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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Mark 5

Verse 3

The details of verses 3 - 5 are peculiar to Mark. "The picture of the miserable man is fearful; and in drawing it, each evangelist has some touches which are peculiarly his own; but St. Mark's is the most eminently graphic of all, adding, as it does, many strokes Which wonderfully heighten the terribleness of the man's condition, and also magnify the glory of his cure" (Trench, " Miracles ").

Dwelling [κατοικησιν] . The kata, down, gives the sense of a settled habitation. Compare our phrase settled down. So Tynd., his abiding.

The tombs [τοις μνημασιν] . "In unclean places, unclean because of the dead men's bones which were there. To those who did not on this account shun them, these tombs of the Jews would afford ample shelter, being either natural caves or recesses hewn by art out of the rock, often so large as to be supported with columns, and with cells upon their sides for the reception of the dead. Being, too, without the cities, and oftentimes in remote and solitary places, they would attract those who sought to flee from all fellowship of their kind" (Trench, " Miracles ").

Verse 4

With fetters and chains [πεδαις και αλυσεσιν] . pedh, fetter, is akin to peza, the instep; just as the Latin pedica, a shackle, is related to pes, a foot. The Anglo - Saxon plural of fot (foot) is fet; so that fetter is feeter. So Chaucer :

"The pure fetters on his shinnes grete Were of his bitter salte teres wete."

Alusiv (derivation uncertain) is a chain, a generic word, denoting a bond which might be on any part of the body.

Broken in pieces [συντετριφθαι] . The verb suntribw means originally to rub together, to grind or crush. It has been suggested that the fetters might have been of cords which could be rubbed to pieces. Wyc. renders, Had broken the stocks to small gobbets.

Verse 5

Crying [κραζων] . Rev., crying out. The verb denotes an inarticulate cry; a shriek. Aristophanes uses it of the frogs (" Ranae, "258), and of the bawling of a boor (" Equites," 285).

Verse 6

Afar off [απο μακροθεν] . Peculiar to Mark, as is also he ran.

Verse 7

Crying - he saith. The inarticulate cry (verse 5), and then the articulate speech.

What have I to do with thee? [τι εμοι και σοι; ] . Lit., what is there to me and thee? What have we in common?

I adjure thee by God. Stronger than Luke's I pray thee. The verb oJrkizw, I adjure, is condemned by the grammarians as inelegant.

Verse 8

For he said [ελεγεν] . Imperfect tense, he was saying; the force of which is lost both in the A. V. and Rev. The imperfect gives the reason for this strange entreaty of the demon. Jesus was commanding, was saying "come out;" and, as in the case of the epileptic child at the Transfiguration Mount, the baffled spirit wreaked his malice on the man. The literal rendering of the imperfect brings out the simultaneousness of Christ 's exorcism, the outbreak of demoniac malice, and the cry Torment me not.

Verse 13

Ran [ωρμησεν] . The verb indicates hasty, headlong motion. Hence, as Rev., rushed.

Two Thousand. As usual, Mark alone gives the detail of number.

A steep place. But the noun has the definite article : tou krhmnou, the steep, as Rev.

Verse 15

See (qewrousin). Rev., rightly, behold. For it was more than simple seeing. The verb means looking steadfastly, as one who has an interest in the object, and with a view to search into and understand it : to look inquiringly and intently.

Clothed. Compare Luke 8:27. For a long time he had worn no clothes.

Verse 18

When he was come [εμβαινοντος] . The participle is in the present tense. Not after he had embarked, but while he was in the act. Hence Rev., rightly, as he was entering. With this corresponds the graphic imperfect parekalei : While he was stepping into the boat the restored man was beseeching him.

That [ινα] . In order that. Not the subject but the aim of the entreaty.

Verse 23

My little daughter [το θυγατριον] . This little endearing touch in the use of the diminutive is peculiar to Mark.

Lieth at the point of death [εσχατως εχει] . One of the uncouth phrases peculiar to Mark's style, and which are cited by some as evidence of the early composition of his gospel.

I pray thee come [ινα ελθων] . The words I pray thee are not in the Greek. Literally the ruler 's words run thus : My little daughter lieth at the point of death - that thou come, etc. In his anguish he speaks brokenly and incoherently.

He went [απηλθεν] . Lit., went away. The aorist tense, denoting action once for all, is in contrast with the imperfects, hjkolouqei, kept following, and suneqlibon, kept thronging. The multitude kept following and thronging as he went along. The preposition sun, together, in the latter verb, indicates the united pressure of a crowd. Compare Tynd., verse 31. Thrusting thee on every side.

