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Bible Commentaries
Mark 2

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New TestamentMeyer's Commentary

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Mark 2:1 . The order εἰσῆλθε παλιν (Fritzsche, Lachm. Scholz) would need to be adopted on decisive evidence. But Tischendorf has εἰσελθὼν πάλιν without the subsequent καί , which Lachm. brackets. Rightly; the attestation by B D L א , min. vss. is sufficient; the Recepta is an attempt to facilitate the construction by resolving it.

εἰς οἶκον Lachm. Tisch. have ἐν οἴκῳ , following B D L א , min. An interpretation.

Mark 2:4 . ἐφʼ ᾧ ] Lachm.: ὅπου , according to B D L א . So now also Tisch. Mechanical repetition from the foregoing.

Mark 2:5 . ἀφέωνται ] B 28, 33 have ἀφίενται . So Lachm. and Tisch. here and at Mark 2:9 (where also א has the same reading). But B has the same form at Matthew 9:2 . An emendation.

Elz. Scholz, Lachm. have σοὶ αἱ ἁμαρτίαι σου , the latter bracketing σου . But B D G L Δ א , min. have σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι (Griesb. Fritzsche, Tisch.). This reading is in Matthew 9:2 exposed to the suspicion of having been taken up from Mark 2:5 , where the Recepta has but very weak attestation, and from Matthew it passed easily over into our passage. There is the same diversity of reading also at Mark 2:9 , but with the authorities so divided that in Mark 2:5 and Mark 2:9 only the like reading is warranted.

Mark 2:7 . λαλελ βλασρημίας ] Lachm. Tisch. read λαλεῖ ; βλασφημεῖ , following B D L א , Vulg. It. Rightly; the Recepta has smoothed the expression in accordance with Luke.

Mark 2:8 . οὕτως ] is deleted by Lachm. upon too weak evidence.

αὐτοί is adopted after αὕτως by Bengel, Matt. Griesb. Fritzsche, Scholz on very considerable evidence (A C Γ Δ , etc.). Being unnecessary and not understood, it was passed over.

Mark 2:9 . ἔγειρε ] Elz. Rinck have ἔγειραι (1st aorist middle). The former is here quite decisively attested, and, indeed, in all places ἔγειρε is to be written, the active form of which the transcribers did not understand (see on Matthew 9:5 ), and converted it into the middle forms ἔγειραι and ἐγείρου (B L 28 have here the latter form). The middle form ἐγείρεσθε is in stated use only in the plural (Matthew 26:46 ; Mark 14:42 ; John 14:31 ), which affords no criterion for the singular.

After ἔγειρε Elz. Lachm. Tisch, have καί , which C D L, min. vss. omit. An addition in accordance with Matthew 9:5 ; Luke 5:23 .

Instead of σου τὸν κραββ . we must read, with Lachm. Scholz, Tisch., in accordance with decisive testimony, τὸν κρ . σου .

παριπάτει ] Tisch. ed. 8 : ὕπαγε , but against such decisive weight of evidence, that περιπάτει is not to be regarded as derived from the parallel passages, but ὕπαγε is to be referred to a gloss from Mark 2:11 .

Mark 2:10 . Elz. has ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς after ἀφιέναι . So A E F G al. But B has ἀφ . ἀμ . ἐπὶ τ . γ .; C D L M Δ א , al. min. vss. have ἐπὶ τ . γ . ἀφ . ἀμ . So Griesb. Fritzsche, Lachm. Scholz, Tisch. Exodus 8:0 . The latter is a reading conformed to Matthew and Luke. The various readings have arisen through omission (Augustine) and diversity in the restoration of ἐπὶ τ . γ . The Recepta is to be restored, as there was no reason, either in the passage itself or from the parallel passages, for separating ἀφιέναι and ἁμαρτιας from one another by the insertion of ἐπὶ τ . γ .

Mark 2:15 . The reading κ . γίνεται κατακεῖσθαι (Tisch.) is based on B L א , and is to be preferred; ἐγένετο is from Matthew, and ἐν τῷ is explanatory.

