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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Mark 3



Other Authors


Mark 3:2. Instead of παρετήρουν, read with Lachm. παρετηροῦντη, following A C* D δ, min. The middle here and at Luke 6:7 (comp. also Acts 9:24) was not attended to.

κατηγορήσουσιν, instead of κατηγορήσωσιν, is not sufficiently attested by C D (Lachm.).

Mark 3:3. Lachm. has τῷ τὴν χεῖρα ἔχοντι ξηράν, following B L 102, Verc. In favour of ξηράν C also tells, which has τῷ τ. ξηρὰν ἔχ. χ., and δ א, which have τῷ τ. ξηρὰν χ. ἔχ. So Tisch. ed. 8. The Recepta τῷ ἐξηραμμένην ἔχοντι τὴν χεῖρα is from Mark 3:1.

Mark 3:5. At the end Elz. has ὑγιὴς ὡς ἄλλη. This is indeed defended by Matthiae, but in opposition to decisive evidence. It is from Matthew 12:13.

Mark 3:7. The order of the words: μετὰ τῶν μαθητ. αὐτοῦ ἀνεχώρ. (Griesb. Lachm. Tisch.), instead of the Recepta ἀνεχώρ. μ. τ. μαθ. αὐτ., has in its favour B C D L δ א, min. vss., and is on this evidence to be adopted, the more especially as the Recepta easily presented itself from the connection, according to which the important element for the progress of the narrative lies in ἀνεχώρ.

Instead of πρός (Elz. Scholz), Griesb. Fritzsche, Lachm. Tisch. have εἰς, which is attested, indeed, only by D H P, min. Theophyl., but was explained by πρός (in some min. by παρά) as a gloss.

ἠκολούθησαν] ἠκολούθησεν, in favour of which D, min. also concur by ἠκολούθει, is considerably attested, partly with, and partly without αὐτῷ (which Lachm. brackets). Approved by Griesb., adopted by Fritzsche and Lachm. The plural flowed mechanically from the conception of the multitude; αὐτῷ is supplied, and is with Tisch. to be deleted.

Mark 3:8. ἀκούσαντες] Lachm. and Tisch. read ἀκούοντες, following only B δ א, min.

Mark 3:11. Instead of ἐθεώρωι, προσέπιπτεν, and ἔκραζε, Fritzsche, Lachm. and Tisch. have the plurals, which also Griesb. approved. The evidence preponderates in favour of the latter, and the singulars are a grammatical but inappropriate correction.

Mark 3:15. θεραπεύειν τὰς νόσους καί] is wanting in B C* L δ א,102, Copt. Deleted by Tisch. An addition, in recollection of Matthew 10:1.

Mark 3:16. Fritzsche has πρῶτον σιμῶνα before καὶ ἐπέθηκε, following only 13, 39,124, 346. An addition from Matthew 10:2, with a view to supply a construction.(70)

Mark 3:18. Here, too (comp. on Matthew 10:4), must be read in conformity to decisive evidence, with Lachm. and Tisch., not κανανίτην, but καναναῖον.

Mark 3:20. μήτε] Read with Fritzsche and Lachm. μηδέ, which is sufficiently attested and necessary as respects the sense.

Mark 3:27. The Recepta is: οὐ δύναται οὐδείς. So also Fritzsche and Tisch., the latter having, in accordance with B C (?) L δ א, min. vss., adopted ἀλλʼ previously (a connective addition). But οὐδεὶς δύναται (Griesb. Matth. Scholz, Lachm.) is the more to be retained, since the mechanical repetition of the οὐ δύναται was so readily suggested from what precedes.

Mark 3:28. The verbal order: τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων τὰ ἁ΄αρτή΄ατα (sanctioned by Griesb., adopted by Lachm. and Tisch.), has, with A B C D L δ א, min. vss., the balance of evidence in its favour, and is also to be accounted genuine, as being the more unusual.

The article before βλασφ. is adopted by Griesb. Fritzsche, Scholz, Lachm. Tisch. on decisive evidence; it became absorbed through the preceding καί.

ὅσας] Lachm. and Tisch. read ὅσα, following B D E* G H δ π* א, min. The Recepta is a correction.

Mark 3:29. Elz. Fritzsche, Scholz have κρίσεως (A C** E F G, etc. Syr.), instead of which Griesb. approved ἀ΄αρτή΄ατος (B L δ א; D has ἀ΄αρτίας), and this Lachm. and Tisch. have adopted. κρίσεως (al. κολάσεως) is a gloss.

