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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Mark 4

Verse 1

Mark 4:1 . Ἤρξατο , He began ) After the interruption. παρὰ , near [by the sea side]) The words in antithesis are, near the sea , and in the sea .

Verse 3

Mark 4:3 . Ἀκούετε , Hearken ) A word pronounced in a loud voice, in order to still the noise among the people, lest the beginning itself of His discourse should be lost [ Mark especially commends the hearing of the word , Mark 4:24-25 ; Mark 4:33 . V. g.]

Verse 8

Mar 4:8 Ἐδίδου , yielded : ἔφερεν , brought forth ) The subject is ἄλλο , some : [32] comp. Mark 4:4-7 . ἀναβαίνοντα , springing up ) above all obstacles.

[32] So AD ab Vulg. and Lachm. But ἄλλα BCL Memph. Tischend. ED.

Verse 9

Mark 4:9 . Ἔλεγεν , He said ) Frequent pauses are interposed in the case of the weightiest discourses like this: Mark 4:13 ; Mark 4:21 ; Mark 4:24 ; Mark 4:26 ; Mark 4:30 .

Verse 10

Mark 4:10 . Οἱ περὶ αὐτὸν , they that were about Him ) Who enjoyed the privilege of the first admission to His presence: ch. Mark 3:34 .

Verse 11

Mark 4:11 . Ἔλεγεν , He said ) With hearty good-will [with real pleasure]. ἔξω , without ) outside of the circle of genuine discipleship. [ In antithesis to Mark 4:10 (They that were about Him with the twelve). V. g.] γίνεται ) Fall to [ are done as concerns] them as parables.

Verse 12

Mark 4:12 . Ἵνα , that ) They already before saw not, Matthew 13:13 . Now there is added [to their voluntary blindness] divinely sent judicial blindness. ἵνα , so that : LXX. Genesis 22:14 . καὶ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτοῖς τὰ ἁμαρτήματα , and their sins should be forgiven them ) This is the true healing , spoken of Matthew 13:15 ; Psalms 103:3 .

Verse 13

Mark 4:13 . Οὐκ οἴδατε , do ye not know ) Jesus marks with reproof the question of the disciples. καὶ πῶς , and how then ) The parable concerning the seed is the primary and foudamental one [the foundation of all the others]. πάσας , all ) constituting and comprising the perfect doctrine of Christ.

Verse 14

Mark 4:14 . Ὁ σπείρων the sower ) Christ is the sower . Peter, Paul, and others, sow the seed of Christ, and are servants of Christ.

Verse 15

Mark 4:15 . Ὅπου σπείρεταιλόγος , where the word is sown ) This clause is rather to be connected with what follows. εὐθέως , immediately ) Satan’s most favourite time for lying in wait. ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις , in their hearts ) This means more than into their hearts .

Verses 16-17

Mark 4:16-17 . Εὐθέως , immediately ) Great changes can take place in the soul very speedily.

Verse 19

Mark 4:19 . Αἱ περὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ἐπιθυμίαι , the lusts of other things) the pleasures of life , in Luke 8:14 : in one’s mode of living, loves, tastes for literature, etc. εἰσπορευόμεναι , entering in ) He who hath received the word of God, ought to see, lest the cares of the world wax strong upon him, and take more violent hold, than even before, of his new-born expansion of soul and his mental affections, which have been rendered more enlarged by means of the word of God. γίνεται , it becometh ) viz. the word.

Verse 20

Mark 4:20 . Ἓν , the one ) Accusative. [33]

[33] Lachm. reads, with Rec. Text, ἓν , and so Vulg. But Tischend., with all the uncials which have accents, being of later date, ἐν . ED.

Verse 21

Mark 4:21 . Καὶ , and ) Mar 4:24 is closely connected with Mark 4:20 , and those that go before: therefore also this comes in between parenthetically; comp. Luke 8:16 . In this sense, the earth covers for a considerably long time the seed committed to it; whereas you, on the contrary, ought to put forth into action the power of the word, which you have heard, immediately upon hearing it. ὁλύχνος , a candle [ torch-light ]) So also Christ comes, together with His Gospel, as the true light. And a man himself ought to be, not the bushel, but the candlestick; comp. Luke 8:16-18 . κλίνην , a couch [not as Engl). Vers., [34] [35][36][37] ) where food is taken.

