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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Mark 6

Verse 1

Verse 1

His own country; the region of Nazareth.

Verse 3

Verse 3

The carpenter. Matthew (Matthew 13:55) says the carpenter's son. It would seem, from Mark's expression, that Jesus had been accustomed to labor with his father.--Brother,--sisters. These words are often used in the Scriptures to express any near relative, as in Genesis 13:8, where Abraham and Lot are said to be brethren. It would seem from Mark 15:40, that the mother of James and Joses was a Mary; and from John 19:25, that she was a near relative of the virgin Mary, but not the same. She is called in several places the wife Cleopas. The words sister and son are used with the same latitude. Thus Christ is called the son of David.

Verse 5

Verse 5

That is, they brought very few to be healed; and he would not force his miracles upon them.

Verse 7

Verse 7

By two and two; that they might render to each other mutual assistance and sympathy.

Mark 6:8,Mark 6:9. That is, that they should go as they were, without making special preparations for the expedition. That the directions were not meant to be insisted upon literally and strictly, is evident from the fact that the accounts differ, in regard to the particulars, in the different evangelists. (Comp. Matthew 10:10, in respect to shoes and staves.) The script was a a leather bag or wallet for provisions,--such as shepherds used.

Verse 11

Verse 11

These directions (Mark 6:7-11) resulted from a wise regard to the circumstances of the case, and a deliberate forethought in providing for the future, in the surest and best way. They were not, as might perhaps be supposed, an abandonment of prudential considerations, under a blind dependence upon the providence of God. So great and general was the interest then felt throughout Galilee, in the ministry and miracles of Jesus, that there could be under those circumstances no safer or surer reliance for support than the spontaneous hospitality of those interested in the cause. We observe that this, though the earliest apostolic practice, is not to be considered as a model for imitation in modern times. Many of the ecclesiastical arrangements of Jesus and his apostles were particularly adapted to their times and circumstances; and, in the same manner, the arrangements which we make must often be accommodated to ours.

Verse 14

Verse 14

Men who have the least faith have often the greatest superstition; and there is no more fruitful source of superstitious fears than remorse for crimes.

Verse 15

Verse 15

Elias; the prophet Elijah, who was expected as the forerunner of Christ.

Verse 17

Verse 17

We learn, from the secular histories of those times, that this was Herod Antipas, the son of the old king. He had enticed away from his brother Philip, who was then living in poverty and obscurity, his wife Herodias, who was the daughter of another brother, and of course the niece of both her husbands. The name of the daughter who danced was Salome; a common Hebrew name at that time.

Verse 21

Verse 21

Galilee. Herod succeeded to a part only of his father's ancient dominion.

Verse 23

Verse 23

The extravagance of this promise is accounted for by the fact that it was doubtless made under the excitement of wine.

Verse 25

Verse 25

By and by; immediately.

Verse 26

Verse 26

Their sakes which sat with him. They were glad to have the reprover of their sins slain, especially as it could be done by means of the crime of another.

Verse 28

Verse 28

The damsel gave it to her mother. These were worthy descendants of a monster, who could order the execution of all the infants of a village, to secure the death of one Innocent babe. The story of the whole Herod faintly, for several generations, as given by contemporary writers, presents one continued scene of intrigue, cruelty, incest, adultery, and murder, to which the history of the world will scarce afford a parallel.

Verse 32

Verse 32

A solitary place, upon the shores of the lake; not barren, for they sat down (Mark 6:39) upon the green grass.

Verse 37

Verse 37

Two hundred pennyworth. The denominations and the value of money have so entirely changed since those times, that we cannot fix upon any sum of modern currency as corresponding to the amount here named. It was doubtless a large sum in relation to the resources of the disciples.

Verse 38

Verse 38

Have ye? that is, in the common supply, prepared for the Savior and his immediate disciples.

Verse 40

Verse 40

By hundreds, and by fifties; in irregular groups, from fifty to a hundred together.

Verse 45

Verse 45

He constrained his disciples. They were unwilling to leave him, but he wished to be alone. There might have been some difficulty, too, in effecting the quiet dispersion of the people, as appears from John's account of this case (John 6:14,John 6:15.)

Verse 48

Verse 48

And he saw them. The lake was five miles across, on the average, and about ten in the widest place. From his elevated position Jesus could perhaps overlook the whole surface of the water.--The fourth watch; not far from three o'clock. The watches were of three hours each.

Verse 50

Verse 50

Were troubled; were afraid.

Verse 51

Verse 51

Sore amazed; very much amazed.

Verse 54

Verse 54

They knew him; that is, the people on that side: the intelligence of his arrival was immediately spread in all directions.

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Bibliographical Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Mark 6". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ain/mark-6.html. 1878.