark 8:23) while the boy was being fetched, and now a fresh crowd runs towards the group. The double compound occurs nowhere else in N.T., and both prepositions have point, one knot of people on the top of another. Cf. ἐπισυνηγμένη, Mark 1:33.

Τὸ ἄλαλον. Nom. with art. for voc. See on Mark 5:8. All three have ἐπετίμησεν, but the words of the rebuke and the two verses which follow are peculiar to Mk.

ἐγὼ ἐπιτάσσω. Emphatic pronoun; “It is no longer disciples who speak, but ἐγώ, ὃν οἶδας” (Euthym.).


Verse 26

26. πολλὰ σπαράξας. The masc. here is in favour of ἰδών in Mark 9:20 referring to the demon rather than the boy. As if desiring to do as much mischief as possible before leaving. Vulg. has discerpens here and Mark 1:26, but conturbavit in Mark 9:20, thus making the simple verb stronger than the compound; πολλὰ is multum, as in Mark 5:10; Mark 5:23; Mark 5:38; it might have been vehementer, as in Mark 5:43.

τοὺς πολλούς. The more part (R.V.), “most of them”; cf. Mark 6:2, Mark 12:37. But Mk seems to make little difference between οἱ πολλοί and πολλοί.

Ἀπέθανεν. As in Mark 5:35, the aor. is used of a death which has just taken place.


Verse 27

27. κρατήσας τῆς χειρός. See on Mark 1:31. Bede points out that healing by means of touch is further proof of the reality of Christ’s humanity. Syr-Sin. has “and delivered him to his father.”


Verse 28

28. εἰσελθόντος αὐτοῦ. This gen. abs., instead of the participle agreeing with the noun or pronoun following, is in Mk’s style; Mark 5:18; Mark 5:21, Mark 10:17, Mark 11:27, Mark 13:1; Mark 13:3. See crit. note.

εἰς οἶκον. Indoors, as Mark 3:19. This subsequent questioning is freq., esp. in the privacy of a house (Mark 4:10, Mark 7:17, Mark 10:10).

Ὅτι ἡμεῖς; Interrogative, as in Mark 9:11, and ἡμεῖς is emphatic. They have been empowered to cast out demons (Mark 3:15, Mark 6:7); how is it that they have failed in this case?


Verse 29

29. Τοῦτο τὸ γένος κ.τ.λ. The reply is obscure in two particulars. 1. What γένος? Evil spirits of any kind? or those which render their victims deaf and dumb? 2. Who is to pray? The exorcist? or the victim’s friends? or the possessed person himself? Mt. gives a much simpler answer, which may be regarded as interpreting Mk, Διὰ τὴν ὀλιγοπιστίαν. To be effectual, prayer must be accompanied by faith, and the disciples who had proved powerless either had not prayed, or had prayed without faith. They may have thought that the power to heal was inherent in themselves, and that there was no need to pray; or they had had little trust that God would hear their prayer. Mt. sometimes gives his interpretation of Christ’s words as having been actually spoken; see on Mark 9:1, Mark 8:29.

ἐν προσευχῇ. See crit. note. The widely diffused addition και νηστείᾳ may be safely rejected as an early interpolation in the interests of asceticism. In Acts 10:30, νηστεύων καὶ is condemned on still stronger evidence ([2087][2088][2089][2090] and Versions), while the evidence against τῇ νηστείᾳ καὶ in 1 Corinthians 7:5 is overwhelming. Matthew 17:21 is an interpolation from Mark 9:29 after καὶ νηστείᾳ had been added. Here the internal evidence is as strong as the external. When a demoniac was brought to the disciples to be healed, were they to say, “We must first fast for so many hours”?


Verse 30

30. Κἀκεῖθεν. From the neighbourhood of the “high mountain” (Mark 9:2). The best MSS. usually have κἀκεῖθεν: καὶ ἐκεῖθεν (Mark 10:1) is a very rare exception.

οὐκ ἤθελεν. He is still in quest of seclusion for the training of the Twelve. It is noteworthy that in none of these quests is He represented as working a miracle in order to secure seclusion; repeated failures do not induce Him to use supernatural means where ordinary means may suffice.