[34] Vercellensis of the old ‘Itala,’ or Latin Version before Jerome’s, probably made in Africa, in the second century: the Gospels.

[35] Veronensis, do.

[36] Laudianus, do.: Acts.

[37] Cantabrigiensis, do.: the Gospels, Acts , , 3 d Ep. John.

Verse 22

Mark 4:22 . Οὐ γὰρ ἐστί τι κρυπτὸν οὐδὲ ἐγένετο ἀπόκρυφον , for there is nothing hidden nor has anything become concealed ) There is a difference both in the verbs is , implying that it was so naturally, and has become , implying intentional concealment, and also in the nouns [adjectives] used; comp. κρυπτὰ , 1 Corinthians 4:5 , and ἀπόκρυφοι , Colossians 2:3 ; [38] to which corresponds the difference which is made in the corresponding antithesis, between φανερωθῇ , be manifested , and ἔλθεἰς φανερὸν , come to be manifested; the former referring to manifestation by constraint, the latter to manifestation of its own accord, when it is ripe for manifestation. Therefore the former sentence can be understood of what is bad, the second sentence of what is good. This axiom holds good of the things in nature, of the feelings and actions of men, whether good or bad, in a natural condition or in a spiritual condition; as also of the divine mysteries. ἐγένετο , has become [“was kept,” Engl. Vers.]) The subject is τὶ , anything , to be repeated from the previous sentence: the predicate is, hidden out of sight , ἀπόκρυφον . ἔλθῃ , come ) of its own accord; comp. John 3:21 . This is done in successive stages in this present order of things; and it shall be done fully, when the light shall make manifest all secrets on the last day; 1 Corinthians 4:5 .

[38] So Latin conditus , ‘ hidden ,’ whether undesignedly or otherwise: absconditus , “ hidden out of sight ,” by design. ED.

Verse 23

Mark 4:23 . Εἴ τις , if any man ) Therefore it is not every one that hath them.

Verse 24

Mark 4:24 . Βλέπετε τί ἀκούετε , See [take heed], what ye hear ) The seeing organ, which is the more noble sense, directs and modifies the impressions of the hearing: it is the eye, not the ear, that can move itself. τί , what ) We are hearing the word, which is the word of God; account that as a high privilege: Or else the what is to be resolved into the how of Luke: see to it, what kind of a hearing you render to the word. ἐνμέτρῳ , with what measure ) The measure alluded to is the heart, with its capabilities, desires, anxiety to impart blessings received to others, and obedience. προστεθήσεται , it shall be added [more shall be given]) That ye may be not only hearers, but partakers. τοῖς ) as concerns the hearers ; [39] comp. on Romans 2:8 , as respects such datives. [Engl. Vers. makes the dat. follow προστεθ ., “more shall be given to you that fear.”]

[39] The margin of both editions had left the reader to decide as to the omission of this clause, τοῖς ἀκούουσιν . The Gnomon and Vers. Germ. retain it. E. B.

BCDGL Δ c Vulg. omit it. However A, with Rec. Text, supports it. ED.

Verse 26

Mark 4:26 . Ἄνθρωπος , a man ) With this man God and Christ are compared, with a view to describe the several ages and grades [stages of progress] of the whole Christian Church; comp. Mark 4:29 .

Verse 27

Mark 4:27 . Καθεύδκαὶ ἐγείρηται , should sleep and rise ) With these two verbs are connected by Chiasmus [See Append.] the nouns night and day [sleep referring to night; rise , to day ]. Moreover, sometimes night is wont to be put before day, as in Genesis 1:0 [The evening and the morning were the first day, Mar 4:5 ]. οὐκ οἶδεν αὐτὸς , he knoweth not himself ) After the safeguards of grace have been conferred on men, God leaves them in some measure to themselves. Yet this clause may be made to refer to the believing man himself; and then, of its own accord , in Mark 4:28 , is opposed to man’s care, not to the cultivation of the earth.

Verse 28

Mark 4:28 . Αὐτομάτη , of its own accord ) This is not to the exclusion of cultivation of the land, the rain from heaven, and the sun’s beams. [ But there is also intimated a freedom of increasing and growing, either in good or evil, granted by the Lord of the land to the man . V. g.] χόρτον , the blade ) the grass-like young shoot; so in the commencement spiritual virtues [graces] are scarcely to be distinguished from natural ones. εἶτα , then next ) Marvellous is the process of the successive increase: this shall hereafter be made manifest.