Mark 2:16 . κ . οἱ γραμμ . κ . οἱ Φαρισ .] Tisch.: κ . γραμματεῖς τῶν Φαρισαίων , following B L Δ א , Lachm. in the margin. Rightly; the Recepta arose from the usual expression. But we are not, with Tisch. (following the same testimony), to insert καί before ἰδόντες , as this καί owes its origin to the erroneous connection of καὶ γραμμ . with ἠκολούθ ).

The simple ὅτι (Tisch.), instead of τί ὅτι , is too feebly attested.

καὶ πίνει ] is wanting, no doubt, in B D א , min. Cant. Verc. 2 :Corb. 2 (bracketed by Lachm.), but was omitted on account of Matthew 9:11 , from which place, moreover, C L D א , min. vss. Fathers have added ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν .

Mark 2:17 . After ἁμαρτ . Elz. has εἰς μετάνοιαν , which on decisive testimony is deleted as an addition from Luke 5:32 by Griesb. and the later editors.

Mark 2:18 . Griesb. Scholz, Lachm. Tisch. Fritzsche have rightly adopted οἱ Φαρισαῖοι instead of the Recepta οἱ τῶν Φαρισαίων . The former has decisive testimony in its favour, the latter is from Luke 5:33 .

οἱ τῶν ] Tisch.: οἱ μαθηταὶ τῶν , following B C * L א , 33. Rightly; the superfluous word was passed over.

Mark 2:20 . Instead of the Recepta ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις (which Fritzsche maintains), ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ is received by Griesb. Lachm. Scholz, Tisch. according to decisive evidence. The plural is from what precedes.

Mark 2:21 . The Recepta is καὶ οὐδείς , against decisive witnesses, which have not καί .

ἐπὶ ἱματίῳ παλαιῷ ] Lachm. and Tisch.: ἐπὶ ἱμάτιον παλαιόν , according to B C D L א , 33. Rightly; it was altered in conformity with Matthew 9:16 .

αἴρει τὸ πλήρωμα αὐτοῦ τὸ καινὸν τοῦ παλαιοῦ ] Many variations. A K Δ , min. Syr. p.: αἴρει ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ τὸ πλ . τὸ καινὸν τοῦ παλ .; B L א (yet without the first τό ), min. Goth.: αἴρει τὸ πλ . ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ (B: ἀφʼ ἑαυτοῦ ) τὸ καιν . τοῦ παλ . (so Lachm. and Tisch.); D, min. vss.: αἴρει τὸ πλ . τὸ καινὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ παλ . (so Rinck). The Recepta is to be rejected no less than the reading of D, etc. Both are from Matthew. Of the two readings that still remain, that of A, etc. is to be preferred, because in that of Lachm. and Tisch. the collocation of αἴρει τὸ πλ . likewise betrays its being shaped according to Matthew. Hence we read: αἴρει ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ τὸ πλήρωμα τὸ καινὸν τοῦ παλαιοῦ .

Mark 2:22 . ῥήσσει ] Lachm. ῥήξει , following B C D L א , 33, Vulg. codd. of It. So also Tisch. Exodus 8:0 . From Luke 5:37 , whence also subsequently has come ὁ νέος , which Lachm. and Tisch. have deleted.

καὶ ὁ οἶνος … βλητέον ] Instead of this there is simply to be read, with Tisch., following B L D, codd. of It.: καὶ ὁ οἶνος ἀπόλλυται καὶ οἱ ἀσκοί (B א leave out of ἀλλὰ κ . τ . λ . only βλητέον ). The Recepta is from the parallels.

Mark 2:23 . παραπορ .] Lachm.: διαπορ ., following B C D. But comp. Luke 6:1 .

ὁδὸν ποιεῖν Lachm.: ὁδοποιεῖν , only after B G H.

Mark 2:24 . ἐν ] is on decisive evidence condemned by Griesb., deleted by Lachm. and Tisch. From Mark 2:23 .

Mark 2:25 . αὐτός ] after the first καί is suspected by Griesb., bracketed by Lachm., deleted by Fritzsche and Tisch. It is wanting indeed in B C D L א , min. vss., but it was very easily mistaken in its reference, and passed over as cumbrous and superfluous, the more especially as it does not appear in the parallels.