Verses 30-32

30–32. ANOTHER PREDICTION OF THE PASSION

Matthew 17:22-23. Luke 9:43-45


Verse 31

31. Ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. The Twelve have by no means grasped the import of the Passion, still less that of the Resurrection, and Jesus continues to instruct them. They know that He is ὁ Χριστός, yet He does not speak of Himself by that title, which might lead them to use it inadvertently in speaking of Him to others, in violation of Mark 8:30. He continues to use the title which veiled, while to some it suggested, His Messiahship.

παραδίδοται. Is being delivered up by the Father into the hands of men. This interpretation is as old as Origen (on Mt.) and is powerfully defended by Abbott, Paradosis, p. 53 f. If the verb refers to Judas (Mark 3:19), εἰς χεῖρς ἀνθρώπων is almost superfluous; if God is meant, the addition is almost necessary. Cf. 2 Samuel 24:14; Sirach 2:17. There may be a play of words between “Son of Man” and “hands of men.” The pres. may mean that the process of delivering is already begun, but more probably is the common usage of pres. for what is sure to take place.


Verse 32

32. οἱ δὲ ἠγνόουν. But they remained ignorant. Out of consideration for the Twelve, Mt. omits both their ignorance and their fear. Lk. suggests that, as in the case of the two on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:16), they were not allowed to know then, in order that they might remember it afterwards, and see that Christ had suffered with full knowledge and free will. Ῥῆμα is freq. in the other Gospels and not rare in the Epistles, but in Mk is found only here and Mark 14:72.

ἐφοβοῦντο. They had heard the severe rebuke to Peter (Mark 8:33). The question about Elijah was an indirect attempt to obtain an explanation (Mark 9:11), and the answer had not made things clear to them. They could not understand the Messiah’s rising again, because they did not see how the Messiah could die, and they were afraid of being rebuked for doubting it, or possibly of being told something still more distressing than this general prediction of His sufferings.


Verse 33

33. ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ γενόμενος. When He had got indoors, in contrast to ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ. This time it is Christ who asks for an explanation of “what has been said.” See on Mark 9:28.

Τί ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ διελογίζεσθε; Here Christ asks in order to educate. They would not quarrel about such a matter in His immediate presence; but He got no answer to His question, and therefore the subject of their dispute was known to Him in some other way (Luke 9:47).


Verses 33-37

33–37. THE QUESTION OF PRECEDENCE

Matthew 18:1-5. Luke 9:46-48


Verse 34

34. τίς μείζων. They were ashamed to confess such a dispute and were afraid of condemnation. Bede suggests that the preference shown to the three seorsum ductos in montem may have led to the dispute. Mt. represents them as asking Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” The use of the comparative, without the art., as equivalent to the superlative is freq. in late Greek. Blass, § 11. 3, 44. 3; Winer, pp. 303, 305. For ἐσιώπων, they remained silent, see on Mark 10:48.


Verse 35

35. καθίσας ἐφώνησεν τοὺς δώδεκα. Mk alone has this picturesque detail. He commonly sat to teach (see on Mark 13:3), but here He may be resting after the journey.

Εἴ τις θέλει. If any man desireth to be first.

ἔσται πάντων ἔσχατος. This does not mean that the result of striving to be first is degradation, but that the way to be first is self-suppression and service (Mark 10:43-44); de humilitate ad summa crescimus (Cypr. De zelo, 10). This saying is echoed in Ep. of Polycarp 5; see on Mark 14:38.


Verse 36

36. λαβὼν παιδίον. A representative of the humblest and simplest of His followers; τὸ γὰρ παιδίον οὔτε δόξης ἐφίεται, οὔτε φθονεῖ, οὔτε μνησικακεῖ (Theoph.). Syr-Sin. inserts that “He looked at him” before addressing the disciples. Similarly at Mark 10:16 it inserts that “He called” the children before laying His hands on them.

ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν. He was sitting as the centre of the group, and therefore ἐν μέσῳ for the child would be παρʼ ἑαυτῷ (Lk.), the place of honour. For other instances of Christ’s treatment of children see Mark 10:15; Luke 10:21; Luke 17:2; Matthew 21:16. The tradition that this child was Ignatius of Antioch is not found earlier than the ninth cent. (Anastasius Bibliothecarius, Nicephorus Callistus). It is not mentioned by Eusebius, and Chrysostom says that Ignatius had not seen Christ. The title ὁ Θεοφόρος means that Ignatius carried God in his heart, and ὁ Θεόφορος would mean “borne along by God” rather than “carried in the Divine arms.” It is futile to guess whose child it was.

ἐναγκαλισάμενος. See on Mark 10:16. In Proverbs 6:10; Proverbs 24:33 [28] the verb is used of folding the arms with the hands in lazy inactivity. Syr-Sin. omits.


Verse 37

37. ἕν τῶν τοιούτων παιδίων. Anyone of similar childlike character. Nothing is said about his coming in the Name of the Lord: πᾶς δὲ ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου δεχθήτω (Didache xii. 1).

δέξηται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου. “Receiveth on the basis of My Name,” “name” being here used in the common signification of “character.” He who does this, not because he is fond of children or of simple persons, but because they represent to him the Christlike character, has the honour of having Christ as his guest. Cf. Mark 9:39, Mark 13:6. Mk also uses ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι (Mark 9:38), ἐν ὀνόματι (Mark 9:31, Mark 11:9), and διὰ τὸ ὄνομα (Mark 13:13). See on 3 John 1:7; also Deissmann, Bibl. St. pp. 146, 196.

οὐκ ἐμὲ δέχεται. Οὐκ = οὐ μόνον. “Not only receives Me” or “Not so much receives Me”; cf. Mark 10:45. “I will have mercy and not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6) does not condemn sacrifice but says that mercy is far better; cf. Luke 10:20; Luke 14:12; Luke 23:28; John 12:44. What is negatived in such expressions, as being defective, is included, with a great deal more, in the affirmative clause. Blass, § 77. 12. This Saying is Johannine in tone and carries us far in Christology; cf. Luke 10:16. Abbott, Johannine Grammar, § 25, 93. Both ἀποστέλλω (Matthew 10:40; Luke 9:48; John 3:17, etc.) and πέμπω (Luke 12:13; John 4:34, etc.) are used of the mission of the Son. See on John 1:33.


Verse 38

38. Ἔφη αὐτῷ. See crit. note. This kind of asyndeton is rare in Mk (Mark 10:28, Mark 12:24), as in Lk. and Jn, but is freq. in Mt. Nowhere else in the Synoptists is John mentioned as intervening singly. He speaks again with others Mark 10:35 and Mark 13:3.

Διδάσκαλε. Lk. has his favourite Ἐπιστάτα (cf. Mark 9:5). It is possible that the words ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου remind him of the incident which he mentions. He may mean, “Were we not right in refusing to receive as an ally one who did not receive Thee as Master?” Justin (Try. 30) says that in his time the Name of Jesus was used with success in exorcisms.

ἐκωλύομεν. Conative imperf., as in Matthew 3:14; cf. Matthew 15:23; Luke 1:59; Luke 5:6. Or “repeatedly forbade” may be the meaning.

ὅτι οὐκ ἠκολούθει ἡμῖν. Because he was not following us. The exorcist did not profess to be a disciple; and the disciples were indignant, not because he had been rivalling their powers, but because, without authority, he had been using Christ’s Name. Unlike the juggling exorcists in Acts 19:13-16, the man was evidently (in however defective a way) sincere and successful. To suppose that this exorcist is meant to represent St Paul is a curiosity in criticism. A representative of St Paul would preach rather than exorcize.


Verses 38-40

38–40. MISTAKEN ZEAL FOR THE NAME

Luke 9:49-50


Verse 39

39. ΄ὴ κωλύετε. Cease to forbid him, or anyone like him. Cf. Mark 5:36, Mark 6:50, Mark 10:14; also the reply of Moses to Joshua’s jealous advice (Numbers 11:29). It is an unworthy interpretation which makes Christ’s words mean, “He gets his living by Me, and therefore is sure not to be against Me.”


