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the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
Mark 6

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

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Verses 1-56

Visit to Nazareth. Mission of the Twelve. Execution of the Baptist. Feeding of the Five Thousand. Walking on the Sea

1-6. Visit to Nazareth (Matthew 13:54).

3. Is not this the carpenter?] Mt ’Is not this the carpenter’s son?’ Baur, Bleek, Renan, and Hilgenfeld regard St. Mark’s version of this expression as a proof that he was acquainted with the Virgin Birth. ’Mark tolerates not the paternity of Joseph even in the mouth of Nazarenes’ (Hilgenfeld). Most scholars dispute the inference.

It is not quite certain whether Jesus was a carpenter or a smith. The Greek word may mean either. According to an ancient tradition He made ploughs and yokes.

Celsus (160 a.d.) derides the mean and servile occupation of Jesus, but manual work was honoured among the Jews. ’It is incumbent,’ said the rabbis, ’on the father to circumcise his son, to redeem him, to teach him the Law, and to teach him some occupation.’ Rabbi Judah said, ’Whosoever teacheth not his son to do some work, is as if he taught robbery.’ Rabbi Meir said, ’Let a man always endeavour to teach his son an honest trade.’

5. He could there do] This expression, as presenting an apparent difficulty to faith, is more original than St. Matthew’s ’He did not there many mighty works.’ Of course the inability was moral. Jesus required faith in those who were to be healed, or in persons connected with them, and only in a very few cases waived this requirement (John 5:13).

7-13. Mission of the Twelve (Matthew 10:1; Luke 9:1). See on Mt.

13. Anointed] cp. James 5:14.

14-29. Herod and Jesus. Execution of the Baptist (Matthew 14:1). See on Mt: cp. Luke 9:7.

20. Observed him] RV ’kept him safe.’ He did many things] RV ’he was much perplexed.’ Herod’s conscience was uneasy.

21. High captains] RM ’or, military tribunes, Gr. chiliarchs.Chief estates] RV ’the chief men.’

22. The daughter of.. Herodias] Hort, relying upon only five MSS, alters this into ’his daughter Herodias,’ a reading which is clearly the blunder of some scribe, since it violates, as Weiss says, ’all history, all grammar, and the context.’

27. An executioner] AVmg. ’one of his guard.’ The word is Latin, corresponding either to speculator, ’a watcher,’ a soldier of the bodyguard, or spiculator, ’one armed with a javelin,’ and so an executioner.

The word often occurs in rabbinical Hebrew in the sense of an executioner.

30-44. Return of the apostles. Feeding the five thousand (Matthew 14:13; Luke 9:10; John 6:1). See on Mt and Jn. The graphic touches in Mk should be noticed: ’Come ye yourselves apart,’ etc.; ’no leisure so much as to eat’; ’as sheep not having a shepherd’; ’the green grass’; ’like garden beds.’ These are reminiscences of the eyewitness Peter.

40. Ranks] i.e. groups, lit. ’garden-beds.’

45-52. Walking on the sea (Matthew 14:22; John 6:15). See on Mt and Jn.

53-56. Miracles in the land of Gennesaret (Matthew 14:34). See on Mt.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Mark 6". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/mark-6.html. 1909.
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