Mark 2:26 . ἐπὶ Ἀβιάθαρ τοῦ ἀρχιερ .] is wanting in D, 271, Song of Solomon 2:0 :Verc. Vind. Corb. 2. Condemned, after Beza, by Gratz (neuer Versuch, d. Entst. d. drei erst. Ev. z. erkl. p. 196), and Wassenbergh in Valckenaer, Schol. I. p. 23. An omission on account of the historical difficulty and the parallel passages. Only τοῦ before ἀρχ . has decisive evidence against it, and is rightly deleted by Lachm. and Tisch.

Verses 1-12

Mark 2:1-12 . Comp. on Matthew 9:1-8 ; Luke 5:17-26 . At the foundation of both lies the narrative of Mark, which they follow, however, with freedom (Matthew more by way of epitome), while not only Matthew but Luke also falls short of the vivid directness of Mark.

According to the reading εἰσελθών (see the critical remarks), this participle must be taken as anacoluthic in accordance with the conception of the logical subject of the following: it was heard that He , etc. See Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 256 [E. T. 298].

διʼ ἡμερῶν ] interjectis diebus , after the lapse of intervening days. See on Galatians 2:1 .

εἰς οἶκον ἔστι ] just our: “He is into the house.” The verb of rest assumes the previous motion; Mark 13:16 ; John 1:18 ; Herod, i. 21, al. See Buttmann, p. 286 [E. T. 333]. Comp. even εἰς δόμους μένειν , Soph. Aj. 80, and Lobeck in loc. ; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. 537. The house where Jesus dwelt is meant (but not expressly designated, which would have required the use of the article).

Mark 2:2 . μηκέτι ] from the conception of the increasing crowd.

μηδέ ] not even the space at the door, to say nothing of the house. Köstlin, p. 339, arbitrarily finds exaggeration here.

τὸν λόγον ] κατʼ ἐξοχήν : the Gospel. Comp. Mark 8:32 ; Luke 1:2 , al.

Mark 2:3-4 . Here also Mark has the advantage of special vividness. Jesus is to be conceived of as in the upper chamber , ὑπερῷον (where the Rabbins also frequently taught, Lightfoot in loc. ; Vitringa, Synag. p. 145 f.). Now, as the bearers could not bring the sick man near [61] to Him through the interior of the house by reason of the throng, they mounted by the stair, which led directly from the street to the roof, up to the latter, broke up at the spot under which He was in the ὙΠΕΡῷΟΝ the material of which the floor of the roof consisted, and let down the sick man through the opening thus made. The conception that Jesus was in the vestibule , and that the sick man was lowered down to Him after breaking off the parapet of the roof (Faber, Jahn, Köster, Imman. p. 166), is at variance with the words ( ἈΠΕΣΤΈΓΑΣΑΝ ΤῊΝ ΣΤΈΓΗΝ , comp. Luke 5:19 ), and is not required by Mark 2:2 , where the crowd has filled the fore-court because the house itself, where Jesus is tarrying, is already occupied (see above on μηδέ , Mark 2:2 ); and a curious crowd is wont, if its closer approach is already precluded, to persevere stedfastly in its waiting, even at a distance, in the hope of some satisfaction. Moreover, the fact of the unroofing is a proof that in that house roof and upper chamber were either not connected by a door (comp. Joseph. Antt. xiv. 15. 12), or that the door was too narrow for the passage of the sick man upon his bed (Hug, Gutacht. II. p. 23); and it is contrary to the simple words to conceive, with Lightfoot and Olshausen, only of a widening of an already existing doorway. Mark is not at variance with Luke (Strauss), but both describe the same proceeding; and the transaction related by both bears in its very peculiarity the stamp of truth, in favour of which in the case of Mark the testimony of Peter is to be presumed, and against which the assertion of the danger to those who were standing below (Woolston, Strauss, Bruno Bauer) is of the less consequence, as the lifting up of the pieces of roofing is conceivable enough without the incurring of that risk, and the whole proceeding, amidst the eager hurry of the people to render possible that which otherwise was unattainable, in spite of all its strangeness has no intrinsic improbability.

As to κράββατος , or ΚΡΆΒΑΤΟς , or ΚΡΆΒΑΤΤΟς (Lachmann and Tischendorf), a couch-bed , a word rejected by the Atticists, see Sturz, Dial. Mac. p. 175 f.; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 62 f.