Mark 3:31. The reading καὶ ἔρχονται (Lachm.) certainly has preponderant evidence (D G א, Tisch. ed. 8, have καὶ ἔρχεται), but is a mechanical alteration, in which the retrospective reference of the οὖν was not attended to.

The Recepta is οἱ ἀδελφοὶ καὶ ΄ήτηρ αὐτοῦ. But B C D G L δ א, min. vss. have ΄ήτηρ αὐτοῦ κ. οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ (Griesb. Scholz, Lachm. Tisch. ed. 8), with which also the reading ἔρχεται is connected. Still the Recepta (and that with αὐτοῦ repeated) is to be sustained, for it became changed in consideration of the rank of the mother, of Mark 3:32, and of the parallel passages.

φωνοῦντες] Lachm. and Tisch. have καλοῦντες, following B C L א, min. (A: ζητοῦντες). Rightly; the meaning of καλοῦντες was more precisely defined by φωνοῦντες.

Mark 3:32. The verbal order περὶ αὐτὸν ὄχλος (Lachm. Tisch.) is preponderantly attested, as also is καὶ λέγουσιν (Lachm. Tisch.) instead of εἶπον δέ.

The addition καὶ αἱ ἀδελφαί σου is rightly adopted by Griesb. Matth. Scholz, Lachm. and Tisch. It certainly has important evidence against it (B C G K L δ π א, Vulg. Copt. Arm. Aeth. Syr. utr.), and is rejected by Fritzsche: but the words were omitted, because neither in Mark 3:31 nor in Mark 3:34 nor in the parallel passages are the sisters mentioned. Had it been interpolated, the addition would have been found already in Mark 3:31.

Mark 3:33. Instead of , Lachm. and Tisch. ed. 8 have καί, following B C L V δ א, min. vss. A mechanical repetition from Mark 3:32; and comp. Matt.

Mark 3:34. The verbal order: τοὺς περὶ αὐτ. κύκλῳ (Lachm. Tisch.), which is found in B C L δ א, min. Copt., arose from the fact, that the κύκλῳ, which with περιβλεψ. was superfluous, was omitted (so still in min. vss.), and then restored in the place that appeared fitting.

Mark 3:35. The omission of γάρ (Lachm. Tisch.) is too weakly attested. On the other hand, μου after ἀδεφή is, with Lachm. and Tisch., following A B D L δ א, min. vss., to be deleted.

Verses 1-6

Mark 3:1-6. See on Matthew 12:9-14; comp. Luke 6:6-11. The brief, vividly and sharply graphic account of Mark is in Matthew partly abridged, partly expanded.

πάλιν] see Mark 1:21.

εἰς τ. συναγωγήν] at Capernaum. See Mark 2:15.

ἐξηραμμένην] “non ex utero, sed morbo aut vulnere; haec vis participii,” Bengel. More indefinitely Matthew (and Luke): ξηράν.

παρετηροῦντο] of hostile observing, spying (comp. Luke 6:7, al.; Polyb. xvii. 3. 2 : ἐνεδρεύειν καὶ παρατηρεῖν), which, however, is implied, not in the middle, but in the context.

Mark 3:3 ff. ἔγειρε εἰς τ. μέσον] arise (and step forth) into the midst. Comp. Luke 6:8.

ἀγαθοποιῆσαι κακοποιῆσαι] to act well (Tobit 12:13), or to act ill (Sirach 19:25). Comp. καλῶς ποιεῖν, Matthew 12:12; Ep. ad Diogn. 4 : God does not hinder καλόν τι ποιεῖν on the Sabbath day. The alternative must be such that the opponents cannot deny the former proposition, and therefore must be dumb. On this account it is not to be explained: to render a benefit (1 Maccabees 11:33), or to inflict an injury (Erasmus, Bengel, Beza, de Wette, Bleek, and others); for the former might be relatively negatived on account of the Sabbath-laws, the observance of which, however, could not be opposed to the idea of acting well (i.e. in conformity with the divine will). We can only decide the question on this ground, not from the usus loquendi, which in fact admits of either explanation. The reading in D: τι ἀγαθὸν ποιῆσαι, is a correct gloss of the late Greek word (Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 200), comp. 1 Peter 2:15; 1 Peter 2:20; 1 Peter 3:6; 3 John 1:11.

