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Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

Mark 3

Verse 1

1. πάλιν ] See ch. Mark 1:21 , = ἐν ἑτέρῳ σαβ ., Luke. The synagogue was at Capernaum.

Verses 1-6

1 6. ] HEALING OF THE WITHERED HAND. Matthew 12:9-14 .Luke 6:6-11; Luke 6:6-11 . On Matthew’s narrative, see notes on Luke. The two other accounts are cognate, though each has some particulars of its own.

Verse 2

2. ] Luke only adds that it was the Scribes and Pharisees who watched Him.

Verse 4

4. αὐτοῖς ] Luke adds ἐπερωτῶ ὑμᾶς εἰ ἔξεστιν : as his account is the most detailed, I refer to the notes there.

ἀποκτ . does not belong to ψυχήν : to save life or to kill?

Verse 5

5. ] συνλ αὐτῶν , peculiar to Mark.

συνλ . probably implies sympathy with their (spiritually) miserable state of hard-heartedness: but see note on Romans 7:22 . On πώρωσις , see note, Ephesians 4:18 , and Fritzsche on Romans 11:7 .

Verse 6

6. Ἡρωδιανῶν ] See notes on Matthew 16:6 ; Matthew 22:16 . Why the Pharisees and Herodians should now combine, is not apparent. There must have been some reason of which we are not aware, which united these opposite sects in enmity against our Lord.

συμβ . ἐδίδουν , as also ἐποίουν , ch. Mark 15:1 , is an expression peculiar to Mark.

Verses 7-12

7 12. ] A GENERAL SUMMARY OF OUR LORD’S HEALING AND CASTING OUT DEVILS BY THE SEA OF GALILEE. Peculiar in this shape to Mark ; but probably answering to Matthew 12:15-21 .Luke 6:17-19; Luke 6:17-19 . The description of the multitudes, and places whence they came, sets before us, more graphically than any where else in the Gospels, the composition of the audiences to which the Lord spoke, and whom He healed. The repetition of πλῆθος πολύ ( Mar 3:8 ) is the report of one who saw the numbers from Tyre and Sidon coming and going.

Verse 9

9. ] Meyer explains the construction εἶπεν ἵνα , by that which was said being regarded as the purpose of its being said.

Verse 10

10. ] Luke 6:19 .

Verse 11

11. ὅταν ἐθεώρουν ] See ref. The indic. is sometimes found with ὅταν in the N.T., see Revelation 4:9 , but generally amidst variety of readings: Matthew 10:19 ; Mark 11:25 ; Luke 13:28 ; Romans 2:14 . Meyer thus accounts for it that in later Greek the ἅν became completely attached to the ὅτε , and the whenever was treated as merely an expression of time so that in German it would not be menn sie Jhn irgend sahen , but menn irgend sie Jhn sahen .

The unclean spirits are here spoken of in the person of those possessed by them, and the two fused together: for as it was impossible that any but the spirits could have known that He was the Son of God, so it was the material body of the possessed which fell down before Him, and their voice which uttered the cry: see note on Matthew 8:32 . The notion of the semi-rationalists, that the sick identified themselves with the dæmons (Meyer), is at once refuted by the universal agreement of the testimony given on such occasions, that Jesus was the Son of God .

Verses 13-19

13 19. ] THE APPOINTMENT OF THE TWELVE, AND ITS PURPOSES. Matthew 10:1-4 .Luke 6:12-16; Luke 6:12-16 . See Luke, where we learn that He went up overnight to pray , and called His disciples to Him when it was day, and notes on Matt.

On τὸ ὄρος see Matthew 5:1 .

Verse 14

14. ἐποίησεν ] nominated, set apart: see reff. We have here the most distinct intimation of any, of the reason of this appointment.

Verse 16

16. καὶ ἐπ .… ] for Σίμωνα , ᾧ ἐπ .…

On the list of the Apostles, see note at Matthew 10:2 . The name, according to Mark, seems to be now first given . This, at all events, does not look like the testimony of Peter : but perhaps the words are not to be so accurately pressed.

Verse 17

17. ] Βοανηργές = בְּנֵי רֶגֶשׁ , Sheva being expressed by οα in Aramaic (Meyer, from Lightf.), perhaps on account of their vehement and zealous disposition , of which we see marks Luke 9:54 ; Mark 9:38 ; Mark 10:37 ; see also 2 John 1:10 ; but this is uncertain.

ὀνόματα , since both bore the name, and the Hebrew word is plural.

There is an interesting notice of the catalogues of the Apostles, and the questions arising out of them, in the Lectures of Bleek on the three Gospels, published since his death by Holzmann, Leipzig, 1862.