Verse 40

40. καθʼ ἡμῶν, ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν. See crit. note. It is strange that Renan (V. de J. p. 229) and E. Klostermann (ad loc.) should regard Matthew 12:30 = Luke 11:23 as giving a contradictory rule. Loisy would have us believe that Mk omitted the other saying at Mark 3:27 because he meant to make Christ say something different elsewhere. The two rules are perfectly harmonious, but this one is to be used in judging other people, the other rule in judging ourselves. If we are not sure that others are against Christ, we must treat them as being for Him; if we are not sure that we are on His side, we have reason to fear that we are against Him. Both rules show that friendly action and hostility are incongruous.


Verse 41

41. ὃς γάρ. The γὰρ looks back to Mark 9:37, to what was said before John’s interruption. “Receiving” Christ’s representative need not mean anything magnificent; help as humble as a drink of water, if given for Christ’s sake, will assuredly be richly rewarded. Note the ἀμήν (Mark 3:28) and the οὐ μή (Mark 9:1). It is perhaps fanciful to point out that the poorest can offer cold water, whereas warm water requires a fire (Bede).

ὅτι Χριστοῦ ἐστέ. A Pauline expression (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:23; 2 Corinthians 10:7). See crit. note. With the doubtful exception of Luke 23:2, Christ is nowhere else in the Synoptic Gospels called Χριστός, but always ὁ Χριστός. Dalman, Words, p. 305, thinks that the clause is “an unnecessary explanation of ἐν ὀνόματί [μου],” i.e. a gloss by some editor; so also Hawkins (Hor. Syn. p. 152) and Zahn (Introd. to N.T. II. p. 500). We might more simply suppose that, as in Mark 1:15, Mk is putting our Lord’s meaning into the language which was usual in his day.


Verses 41-50

41–50. RESULTS OF HELPING AND OF HINDERING THE CAUSE OF CHRIST

Matthew 18:6-9. Luke 17:1-2; Luke 14:34


Verse 42

42. σκανδαλίσῃ. See on Mark 4:17. Just in proportion to the beauty of the childlike character is the guilt of the man who knowingly spoils it. Here and in Mark 9:43 σκανδαλίσῃ ([2091][2092][2093][2094][2095]) is right; in Mark 9:45, -ίζῃ.

τῶν πιστευόντων. He is speaking of simple Christians in Mark 9:37; Mark 9:41-42; it is they who are His best representatives. Will not simple believers be perplexed and sent astray, when they see Apostles contending for the foremost place?

καλόν ἐστιν αὐτῷ μᾶλλον. It is good for him, if the choice has to be made. Lk. has λυσιτελεῖ αὐτῷ, “it is worth his while.” Cf. Matthew 5:29. Death by drowning is a terrible thing; but in comparison with causing a simple soul to sin it is an excellent thing. Lk. has ἓνα last in the sentence, with great emphasis; the context in Lk. is quite different.

μύλος ὀνικός. A millstone requiring an ass to turn it, therefore so large that it must sink a man. Lk. has λίθος μυλικός, “a millstone,” and [2096][2097][2098] have the same here; μύλος may be either “a mill” or “a millstone.” The term ὀνικός has been found in papyri dated respectively 8 Feb. A.D. 33 and 5 Feb. A.D. 70, and in an inscription c. A.D. 136, having previously been unknown outside Bibl. Grk. Deissmann, Light from Ancient East, p. 76. Cf. Ovid, Fasti, vi. 318, Et quae puniceas versat asella molas.

βέβληται. The most terrible moment is chosen for comparison. The heavy stone is hanging on to the man’s neck (pres.), and he has been hurled to what must be his death (perf.), and it is the death of a dog. Cf. Sueton. Aug. 67, Oneratis gravi pondere cervicibus praecipitavit in flumen.


Verse 43

43. καὶ ἐὰν σκανδαλίσῃ σε ἡ χείρ σου. Seducing simple souls is disastrously easy work; but still more easy is seducing oneself, by letting the body lead the spirit astray. The language in the three instances is parabolic, but the meaning is clear. We sacrifice hand, foot, or eye, to avoid fatal or incurable maladies. We may have to sacrifice things still more precious, to avoid the death of the soul.