ψυχὴν σῶσαι] to rescue a soul, that it be not transferred to Hades, but, on the contrary, the man may be preserved in life. Comp. Mark 8:35, often also among Greek writers. This likewise could not be denied, for “periculum vitae pellit sabbatum,” Joma, f. 84, 2. See the passages in Wetstein, ad Matthew 12:10.

ἀποκτεῖναι] to be taken by itself, not to be connected with ψυχήν. At the foundation of the question of Jesus lies the conclusion from the general to the special; He carries the point in question about the Sabbath healings back to the moral category, in consequence of which a negative answer would be absurd. The adversaries feel this; but instead of confessing it they are silent, because they are hardened.

συλλυπού μενος] feeling compassion over, etc., Herod. ix. 94, vi. 39; Polyb. vii. 3. 2; Aelian, V. H. vii. 3. Anger and compassion alternated. The preposition denotes not the emotion of the heart collectively, but the fellowship, into which the heart enters, with the misfortune (in this case moral) of the persons concerned. Comp. Plato, Pol. v. p. 462 E.

ἀπεκατεστάθη] with double augment (Winer, p. 67 [E. T. 84]) is, in accordance with Lachmann, to be read. Comp. on Matthew 12:13.

Mark 3:6. εὐθέως κ. τ. λ.] “crevit odium,” Bengel. They instituted a consultation, in order that, etc. Comp. on Matthew 22:5. That the Herodians are introduced into this place erroneously from Matthew 22:16 (see in loc.) is not to be maintained (de Wette, Baur, Hilgenfeld). The sensation produced by the working of Jesus (see Mark 3:7-8) was sufficiently fitted to induce their being now drawn by the Pharisees into the hostile effort. Hence the mention of them here is no meaningless addition (Köstlin).

Verses 7-12

Mark 3:7-12. Comp. Matthew 12:15 f., Luke 6:17-19, who with their difference of historical arrangement make but brief use of the description in Mark, which is more accurate and more fresh and does not blend heterogeneous elements (Hilgenfeld).

εἱς] direction whither.

Mark 3:8. ἰδουμαία] on the southeastern border of Palestine.

A point is not to be placed, as by Beza, Er. Schmid, and Fritzsche, after ἰορδάνου, but—as is required by the two distinct predicates based on the local relations, ἠκολούθησεν and ἦλθον πρὸς αὐτόνbefore καὶ ἀπὸ τ. ἰουδαίας. It is first of all stated, who followed Jesus from Galilee, where He Himself was, to the sea, and then, from καὶ ἀπὸ τ. ἰουδ. onward, who came to Him from other regions. Namely: and from Judaea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea and Peraea ( καὶ πέραν τοῦ ἰορδ.; observe that here ἀπό is not repeated), and those (the Jews) about Tyre and Sidon, in great multitudes ( πλῆθος πολύ belongs to the whole as a more precise definition of the subject), they came to Him,

Observe, moreover, the different position of πλῆθος in Mark 3:7-8; in the one case the greatness of the mass of people preponderates in the conception, in the other it is the idea of the mass of people itself.

ἐποίει] imperfect, used of the continuous doing.

Mark 3:9. ἵνα] What He said to them is conceived of as the design of the speaking (comp. on Matthew 4:3): in order that a vessel should be continually at His service.

διὰ τὸν ὄχλον κ. τ. λ.] therefore not for the purpose of crossing over; ἔμελλε γὰρ ἐμβὰς εἰς αὐτὸ μὴ ἐνοχλεῖσθαι, Euthymius Zigabenus. Comp. Mark 4:1; Matthew 13:2. It is not said, however, that He wished to teach out of the vessel (Kuinoel and others).

Mark 3:10 f. Information regarding this pressing towards Him.

ἐθεράπευσεν] not sanaverat (Castalio, Kuinoel, Fritzsche), but He healed just at that time. The ὥστε ἐπιπίπτειν αὐτῷ, so that they fell upon Him, depicts the impetuous thronging unto Him of those seeking aid. “Admirabilis patientia et benignitas Domini,” Bengel. προσέπιπτ. αὐτῷ in Mark 3:11 is different: they fell down before Him (Mark 5:33, Mark 7:25).

μάστιγας] plagues, Mark 5:29; Mark 5:34; Luke 7:21; Psalms 35:15; Sirach 40:9; 2 Maccabees 7:37. In accordance with the context: plagues of sickness.