Verse 26

Mark is much fuller and more vivid than Matthew or Luke.

Had suffered [παθουσα] . To be taken, as everywhere in the New Testament, in the sense of suffering pain, not merely subjected to treatment. What she may have suffered will appear from the prescription for the medical treatment of such a complaint given in the Talmud. "Take of the gum of Alexandria the weight of a zuzee (a fractional silver coin); of alum the same; of crocus the same. Let them be bruised together, and given in wine to the woman that has an issue of blood. If this does not benefit, take of Persian onions three logs [πιντσ] ; boil them in wine, and give her to drink, and say, 'Arise from thy flux. ' If this does not cure her, set her in a place where two ways meet, and let her hold a cup of wine in her right hand, and let some one come behind and frighten her; and say, ' Arise from thy flux. ' But if that do no good, take a handful of cummin (a kind of fennel), a handful of crocus, and a handful of fenugreek (another kind of fennel). Let these be boiled in wine and give them her to drink, and say, 'Arise from thy flux!'" If these do no good, other doses, over ten in number, are prescribed, among them this : "Let them dig seven ditches, in which let them burn some cuttings of vines, not yet four years old. Let her take in her hand a cup of wine, and let them lead her away from this ditch, and make her sit down over that. And let them remove her from that, and make her sit down over another, saying to her at each remove, 'Arise from thy flux!'" (Quoted from Lightfoot by Geikie, " Life and Words of Christ ").

Of many physicians [υπο] . Lit., under; i e., under the hands of.

And was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. Luke's professional pride as a physician kept him from such a statement. Compare Luke 8:43.

Verse 28

For she said [ελεγεν] . Imperfect tense. She was or kept saying as she pressed through the crowd, either to herself or to others.

Verse 29

She knew - she was healed. Note the graphic change in the tenses. egnw, she knew; ijatai she is healed.

Plague. See on 3 10.

Verse 30

Knowing [επιγνους] . Rev., perceiving. Lit., having fully known.

That virtue had gone out of him [την εξ αυτου δυναμιν εξελθουσαν] . More correctly as Rev., that the power proceeding from him had gone forth. The object of the Savior 's knowledge was thus complex : 1st, his power; 2nd, that his power had gone forth, This and the following sentence are peculiar to Mark.

Verse 32

He looked round about [περιεβλεπετο] . Imperfect tense. He kept looking around for the woman, who had hidden herself in the crowd.

Verse 34

In peace [εις ειρηνην] . Lit., into peace. Contemplating the peace in store for her. Mark alone adds, Be whole of thy plague.

Verse 35

From the ruler of the synagogue. From his house; for the ruler himself is addressed.

Troublest [σκυλλεις] . See on Matthew 9:36. Compare Luke 11:22, where occurs the cognate word skula, spoils, things torn or stripped from an enemy. Wyc., travailest. Tynd., diseasest.

Verse 36

Heard. This is from the reading ajkousav (Luke 8:50). The correct reading is parakousav, which may be rendered either not heeding, as Rev. (compare Matthew 28:17), or over - hearing, as Rev. in margin, which, on the whole, seems the more natural. Disregarding would be more appropriate if the message had been addressed to Jesus himself; but it was addressed to the ruler. Jesus overheard it. The present participle, laloumenon, being spoken, seems to fall in with this.

Verse 38

Seeth [θεωρει] . Rev., beholdeth. See on verse 15.

Wailing [αλαλαζοντας] . A descriptive word of the hired mourners crying al - a - lai!

Verse 40

Put them out. "Wonderful authority in the house of a stranger. He was really master of the house" (Bengel). Only Mark relates the taking of the parents with the three disciples into the chamber.

Verse 41

Maid (korasion). Not a classical word, but used also by Matthew.

Verse 42

Astonishment [εκστασει] . Better Rev., amazement, which carries the sense of bewilderment. Ekstasiv, of which the English ecstasy is a transcript, is from ejk, out of, and isthmi, to place or put. Its primitive sense, therefore, is that of removal; hence of a man removed out of his senses. In Biblical Greek it is used in a modified sense, as here, Mark 16:8; Luke 5:26; Acts 3:10, of amazement, often coupled with fear. In Acts 10:10; Acts 11:5; Acts 12:17, it is used in the sense of our word ecstasy, and is rendered.

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The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Mark 5". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.