Verse 20

20. πάλιν ] resumed from ch. Mark 2:2 .

ὥστε μὴ δ . ] shewing that one of the αὐτοί is the narrator.

Verses 20-35

20 35. ] CHARGES AGAINST JESUS, OF MADNESS BY HIS RELATIONS, OF DÆMONIACAL POSSESSION BY THE SCRIBES. HIS REPLIES. Matthew 12:22-37 ; Matthew 12:46-50 . Luke 11:14-26 ; Luke 8:19-21 . Our Lord had just cast out a deaf and dumb spirit (see notes on Matt.) in the open air ( Mat 10:23 ), and now they retire into the house. The omission of this, wholly inexplicable if Mark had had either Matt. or Luke before him, belongs to the fragmentary character of his Gospel. The common accounts of the compilation of this Gospel are most capricious and absurd. In one place, Mark omits a discourse ‘ because it was not his purpose to relate discourses ;’ in another he gives a discourse, omitting the occasion which led to it, as here. The real fact being , that the sources of Mark’s Gospel are generally of the highest order , and most direct , but the amount of things contained very scanty and discontinuous: see Prolegg. ch. iii. § viii.

Verse 21

21. ] Peculiar to Mark.

οἱ παρ ʼ αὐτοῦ = his relations, beyond a doubt for the sense is resumed in Mark 3:31 : see reff.

ἐξῆλθ . (perhaps from Nazareth , or, answering to John 2:12 , from Capernaum ), set out: see ch. Mark 5:14 . They heard of his being so beset by crowds: see Mark 3:7-11 .

ἔλεγον ] i.e. His relations not τινἐς .

ἐξέστη ] He is mad: thus E. V.; and the sense requires it. They had doubtless heard of the accusation of his having a dæmon : which we must suppose not to have first begun after this, but to have been going on throughout this course of miracles.

The understanding this that his disciples went out to repress the crowd , for they said, ‘ It is mad ,’ is as contrary to Greek as to sense. It would require at least αὐτούς and ἐξέστησαν , or τὸν ὄχλον for αὐτόν , and would even then give no intelligible meaning.

Verse 22

22. ] οἱ γρ . οἱ ἀπὸ Ἱερ .…, peculiar to Mark: see note on Matthew 12:24 . Here Matt. has οἱ Φαρις . Luke τινὲς ἐξ αὐτῶν , i.e. τῶν ὄχλ .

ὅτι Β . ἔχει ] This addition is most important. If He was possessed by Beelzebub, the prince of the dæmons , He would thus have authority over the inferior evil spirits.

Verse 23

23. ] προσκαλ . αὐτούς is not inconsistent (De Wette) with His being in an house He called them to Him , they having been far off. We must remember the large courts in the oriental houses.

ἐν παρ . ] namely, a kingdom , &c., a house , &c., the strong man , &c.

σατανᾶς σατ . ] The external unity of Satan and his kingdom is strikingly declared by this simple way of putting the question: see note on Matt. The expression must not be taken as meaning, Can one devil cast out another? The σατανᾶς and σατανᾶν are the same person: cf. Mark 3:26 .

Verse 26

26.] ἀλλὰ τέλ . ἔχει , peculiar to Mark.

Verse 28

28. ] The putting of πάντα first, and separating it from its noun by the intervening words, gives it a prominent emphasis.

Verse 29

29. αἰωνίου ἁμαρτήματος ] Beza explains αἰωνίου by ‘ nunquam delendi .’ It is to the critical treatment of the sacred text that we owe the restoration of such important and deep-reaching expressions as this. It finds its parallel in ἀποθανεῖσθε ἐν ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν , John 8:24 .

Kuinoel’s idea, quoted and adopted by Wordsw., that ἁμάρτημα means in the LXX the punishment of sin , seems to be entirely unfounded. And as to its being “a Novatian error to assert that sin is αἰώνιον ” (Wordsw.), it is at all events a legitimate inference from οὐκ ἔχει ἄφεσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα . If a sin remains unremitted for ever, what is it but eternal?

Mar 3:30 explains the ground and meaning of this awful denunciation of the Lord.

Verse 31

31.] ἔξω στ . ἀπ …, one of Mark’s precise details.

Verse 32

32.] καὶ ἐκ …, another such.

Verse 34

34. ] Matt. here has some remarkable and graphic details also: ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα αὐτ . ἐπὶ τ . μαθητὰς αὐτ … Both accounts were from eye-witnesses, the one noticing the outstretched hand; the other , the look cast round. Deeply interesting are such particulars, the more so, as shewing the way in which the records arose, and their united strength, derived from their independence and variety.

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Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Mark 3". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. 1863-1878.