ἀφέωνται κ . τ . λ .] See on Matthew 9:2 .

Mark 2:6 . τῶν γραμματ .] So correctly also Matthew. But Luke introduces already here (too early, see in Mark 2:16 ) the Pharisees as well. As to διαλογιζ . comp. on Matthew 16:7 .

Mark 2:7 . According to the reading βλασφημεῖ (see the critical remarks), this word answers to the question, What speaketh this man thus ? by saying what He speaks.

ΟὟΤΟς ΟὝΤΩ ] this man in this manner, an emphatic juxtaposition. The former is contemptuous (Matthew 13:54 ); the latter designates the special and surprising manner, which is immediately pointed out in what follows.

Mark 2:8 . Observe the intentional bringing into prominence of the immediate knowledge of the thoughts.

ΑὐΤΟΊ ] is not the unaccented they , but designates with ἐν ἑαυτοῖς , ipsi in semet ipsis , the element of self-origination , the cogitationes sua sponte conceptas .

As to Mark 2:9-12 , [62] see on Matthew 9:5-8 ; Matthew 9:33 .

σοὶ λέγω ] σοί prefixed with emphasis, because the speaker now turns to the sick man. Comp. Luke 5:24 . According to Hilgenfeld, the “awkward structure of the sentence,” Mark 2:10 f., betrays the dependence on Matthew 9:6 . Why, then, not the converse?

καὶ ᾄρας κ . τ . λ .] Thus the assurance of the remission of sins, according to Schenkel, must have stimulated the paralyzed elasticity of the nerves ! A fancy substituted for the miracle.

οὕτως … εἴδομεν ] not equivalent to τοιοῦτο εἴδ . (see on Matthew 9:33 ), but: so we have never seen , i.e. a sight in such a fashion we have never met with. Comp. the frequent ὡς ὁρᾶτε . It is not even requisite to supply τί (Fritzsche), to say nothing of mentally adding the manifestation of the kingdom of God , or the like.

[61] Προσεγγίσαι , active (Aquila, 1 Samuel 30:7 ; Lucian, Amor. 53), hence the reading of Tischendorf, προσενέγκαι , following B L א , min. vss., is a correct interpretation of the word, which only occurs here in the N. T. This view is more in keeping with the vivid description than the usual intransitive accedere.

[62] Respecting the Messianic designation which presupposes Messianic consciousness coming from the mouth of Jesus: ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου , see on Matthew 8:20 , and the critical exposition of the different views by Holtzmann in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschr. 1865, p. 212 ff., and Weizsäcker, p. 426 ff. Observe, however, that the passage before us, where Jesus thus early and in the face of His enemies, before the people and before His disciples, and in the exercise of a divine plenary power, characterizes Himself by this Danielic appellation, does not admit of the set purpose of veiling that has been ascribed to His use of it (Ritschl, Weisse, Colani, Holtzmann, and others). For the disciple especially the expression, confirmed as it is, moreover, by John from his own lively recollection (see on John 1:41 ), could not but be from the outset clear and unambiguous, and the confession of Peter cannot be regarded as the gradually ripened fruit of the insight now for the first time dawning. See on Matthew 16:13 ; Matthew 16:17 . How correctly, moreover, the people knew how to apprehend the Danielic designation of the Messiah, is clearly apparent from John 12:34 .

Verses 13-17

Mark 2:13-17 . See on Matthew 9:9-13 ; Luke 5:27-32 . Matthew deals with this in the way of abridgment, but he has, nevertheless, retained at the end of the narrative the highly appropriate quotation from Hosea 6:6 (which Luke, following Mark, has not ), as an original element from the collection of Logia .

ἐξῆλθε ] out of Capernaum. Comp. Mark 2:1 .

πάλιν ] looks back to Mark 1:16 .

Mark has peculiar to himself the statements παρὰ τ . θάλασσαν as far as ἐδίδασκεν αὐτούς , but it is arbitrary to refer them to his subjective conception (de Wette, comp. Köstlin, p. 335).

Mark 2:14 . παράγων ] in passing along , namely, by the sea, by the place where Levi sat. Comp. Mark 2:16 .

On Levi ( i.e. Matthew) and Alphaeus , who is not to be identified with the father of James, [63] see Introd. to Matthew, § 1. Hilgenfeld, in his Zeitschr. 1864, p. 301 f., tries by arbitrary expedients to make out that Levi was not an apostle.