τὰ πνεύματα κ. τ. λ.] a statement in conformity with the appearance; the sick people identified themselves with the demons.

ὅταν] with the praeterite indicative: whenever they saw Him, i.e. as soon as ever they got sight of Him. See Winer, p. 276 [E. T. 388]. This rare and late linguistic phenomenon is to be explained to the effect, that the conception of the uncertain ( ἄν) has become completely blended with ὅτε, and the whole emphasis rests upon this whenever. See Klotz, ad Devar. p. 690. It does not mean: if they ever saw Him.

Mark 3:12. ἵνα] design of the πολλὰ ἐπετίμα αὐτοῖς (the demons). How colourless is Matthew 7:16! According to Hilgenfeld, Mark has exaggerated. As to the prohibition itself of their making Him known as Messiah, comp. Mark 1:43, and on Matthew 8:4; Mark 5:43.

Verses 13-19

Mark 3:13-19. Comp. Matthew 10:2-4; Luke 6:12-16.

τὸ ὄρος] upon the mountain there. See on Matthew 5:1.

οὓς ἢθελεν αὐτός] so that no one might come forward of his own will. Jesus first of all made a wider selection, and then out of this, Mark 3:14, the narrower one of the Twelve. To raise a doubt of the actual selection of the latter (Schleiermacher, L. J. p. 370), as if they to some extent had become apostles with less of assent on Christ’s part, is at variance also with John 6:70.

Mark 3:14 f. ἐποίησε] He made, that is, He ordained, appointed. Comp. Acts 2:36; 1 Samuel 12:6. On the clause ἵνα ὦσι μετʼ αὐτοῦ, comp. Acts 1:21.

ἀποστέλλῃ αὐτούς] namely, subsequently. See Mark 6:7.

καὶ ἔχειν] conjoined with the κηρύσσειν as an aim of the sending forth, in which it was contemplated that they were to preach and to have power,(71) etc. Comp. Mark 6:7. The simple, naive detail of the appointment and destination of the Twelve bears the stamp of originality, not of elaboration after Matthew and Luke (Zeller in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschrift, 1865, p. 396 ff.).

Mark 3:16 ff. Inexactly enough Mark relates, instead of Simon’s appointment, only his being named; but he leaves his appointment to be thence understood of itself, and then, as if he had narrated it in connection with ἐποίησε, continues by καὶ ἰάκωβον, which still depends on ἐποίησε,—an awkwardness which is scarcely to be attributed to a reflecting reviser.

As to the arrangement—generally according to rank, but in Mark and Acts 1:13 giving precedence to the three most intimate disciples—of the twelve names in three quaternions, see on Matthew 10:2; Ewald, p. 205 f.

Mark narrates the naming of Peter as having taken place at that time, which is not incompatible with Matthew 16:18 (see in loc.), although it is doubtless with John 1:43.

Mark 3:17. And He assigned to them names, (namely) Boanerges. The plural ὀνόματα (for which D reads ὂνο΄α) depends on the conception that the names bestowed on the two brothers are included in Boanerges. βοανεργές] ܒܢܳܝܪܓܷܫ, בְּנֵי רֶגֶשׁ. The Sheva, according to Aramaic pronunciation (see Lightfoot): oa. רֶגֶשׁ, in the Hebrew, a noisy crowd, Psalms 55:15; in the Syriac, thunder; comp. the Arabic رجس, tonuit.(72) The historical occasion of this appellation is altogether unknown. It has been sought in the mighty eloquence of the two (Victor Antiochenus, Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, Calvin, Wetstein, Michaelis, and others, comp. Luther’s gloss); but it may be objected to this view that such a quality could hardly have appeared at that time, when the men had not yet taught; and also that in the case of John at least, a thundering eloquence (as in Pericles; Cic. Orat. 29) is not to be supposed. Others (Heumann, Kuinoel, comp. also Gurlitt in the Stud. u. Krit. 1829, p. 715 ff.) have understood it to be a name of reproach, and referred it to Luke 9:54, so that the meaningless, destructive power (Gurlitt) would be the point of comparison; but the time of the giving this name is not in accordance with this view, as it is also in itself improbable, and at variance with the analogy of Peter’s name, that Jesus should have converted a reproach into a name and thereby have made it the signature of their character; to which we may add, that in Luke, l.c, there is nothing at all said about thunder. Moreover, it is historically demonstrable that the disciples were of impetuous, ardent temperament (Mark 9:38; Luke 9:54; comp. Matthew 20:20 ff., and Mark 10:35 ff.), and it is therefore not arbitrary to conjecture that some special exhibition of this peculiarity at the time suggested the name, of which, however, it is absolutely unknown for what reason it did not become permanent, like the name of Peter, and in fact is no further mentioned elsewhere, although it was given by Jesus.