κυλλός. Crippled, originally of “bowed legs,” the opposite of βλαισός, “knock-kneed,” but also used of the hand; ἔμβαλε κυλλῇ (Aristoph. Eq. 1083) “toss into a hand crooked to catch something.”

εἰς τὴν ζωήν. In N.T., ζωή occurs more than 100 times, but in Mk only four, twice without (Mark 9:43; Mark 9:45), and twice with (Mark 10:17; Mark 10:30). αἰώνιος. In class. Grk, βίος, the life of a human being, is higher than ζωή, the life which men share with brutes and vegetables. In N.T., βίος has its classical meaning of “human life” or “means of life” (Mark 12:44), but ζωή is greatly promoted, meaning the life which men share with Christ and with God. See on John 12:25; 1 John 1:2; 1 John 2:16. Trench, Syn. § xxvii; Cremer, Lex. p. 272.

ἀπελθεῖν. Sc. ἀπὸ τῆς ζωῆς. [2099] has βληθῆναι.

τὴν γέενναν. Excepting Luke 12:5 and James 3:6, γέεννα occurs only in Mk and Mt. Not in LXX. The word is a loose transliteration of Ge-Hinnom, “Valley of Hinnom,” where under Ahaz and Manasseh children were thrown into the red-hot arms of Molech (2 Chronicles 28:3; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31). Josiah (2 Kings 23:10-14) abolished these horrors and desecrated the place by making it a refuse-heap for offal and rubbish, including the carcases of animals, which were consumed, acc. to late writers, by a fire which never went out. This heap was a mass of corruption, devoured by worms and fire, and hence was regarded as symbolizing punishment in the other world. Isaiah 66:24 shows the beginning of the idea. It is much plainer in Enoch; “This accursed valley is for those who are accursed for ever; here will all those be gathered together who utter unseemly words against God, and here is the place of their punishment” (xxvii. 2). “A like abyss was opened in the midst of the earth, full of fire, and they were all judged and found guilty and cast into that fiery abyss, and they burned” (xc. 26; cf. xlviii. 9). Cf. 2 Esdras 7:36, Clibanus Gehennae ostendetur et contra eum jucunditatis paradisus; Ps. of Solomon xii. 5, xv. 6; Apocalypse of Baruch lxxxv. 13. The site of the Valley of Hinnom is much disputed; Hastings’ D.B., D.C.G. artt. “Gehenna,” “Hinnom, Valley of.” The loss of the m in “Hinnom” in transliteration to “Gehenna” is repeated in the change from “Mariam” to “Maria.”

The confusion caused in all English Versions prior to R.V. by using “hell” to translate both ᾅδης and γέεννα is well known; Lightfoot, On Revision, p. 87; Trench, On the A.V. p. 21. Hardly any correction in R.V. is more valuable than that of reserving “hell” for γέεννα and simply transliterating ᾅδης.

ἄσβεστον. The fire cannot be extinguished so long as there is fuel to feed it: it “burns as long as sin remains to be consumed” (Swete).

The constr. καλὸν, instead of κάλλιον, is perhaps Hebraic (Genesis 49:12; Hosea 2:7) but it is found in Hdt. ix. 26 sub fin., ἡμέας δίκαιον ἔχειν τὸ ἕτερον κέρας ἤπερ Ἀθηναίους.


Verse 44

44. See crit. note.


Verse 45

45. ὁ πούς σου. It is lawful, but not necessary, to find different meanings for “hand,” “foot,” and “eye.” The general sense is that even what is most useful and most dear may have to be sacrificed. Si quid est quo teneris, aut expedi, aut incide (Seneca, Ep. xvii. 1). The picturesque repetition of the same idea with a change of form is an impressive Orientalism. But all three cases are stated hypothetically; “if they cause thee to offend.” Precious things may be thankfully retained, if they have no evil effects. It is possible that the alliteration between καλόν and κυλλόν, and between καλόν and χωλόν (Mark 9:43; Mark 9:45), is intentional.