Verse 29

Mark 4:29 . Παραδῷ , shall have yielded ) this also of its own accord [ Mar 4:28 ]. Supply itself . εὐθέως , immediately ) As before he did not put in the sickle too soon, so now he does not put it in too late. ἀποστέλλει , He sendeth ) An abbreviated expression for, He sendeth , viz. men furnished with a sickle: for ἀποστέλλεσθαι is properly applied to a living person [agent].

Verse 30

Mark 4:30 . Τίνι ὁμοιώσωμεν , whereunto shall we liken ) The plural; comp. John 3:11 .

Verse 31

Mark 4:31 . Ὡς κόκκον , as a grain ) viz. let us compare [ Mar 4:30 ] it. [40] ΜΙΚΡΌΤΕΡΟς ) less .

[40] BD Δ read κόκκῳ , and so Tischend. But AC Vulg. bc , κόκκον and so Lachm. ED.

Verses 31-32

Mark 4:31-32 . Ὅταν σπαρῇ , when it has been sown ) This clause, being placed twice, exactly defines that time when the grain ceases to be small, and begins to become great in size. In Mark 4:31 , the emphasis in pronunciation is to be laid on the when , and in Mark 4:32 , on the words, it has been sown .

Verse 33

Mark 4:33 . Καθὼς ἠδύναντο ἀκούειν , according as they were able to hear ) They did not admit in their then state to have the truth more openly spoken to them.

Verse 35

Mark 4:35 . Ἐν ἐκείντῇ ἡμέρᾳ , on that day ) See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. The pronoun ἐκείνῃ , that , does not denote precisely that day on which the Saviour put forth the parables of the sower and the rest of the parables, as Grotius, besides other commentators, acknowledge; but, with less definiteness, is to be referred to a day marked in the former course of this gospel, namely, ch. Mark 2:1 . So Judges 13:10 , ביום , LXX. ἐν ἡμέρᾳ , or, as it is better read in the Cod. Alex. τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ . So Matthew 24:48 , ὁ κακὸς δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος . [41] And indeed Mark applies ἐκεῖνος in various senses; see notes ch. Mark 2:20 , Mark 13:24 . As to the time of this voyage, comp. Harmon. Evang. § 49.

[41] Where the more immediate antecedent to ἐκεῖνος is the faithful and wise servant , and the antecedent intended must be supplied from the course of the previous discourse, Mark 4:38-39 , etc. ED.

Verse 36

Mark 4:36 . Παραλαμβάνουσιν , they take Him with them) i.e. they to whom the ship belonged took Him with them to cross the lake. ὡς ἦν , as He was ) Without any sumptuous preparation [or equipment]; Matthew 8:20 . So the LXX., ὥς ἐστιν , and ὡς ἦσαν , 2 Kings 7:7 . πλοιάρια , little ships ) and in them men. μετʼ Αὐτοῦ , with Him ) with Jesus.

Verse 37

Mark 4:37 . Ααῖλαψ ) i.e. κίνησις νεφῶν καὶ ταραχὴ μετὰ εὐδίαν , κ . τ . λ ., An agitation and commotion of the clouds after a calm [fair weather]. Eustathius. ἐπέβαλεν , dashed into ) viz. dashed themselves into.

Verse 38

Mark 4:38 . Πρύμνῃ , the stern ) where the helm is. τὸ προσκεφάλαιον , the pillow ) This was a part of the ship, as one may infer from the article; it was of wood, as Theophylactus observes. See Heupel. on this passage. οὐ μέλει σοι , it is not the case, is it? that thou hast no care ) The Lord is not moved to anger at their praying in a rather unseasonable [importunate] manner.

Verse 39

Mark 4:39 . Σιώπα , be silent ) cease from roaring. πεφίμωσο , be still ) cease from violence [ i.e. , the σιώπα refers to the noise; πεφίμωσο , to the furious violence of the waves]. γαλήνη , a calm ) of the sea; which, under other circumstances, would have continued in a troubled state even after the wind had lulled.

Verse 40

Mark 4:40 . Οὐκ , not ) His expression subsequently was, not yet [Do ye not yet understand?] Matthew 16:9 . The not simply implies negation; the not yet implies that they already before had had good grounds afforded them for believing.

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Mark 4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.