θαδδαῖον] see on Matthew 10:3. As to καναναῖος, see on Matthew 10:4.

Verse 20

Mark 3:20,(74) 21. Peculiar to Mark, but in unity of connection with Mark 3:22 f.

καὶ ἔρχ. εἰς οἶκον] The choice of the disciples, and what had to be said to them concerning it, was the important occasion for the preceding ascent of the mountain, Mark 3:13. Now they come back again to the house, namely, in Capernaum, as in Mark 2:2, to which also the subsequent πάλιν points back. De Wette is in error when he says that the following scene could by no means have taken place in the house. See, on the other hand, Mark 3:31 and Matthew 12:46. Hilgenfeld finds in εἰς οἶκον even a misunderstanding of Matthew 13:1.

The accusation ὅτι ἐξέστη, Mark 3:21, and that expressed at Mark 3:22, ὅτι βεελζεβοὺλ ἔχει, are analogous; and these accusations are the significant elements in Mark,(75) with whom Mark 3:22 still lacks the special historical information that is furnished by Matthew 12:22 f. (comp. Mark 9:33 f.); Luke 11:14. In the connection of Mark alone the retrospective reference to Mark 3:10-12 is sufficient; hence it is not to be supposed that in the primitive-Mark that cure of demoniacs given by Matthew and Luke must also have had a place (Holtzmann). See, moreover, Weiss, l.c. p. 80 ff. Mark, however, does not represent the mother and the brethren as “confederates of the Pharisees” (Baur, Markusevang. p. 23); their opinion ὅτι ἐξέστη is an error (not malicious), and their purpose is that of care for the security of Jesus.

αὐτούς] He and His disciples.

μηδέ] not even, to say nothing of being left otherwise undisturbed. Comp. Mark 2:2. According to Strauss, indeed, this is a “palpable exaggeration.”

ἀκούσαντες] that He was again set upon by the multitude to such a degree, and was occupying Himself so excessively with them (with the healing of their demoniacs, Mark 3:22, and so on).

οἱ παρʼ αὐτοῦ] those on His side, i.e. His own people. Comp. Xen. Anab. vi. 6. 24; Cyrop. vi. 2. 1; Polyb. xxiii. 1. 6; 1 Maccabees 9:44. See Bernhardy, p. 256. By this, however, the disciples cannot here be meant, as they are in the house with Jesus, Mark 3:20; but only, as is clearly proved by Mark 3:31-32, His mother, His brethren, His sisters.

ἐξῆλθον] namely, not from a place in Capernaum (in opposition to Mark 3:20), but from the place where they were sojourning, from Nazareth. Comp. Mark 1:9, Mark 6:3. It is not to be objected that the intelligence of the presence and action of Jesus in Capernaum could not have come to Nazareth so quickly, and that the family could not have come so quickly to Capernaum, as to admit of the latter being already there, after the reprimand of the scribes, Mark 3:23-30; for Mark does not say that that ἐξῆλθον, and the coming down of the scribes from Jerusalem, and the arrival of the mother, etc., happened on the same day whereon Jesus and the disciples had returned εἰς οἶκον. On the contrary, that intelligence arrived at Nazareth, where His relatives were setting out, etc.; but from Jerusalem there had already—when Jesus had returned to Capernaum and was there so devoting Himself beyond measure to the people—come down scribes, and these said, etc. This scene, therefore, with the scribes who had come down was before the arrival of the relatives of Jesus had taken place.

κρατῆσαι αὐτόν] to lay hold upon Him, to possess themselves of Him. Comp. Mark 6:17, Mark 12:12, Mark 14:1; Matthew 26:4; Judges 16:21; Tobit 6:3; Polyb. viii. 20. 8, al.