Mark 2:15 . ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ ] is understood by the expositors of the house of Levi. [64] Comp. Vulg.: “in domo illius. ” In itself this is possible, but even in itself improbable, since by αὐτόν just before Jesus was meant; and it is to be rejected, because subsequently it is said of those who sat at meat with Him, just as it was previously of Levi : ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ . Moreover, the absolute καλέσαι ( to invite ), Mark 2:17 , which Matthew and Mark have, while Luke adds εἰς μετάνοιαν , appears as a thoughtful reference to the host , the καλεῖν on whose part will transplant into the saving fellowship of His kingdom. Accordingly, the account in Matthew (see on Matthew 9:10 ) has rightly taken up Mark’s account which lies at its foundation, but Luke has not (Mark 5:29 ). It is not indeed expressly said in our text that Jesus went again into the city; this is nevertheless indirectly evident from the progress of the narrative ( παράγων .… ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ .… κατακεῖσθαι κ . τ . λ .).

ἦσαν γὰρ πολλοὶ κ . τ . λ .] A statement serving to elucidate the expression just used: πολλοὶ τελῶναι κ . τ . λ ., and in such a way that ἦσαν is prefixed with emphasis: for there were many ( τελ . κ . ἁμαρτ .); there was no lack of a multitude of such people, and they followed after Jesus. Against the explanation of Kuinoel, Fritzsche, de Wette, Bleek: aderant , it may be at once decisively urged that such an illustrative statement would be unmeaning, and that ἠκολούθησαν may not be turned into a pluperfect. And mentally to supply with ἦσαν , as Bleek does: at the calling of Levi , is erroneous, because the narrative lies quite beyond this point of time.

Mark 2:16 . The corrected reading (see the critical remarks) is to be explained: and Pharisaic scribes when they saw , etc., said to His disciples . To attach this κ . γραμμ . τ . Φαρισ . to the previous ἠκολούθ . (Tischendorf) is unsuitable, because ἦσαν γὰρ πολλοί , taken by itself alone, would be absolutely pleonastic, and because ἠκολούθ ., in accordance with the context, can only mean the following of adherents .

Respecting ἰδόντες κ . τ . λ ., comp. on Matthew 9:11 . Here the direct seeing (coming to Him) of the γραμματ . is meant, not: cum intelligerent (Grotius and others, de Wette).

τί ὅτι ] quid est, quod , so that there needs to be supplied after τί , not γέγονεν (Schaefer, ad Bos. Ell. p. 591), but the simple ἐστί . Comp. Luke 2:49 ; Acts 5:4 ; Acts 5:9 .

[63] A confusion that actually arose in very early times, which had as its consequence the reading Ἰάκωβον (instead of Δευίν ) in D, min., codd. in Or. and Vict. and codd. of It.

[64] Yet Bleek and Holtzmann have agreed with my view, and also Kahnis, Dogm. I. p. 409 f.

Verses 18-22

Mark 2:18-22 . See on Matthew 9:14-17 . Comp. Luke 5:33-38 .

καὶ ἦσαν … νηστεύοντες ] considered by Köstlin, p. 339, as meaningless and beside the question, is taken by the expositors as an “archaeological intimation” (de Wette, comp. Fritzsche). There is nothing to indicate its being so (how entirely different it is with Mark 7:3 f.!); we should at least expect with νηστεύοντες some such general addition as πολλά (Matthew 9:14 ). It is to be explained: And there were the disciples of John , etc., engaged in fasting (just at that time). This suggested their question. This view is followed also by Bleek and Holtzmann, the latter thinking, in the case of John’s disciples, of their fasting as mourners on account of the loss of their master, a view for which Mark 2:19 does not serve as proof.

ἔρχονται κ . τ . λ .] Both , naturally by means of representatives from among them. The text does not yield anything else; so we are neither to understand the questioners of Mark 2:16 (Ewald, Hilgenfeld), nor mentally to supply τινές (Weisse, Wilke). In Matthew the disciples of John ask the question, and this is to be regarded as historically the case (see on Matthew 9:17 , Remark).

οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάννου κ . τ . λ .] Not inappropriate, but more definite and more suited to their party-interest than ἡμεῖς (in opposition to de Wette).

σοί ] might be the dative (the disciples belonging to Thee), see Bernhardy, p. 89; Kühner, II. p. 249. But in accordance with the use frequent also in the N. T. of the emphatic σός , it is to be taken as its plural. Comp. Luke 5:33 .

Mark 2:19 . ὅσον χρόνον κ . τ . λ .] superfluous in itself, but here suited to the solemn answer. Comp. Bornemann, Schol. in Luc. p. xxxix.

μεθʼ ἑαυτῶν ] in the midst of themselves .

Mark 2:20 . ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ] Not a negligence (de Wette) or impossibility of expression (Fritzsche), but: τότε is the more general statement of time: then , when, namely, the case of the taking away shall have occurred, and ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ , is the special definition of time subordinate to the τότε : on that day , ἐκεῖνος having demonstrative force and consequently a tragic emphasis (on that atra dies !). Comp. Bernhardy, p. 279. If the plural were again used, the time previously designated by ἐλεύσ . δὲ ἡμέραι would be once more expressed on the whole and in general , and that likewise with solemnity, but not the definite particular day. Aptly, moreover, Bengel remarks: “Dies unus auferendi sponsi, dies multi ejusdem ablati et absentis.” The Lord from the beginning of His ministry had made Himself familiar with the certainty of a violent death. Comp. John 2:19 .

Mark 2:21 . εἰ δὲ μή ] In the contrary case , even after a negative clause, Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 336 [E. T. 392], and see on 2 Corinthians 11:16 .

The correct reading: αἴρει ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ τὸ πλήρωμα τὸ καινὸν τοῦ παλαιοῦ (see the critical remarks), is to be explained: the new patch of the old (garment) breaks away from it . See on Matthew 9:16 f. The Recepta signifies: his new patch (that which is put on by him) breaks away from the old garment . According to Ewald, αἱρεῖ ἀφʼ ἑαυτοῦ ought to be read (following B, which, however, has the ἀφʼ ἑαυτοῦ after τὸ πλήρωμα ), and this is to be interpreted: “thus the new filling up of the old becomes of itself stronger.” He compares the phrase ὁ λόγος αἱρεῖ ( ratio evincit , Polyb. vi. 5. 5; comp. also Herod. ii. 33; Plat. Crit. p. 48 C, al. ), the meaning of which (reason teaches it ) is, however, here foreign to the subject.

Mark 2:22 . A combination from Matthew and Luke is here contained only in the interpolated Recepta . See the critical remarks.

As to the form ῥήσσω instead of ῥήγνυμι , see Ruhnken, Ep. crit. I. p. 26.

Verses 23-28

Mark 2:23-28 . See on Matthew 12:1-8 . Comp. Luke 6:1-5 , who follows Mark in the order of events, which in Matthew is different.

παραπορεύεσθαι ] not: to walk on, ambulare (Vulgate, Luther, and many others, including de Wette), so that παρά would refer indefinitely to other objects, but to pass along by . Comp. Matthew 27:39 ; Mark 11:20 ; Mark 15:29 . Jesus passed through the corn-fields alongside of these , so that the way that passed through the fields led Him on both sides along by them. Just so Mark 9:30 , and Deuteronomy 2:4 .