Verse 46

46. See crit. note.


Verse 47

47. μονόφθαλμον. Hdt. Mark 3:16, Mark 4:29. In Attic Greek, ἐτερόφθαλμος was preferred to denote one who had lost an eye, μονόφθαλμος being reserved for the Cyclops who never had more than one. Popular language de minimis non curat and is not troubled about fine distinctions. An “alternative” is a possibility of one out of two things; but “three alternatives” is too convenient an expression to be driven out of use.

τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ. The same as τὴν ζωήν in Mark 9:43; Mark 9:45.

βληθῆναι. [2100] and Syr-Sin. have ἀπελθεῖν.


Verse 48

48. ὅπου ὁ σκώληξ κ.τ.λ. This highly metaphorical expression is here part of the true text. It comes from Isaiah 66:24; cf. Judith 16:17; Sirach 7:17; Apocalypse of Peter 10. The “worm” and the “fire” are opposed to “life,” and seem to denote “destruction”; they can hardly mean life in endless torture. They have no end so long as they have anything to devour. Victor and Theophylact interpret them of the gnawing reproaches of conscience and the memory of shameful things done in this life. Perhaps they point rather to permanent loss, irreparable deterioration of the man’s real self. Jews had strange ideas about the unseen world, as that one of the joys of the righteous was to see the torments of the wicked. Christ did not contradict these ideas, but He has left teaching which enables us to correct them.


Verse 49

49. πᾶς γὰρ πυρὶ ἁλισθήσεται. A very difficult statement. Each of the two metaphors is capable of different interpretations, and the two seem to be opposed, for fire destroys and salt preserves. Moreover the connexion with what precedes is not clear. These sentences may be isolated Sayings which Mk has put together here, because the common idea of “salt” seems to unite them, while that of “fire” connects the first sentence with what precedes, although in reality the sentences have no connexion with one another or with the preceding words. If there is connexion with what precedes (γάρ), we must find it with Mark 9:43-49 as a whole, and not simply with τὸ πῦρ in Mark 9:49. “I have been speaking of fire, for with fire of some kind every man shall be salted.” The way to escape the penal fire hereafter is to seek the purifying and preservative fire here, the fire of the Divine Presence (Hebrews 12:29; Deuteronomy 4:24; Deuteronomy 9:3; Malachi 3:2; Malachi 4:1). A sense of God’s Presence burns up all that is base, and preserves all that is akin to Him. Ignis purgat, et urit, et illuminat, et calefacit. Spiritus sanctus purgat sordes vitiorum, et urit cor ab humore libidinum, illuminat mentem notitia veritatis, et calefacit incendio caritatis (Herveius Burgidolensis). The Christian, salted and illumined by communing with God, becomes himself salt and light to others. Another possible meaning is that the aim of penal suffering is to purify. See crit. note.


Verse 50

50. καλὸν τὸ ἅλας. A fine thing is the salt. Here τὸ ἅλας is passing in meaning from the Divine to the human; in the next clause it is wholly human. Nihil utilius sale et sole (Plin. H.N. XXXI. ix. 45. 102). In LXX. and N.T., τὸ ἅλας is the common form, with τὸ ἅλα (cf. γάλα) as v. l. in good MSS. In class. Grk ὁ ἅλς prevails.

ἄναλον. Here only in N.T. and LXX. Apostles without the spirit of devotion and self-sacrifice, selfish Apostles who wrangle for the first place, are as worthless as savourless salt. We have a similar saying in the Testaments (Levi xiv. 4); “What will all the nations do, if ye are darkened in ungodliness?”

ἀρτύσετε. The verb means “prepare,” and especially “prepare and flavour food” (Colossians 4:6).

ἐν ἑαυτοῖς. See on Mark 13:9.

εἰρηνεύετε. see on 2 Corinthians 13:11. In LXX. it is freq. Elsewhere only in Paul. The fruits of the Spirit are ἀγάπη, χαρά, εἰρήνη (Galatians 5:22). Cf. 1 Corinthians 3:3.

 


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Bibliography Information
"Commentary on Mark 9:4". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/mark-9.html. 1896.

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Friday, November 15th, 2019
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