ἔλεγον] namely, οἱ παρʼ αὐτοῦ. After ἐξῆλθον it is arbitrary to supply, with others (including Ewald): people said, which Olshausen even refers to “the malicious Pharisees.” So also Paulus, while Bengel thinks of messengers. Let it be observed that ἔλεγον, Mark 3:21, and ἔλεγον, Mark 3:22, correspond to one another, and that therefore, as in Mark 3:22, so also in Mark 3:21 there is the less reason to think of another subject than that which stands there.

ἐξέστη] He is out of his mind, has become frantic; 2 Corinthians 5:13; Arist. H. A. vi. 22: ἐξίσταται καὶ μαίνεται, and see Wetstein. Comp. Xen. Mem. i. 3. 12 : τοῦ φρονεῖν ἐξίστησιν. This strong meaning (erroneously rendered, however, by Luther: He will go out of his mind) is contestably required by the forcible κρατῆσαι, as well as by the subsequent still stronger analogous expression βεελζεβοὺλ ἔχει. Hence it is not to be explained of a swoon or the like, but is rightly rendered by the Vulgate: in furorem versus est. To the relatives of Jesus, at that time still (John 7:3) unbelieving (according to Mark, even to Mary, which certainly does not agree with the preliminary history in Matthew and Luke(76)), the extraordinary teaching and working of Jesus, far transcending their sphere of vision, producing such a profound excitement among all the people, and which they knew not how to reconcile with His domestic antecedents, were the eccentric activity of the phrenzy which had taken possession of Him. Comp. Theophylact (who regards ἐξέστη as directly equivalent to δαί΄ονα ἔχει), Erasmus, Beza, Calvin, Maldonatus, Jansen, and others, including Fritzsche, de Wette, Bleek (according to whom they considered Him as “at the least an enthusiast”), Holtzmann, Weizsäcker, et al. The omission of the surprising historical trait in Matthew and Luke betrays a later sifting process.


To get rid of this simple meaning of Mark 3:21, placed beyond doubt by the clear words, expositors have tried very varied expedients. Thus Euthymius Zigabenus, who in other respects is right in his explanation, arbitrarily suggests for the ἔλεγον the subject τινὲς φθονεροί, and adduces, even in his day, two other but unsuitable explanations.(77) According to Schoettgen and Wolf, the disciples ( οἱ παρʼ αὐτοῦ) heard that so many people were outside, and went forth to restrain the multitude, and said: the people are frantic! According to Griesbach and Vater, the disciples likewise went forth after having heard that Jesus was teaching the people outside, and wished to bring Jesus in, for people were saying: “nimia eum omnium virium contentione debilitatum velut insanire!” According to Grotius, the relatives of Jesus also dwelt at Capernaum (which, moreover, Ewald, Lange, Bleek, and others suppose, although Mark has not at all any notice like Matthew 4:13); they come out of their house, and wish to carry Jesus away from the house, where He was so greatly thronged, for the report(78) had spread abroad ( ἔλεγον γάρ) that He had fainted (according to Ewald, Gesch. Chr. p. 334: “had fallen into a phrenzy from exhaustion”). According to Kuinoel, it is likewise obvious of itself that Jesus has left the house again and is teaching outside; while the mother and the brethren who are at home also go forth, in order to bring Jesus in to eat, and they say, with the view of pressing back the people: maxime defatigatus est! Comp. Köster, Imman. p. 185, according to whom they wish to hold Him on account of faintness. So again Linder in the Stud. u. Krit. 1862, p. 556. According to Ebrard, § 70, notwithstanding the εἰς οἶκον and the πάλιν, Jesus is not in Capernaum, but at the house of a host; and in spite of Mark 3:31-32, οἱ παρʼ αὐτοῦ are the people in this lodging,(79) who think, as they hear Him so zealously teaching (?), that He is out of His mind, and go out to seize upon Him, but are at once convinced of their error! According to Ammon, L. J. II. p. 155, the people have gathered together round His dwelling, while He is sitting at meat; He hastens into the midst of the people, but is extricated by His friends out of the throng, because in their opinion He has fallen into a faint. Lange, L. J. II. 2, p. 834, takes ἐξέστη rightly, but regards it as the presupposition of the popular judgment, into which the kinsfolk of Jesus had with politic prudence entered, in order on this pretext to rescue Him from the momentary danger, because they believed that He did not sufficiently estimate this danger (namely, of having broken with the hierarchical party). In this way we may read everything, on which the matter is to depend, between the lines. Schenkel also reads between the lines, that the relatives of Jesus had been persuaded on the part of His enemies that He Himself was a person possessed. It is aptly observed by Maldonatus: “Hunc locum difficiliorem pietas facit …; pio quodam studio nonnulli rejecta verborum proprietate alias, quae minus a pietate abhorrere viderentur, interpretationes quaesiverunt. Nescio an, dum pias quaererent, falsas invenerint.” According to Köstlin, p. 342, has, “after the manner of later pragmatists,” taken the ἔλεγον ὅτι ἐξέστη, which originally had the less exceptionable sense of enthusiasm, as a malicious calumny. Thus, indeed, what appears offensive is easily set aside and laid upon the compiler, as is done, moreover, in another way by Baur, Evang. p. 559.