ὁδὸν ποιεῖν κ . τ . λ .] is usually explained as though it stood: ὁδὸν ποιούμενοι τίλλειν τοὺς στάχυας , to pluck the ears of corn as they went . Against the mode of expression, according to which the main idea lies in the participial definition (see Hermann, ad Aj. 1113; Electr. 1305; Stallbaum, ad Plat. Gorg. p. 136; Phil. p. 58), there would be in itself nothing, according to classical examples, to object; but in the N. T. this mode of expression does not occur (Winer, p. 316 [E. T. 443 f.]), and here in particular the active ποιεῖν is opposed to it, since ὁδὸν ποιεῖν is always viam sternere , and ὁδὸν ποιεῖσθαι (as also πορείαν ποιεῖσθαι ) is iter facere . See Viger. ed. Herm. p. 116; Kypke, I. p. 154; Krebs, p. 81; Winer, p. 228 [E. T. 320]. Comp. also ὁδοποιεῖν (Xen. Anab. v. 1. 14; Dem. 1274, 26, frequently in the LXX.) and ὁδὸν ὁδοποιεῖν ; Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. iv. 8. 8. The assumption that Mark had missed this distinction is wholly without exegetical warrant, as is also the recourse to a Latinism (Krebs). The only correct explanation is: they began to make a way (to open a path) by plucking the ears of corn ; not, as Bretschneider and Fritzsche alter the meaning of the words: “evellisse spicas et factum esse, ut projectis, quum iis essent demta grana, spicis exprimeretur via .” We must rather conceive of the field-path on which they are walking perhaps at a place where it leads through a field of corn which it intersects as overgrown with ears, so that they must of necessity, in order to continue their journey, make a path , which they do by plucking the ears of corn that stand in their way. According to Matthew and Luke, the chief point lies in the fact that the disciples pluck the ears and eat them; and the Pharisees find fault with their doing this which in itself is allowable on the Sabbath . According to Mark, however, who has not a word [65] of the disciples eating, their act consists in this, that by the plucking of the ears of corn they open a way through the field ; and the Pharisees, Mark 2:24 , find fault that they do that, which in itself is already unallowable , [66] on the Sabbath . The justification of Jesus amounts then, Mark 2:25 ff., to the two points: (1) that according to David’s precedent the proceeding of the disciples, as enjoined by necessity , is by no means unallowable ; and (2) that the Sabbath makes no difference in the matter.

The origin of this difference itself is easily explained from the fact, that Jesus adduces the history of the eating of the shew-bread, by means of which also the eating of the ears of corn came into the tradition of this incident. Mark betrays by his ὁδὸν ποιεῖν abandoned by Matthew and Luke, and by the less obvious connection of it with the eating of the shew-bread, the original narrative, which perhaps proceeded from Peter himself.

τοὺς στάχυας ] the article designates the ears of corn that stood in the way .

Mark 2:24 . They do not ask, as in Matthew and Luke, why the disciples do what is unallowable on the Sabbath, but why they do on the Sabbath something (already in itself) unallowable .

Mark 2:25 . αὐτός ] and He on His part , replying to them. He put a counter-question .

ὅτε χρείαν ἔσχε ] In this lies the analogy. The disciples also were by the circumstances compelled to the course which they took. The demonstrative force of this citation depends upon a conclusion a majori ad minus . David in a case of necessity dealt apparently unlawfully even with the shew-bread of the temple, which is yet far less lawful to be touched than the ears of grain in general.

Mark 2:26 . ἐπὶ Ἀβιάθαρ τοῦ ἀρχιερ .] tempore Abiatharis pontificis maximi, i.e. under the pontificate of Abiathar. Comp. Luke 3:2 ; Matthew 1:11 . According to 1 Samuel 21:1 ff., indeed, the high priest at that time was not Abiathar, but his father (1 Samuel 22:20 ; Joseph. Antt. vi. 12. 6) Aḥimelech . Mark has erroneously confounded these two, which might the more easily occur from the remembrance of David’s friendship with Abiathar (1 Samuel 22:20 ff.). See Korb in Winer’s krit. Journ. IV. p. 295 ff.; Paulus, Fritzsche, de Wette, Bleek. The supposition that father and son both had both names (Victor Antiochenus, Euthymius Zigabenus, Theophylact, Beza, Jansen, Heumann, Kuinoel, and many others), is only apparently supported by 2 Samuel 8:17 , 1 Chronicles 18:16 , comp. 1Ch 24:6 ; 1 Chronicles 24:31 ; as even apart from the fact that these passages manifestly contain an erroneous statement (comp. Thenius on 2 Sam. l.c. ; Bertheau judges otherwise, d. Bücher der Chron. p. 181 f.), the reference of our quotation applies to no other passage than to 1 Samuel 21:0 . Grotius thought that the son had been the substitute of the father. Recourse has been had with equally ill success to a different interpretation of ἐπί ; for, if it is assumed to be coram (Wetstein, Scholz), 1 Sam. l.c. stands historically opposed to it; but if it is held to mean: in the passage concerning Abiathar , i.e. there, where he is spoken of (Mark 12:26 ; Luke 20:37 ), it is opposed by the same historical authority, and by the consideration that the words do not stand immediately after ἀνέγνωτε (in opposition to Michaelis and Saunier, Quellen d. Mark. p. 58).

Mark 2:27 f. καὶ ἒλεγ . αὐτοῖς ] frequently used for the introduction of a further important utterance of the same subject who is speaking; Bengel: “Sermonem iterum exorsus.” Comp. Mark 4:9 . As Jesus has hitherto refuted the reproach conveyed in ὁ οὐκ ἔξεστι , Mark 2:24 , He now also refutes the censure expressed by ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν , Mark 2:24 . Namely: as the Sabbath has been made (brought into existence, i.e. ordained) for the sake of man , namely, as a means for his highest moral ends (Genesis 2:3 ; Exodus 20:8 ff.), not man for the sake of the Sabbath , [67] it follows thence: the Messiah has to rule even over the Sabbath , so that thus the disciples, who as my disciples have acted under my permission, cannot be affected by any reproach in respect of the Sabbath. The inference ὥστε depends on the fact that the υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου , i.e. the Messiah (not with Grotius and Fritzsche to be taken as man in general), is held ex concesso as the representative head of humanity. [68] On the mode of inference in general, comp. 1 Corinthians 11:9 ; 2Ma 5:19 .

κύριος ] emphatically at the beginning: is not dependent, but Lord , [69] etc.; whereby, however, is expressed not the prerogative of absolute abolition (see against this Matthew 5:17 ff., and the idea of the πλήρωσις of the law makes its appearance even in Mark 7:15 ff; Mark 10:5 ff; Mark 12:28 ff.), but the power of putting in the place of the external statutory Sabbath observance while giving up the latter something higher in keeping with the idea of the Sabbath, wherein lies the πλήρωσις of the Sabbath-law. Comp. Lechler in the Stud. u. Krit. 1854, p. 811; Weizsäcker, p. 391.

καί ] also , along with other portions of His κυριότης .

[65] Mark has been blamed on this account. See Fritzsche, p. 69. But the very evangelist, who knew how to narrate so vividly, should by no means have been charged with such an awkwardness as the omission of the essential feature of the connection which is just what the latest harmonizing avers. It ought to have been candidly noted that in Mark the object of the plucking of the ears is the ὁδὸν ποιεῖν ; while in Matthew it is the eating on account of hunger . The occasions of the necessity, in which the disciples were placed, are different : in the former case, the ὁδοποΐα ; in the latter, the hunger.

[66] To this view Holtzmann and Hilgenfeld have acceded, as also Ritschl, altkath. K. p. 29; Schenkel, Charakterbild , p. 86; and as regards the ὁδὸν ποιεῖν in itself, also Lange. The defence of the usual explanation on the part of Krummel in the allgem. K. Zeit. 1864, No. 74, leaves the linguistic difficulty which stands in its way entirely unsolved. He should least of all have sought support from the reading of Lachmann ( ὁδοποιεῖν ); for this also never means anything else than viam sternere , and even in the middle voice only means to make for oneself a path . Weiss ( Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theol. 1865, p. 363) calls my explanation “somewhat odd;” this, however, can matter nothing, if only it is linguistically correct, and the usual one linguistically erroneous.

[67] Comp. Mechilta in Exodus 31:13 : “Vobis sabbatum traditum est, et non vos traditi estis sabbato.” According to Baur, ver. 27 belongs to “the rational explanations,” which Mark is fond of prefixing by way of suggesting a motive for what is historically presented. To the same class he would assign Mark 9:39 , Mark 7:15 ff. Weizsäcker finds in the passage before us a later reflection. This would only be admissible, if the idea facilitated the concluding inference, which is not the case, and if Mark were not in this narrative generally so peculiar . The connecting link of the argumentation preserved by him might more easily have been omitted as something foreign, than have been added .

[68] For Him, as such, in the judgment to be formed of the obligatory force of legal ordinances, the regulative standard is just the relation, in which man as a moral end to himself stands to the law. Comp. Ritschl, altkathol. Kirche , p. 29 ff.

[69] With this the freedom of worship is given as well as assigned to its necessary limit , but not generally “ proclaimed ” (Schenkel).

Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Mark 2". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hmc/mark-2.html. 1832.
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