Verses 22-30

Mark 3:22-30. See on Matthew 12:24-32, who narrates more completely from the collection of Logia and historical tradition. Comp. Luke 11:15-23; Luke 12:10.

And the scribes, etc., asserted a still worse charge.

Mark 3:23. προσκαλεσόμ. αὐτούς] De Wette is of opinion, without warrant, that this could only have taken place in the open air, not in the house (Mark 3:20). They were in the house along with, but further away from, Jesus; He calls them to Him to speak with them.

σατανᾶς σατανᾶν] not: one Satan … the other, but: Satan … himself; see on Matthew 12:26. Comp. σατανᾶςἐφʼ ἑαυτόν, Mark 3:26. The want of the article with the proper name is not opposed to this.

Mark 3:24. Now, in order to make good this πῶς δύναται, (i.e. οὐ δύναται κ. τ. λ.), there come, linked on by the simple and (not γάρ), two illustrative analogues ( ἐν παραβολαῖς), after which at Mark 3:26, but likewise by the simple and, not by a particle of inference, is added the point, quod erat demonstrandum. This symmetrical progression by means of καί is rhetorical; it has something in it impressive, striking—a feature also presenting itself in the discourse as it proceeds asyndetically in Mark 3:27-28.

Mark 3:28. The order of the words: πόντα ἀφεθ. τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων τὰ ἁμαρτήματα, places them so apart, as to lay a great emphasis on πάντα. See Bornemann and Herbst, ad Xen. Mem. ii. 10. 2. The expression τοῖς υἱοῖς τ. ἀνθρ., not a singular reminiscence from Matthew 12:32 (Weiss), is rather a trait of Mark, depicting human weakness.

αἰωνίου ἁμαρτ.] namely, in respect of the guilt, “nunquam delendi,” Beza.

Mark 3:30. ὅτι ἔλεγον: (He spake thus) because they said. Comp. Luke 11:18.

πνεῦμα ἀκάθαρτον] not again as at Mark 3:22 : βεελζεβοὺλ ἔχει, because of the contrast with πνεῦμα τὸ ἄγιον. The less is it to be said that Mark places on a par the blasphemy against the person of Jesus (Matthew 12:31 f.) and that against the Holy Spirit (Köstlin, p. 318), or that he has “already given up” the former blasphemy (Hilgenfeld). It is included, in fact, in Mark 3:28.

Verses 31-35

Mark 3:31-35. See on Matthew 12:46-50. Comp. Luke 8:19-21.

ἔρχονται] οὖν points back, by way of resuming, to Mark 3:21. See Krüger, Cyrop. i. 5. 14; Klotz, ad Devar. p. 718. ἔρχονται corresponds with ἐξῆλθον, Mark 3:21, where Bengel pertinently observes: “Exitum sequetur τὸ venire, Mark 3:31.” Ebrard resorts to harmonistic evasions.

οἱ ἀδελφοί] They are named at Mark 6:3. Of a “position of guardianship towards the Lord” (Lange), which they had wished to occupy, nothing is said either here or at John 7:3, and here all the less that, in fact, the mother was present.

ἔξω] outside, in front of the house, Mark 3:20, Matthew 12:47.

Mark 3:32. The mention of the sisters here for the first time is an inaccuracy.

Mark 3:34. περιβλεψ. κύκλῳ] Comp. Mark 6:6; Hom. Od. viii. 278; Herod. iv. 182; Plat. Phaed. 72 B, and the passages in Sturz, Lex. Xen. II. p. 803 f.

The expressive looking round was here an entirely different thing from that of Mark 3:5. Bengel: “suavitate summa.” How little did His actual mother and His reputed brothers and sisters as yet comprehend Him and His higher ministry!


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Mark 3:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. 1832.

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Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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