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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Mark 6

 

 

Introduction

CHAPTER 6

Mark 6:1. Instead of ἧλθεν, we must read with Tisch., following B C L δ א, ἔρχεται. ἦλθεν was introduced in accordance with the preceding ἐξῆλθεν.

Mark 6:2. After αὐτῷ (instead of which B C L δ א, as before, read τούτῳ; so Tisch.) Elz. has ὅτι, which Fritzsche defends. But the evidence on the other side so preponderates, that ὅτι must be regarded as an inserted connective addition, instead of which C* D K, min. give ἵνα (and then γίνωνται), while B L δ א have changed γίνονται into γινόμεναι, which is only another attempt to help the construction, although it is adopted (with αἱ before διά upon too weak evidence) by Tisch.

Mark 6:3. τέκτων] The reading τοῦ τέκτονος υἱός (and then merely καὶ ΄αρίας), although adopted by Fritzsche, is much too weakly attested, and is from Matthew 13:35.

ἰωσῆ] The form ἰωσῆτος (Lachm. Tisch.) has in its favour B D L δ, min. vss. ἰωσήφ ( א, 121, Aeth. Vulg. codd. of the It.) is here too weakly attested, and is from Matthew 13:55.

Mark 6:9. The Recepta, defended by Rinck, Fritzsche, is ἐνδύσασθαι. But ἐνδύσησθε (so Griesb. Scholz, Lachm. Tisch.) has decisive attestation; it was altered on account of the construction.

Mark 6:11. ὅσοι ἄν] Tisch. has ὃς ἂν τόπος (and afterwards δέξηται), following B L δ א, min. Copt. Syr. p. (in the margin). A peculiar and original reading, which became altered partly by the omission of τόπος (C*? min.), partly by ὅσοι, in accordance with the parallels.

After αὐτοῖς Elz. Matth. Fritzsche, Scholz, have: ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται σοδόμοις γομόῤῥοις ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως, τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ, which is not found in B C D L δ א, min. vss. An addition in accordance with Matthew 10:15.

Mark 6:12. ἐκήρυξαν (Tisch.), instead of the Recepta ἐκήρυσσον, is still more strongly attested than μετανοῶσιν (Lachm. Tisch.). The former is to be adopted from B C D L δ א; the latter has in its favour B D L, but easily originated as the shorter form from the Recepta μετανοήσωσι.

Mark 6:14. ἔλεγεν] Fritzsche, Lachm. have ἔλεγον only, following B D, 6, 271, Cant. 6 :Verc. Mart. Corb. Aug. Beda (D has ἐλέγοσαν). An alteration in accordance with Mark 6:15; comp. Mark 6:16.

ἐκ νεκρ. ἠγέρθη] Lachm. Tisch. have ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρ., following B D L δ א, min.; but A K, min. Theophyl. have ἐκ νεκρ. ἀνέστη. The latter is right; ἀνέστη became supplanted by means of the parallel passages and Mark 6:16.

Mark 6:15. δέ after the first ἄλλοι is wanting in Elz. Fritzsche, but is guaranteed by decisive evidence. Decisive evidence condemns the read before ὡς in Elz. and Fritzsche.

Mark 6:16. οὗτός ἐστιν, αὐτὸς ἠγ.] B D L δ, min. Vulg. Cant. Colb. Corb. Germ. 1, 2, Mm. Or. have merely οὗτος ἠγ. So Griesb. Fritzsche, Scholz, Tisch. (Lachm. has bracketed ἐστ. αὐτ.). Certainly the Recepta might have arisen out of Matthew 14:2. But, if merely οὗτος ἠγ. were original, it would not be at all easy to see why it should have been altered and added to. On the other hand, the transcribers might easily pass over from ουτοσ at once to αυτοσ. Therefore the Recepta is to be maintained, and to be regarded as made use of by Matthew.

ἐκ νεκρῶν] is, in accordance with Tisch., to be deleted as an addition, since in B L δ א, vss. it is altogether wanting; in D it stands before ἠγ.; and in C, Or. it is exchanged for ἀπὸ τ. νεκρ.

Mark 6:17. The article before φυλακῇ is deleted, in accordance with decisive evidence.

Mark 6:19. ἤθελεν] Lachm. has ἐζήτει, although only following C* Cant. 6 :Verc. Vind. Colb. An interpretation.

Mark 6:21. ἐποίει] B C D L δ א, min. have ἐποίησεν. So Lachm. But the reading of Tisch. is to be preferred: ἠπόρει; see the exegetical remarks.

Mark 6:22. αὐτῆς] B D L δ א, min. have αὐτοῦ. A wrong emendation.

καὶ ἀρεσάσ.] B C* L δ א have ἤρεσεν. So Lachm. and Tisch., the latter then, upon like attestation, having δὲ βασ. εἶπεν (Lachm., following A, has εἶπε δὲ βασ.). Rightly; the Recepta is a mechanical continuation of the participles, which was then followed by the omission of δέ (Elz. has: εἶπεν βασ.).

Mark 6:24. αἰτήσομαι] αἰτήσωμαι is decisively attested; commended by Griesb., and adopted by Fritzsche, Lachm. and Tisch.

Mark 6:30. πάντα καί] This καί has evidence so considerable against it that it is condemned by Griesb. and deleted by Fritzsche, Lachm. and Tisch. But how easily might the quite superfluous and even disturbing word come to be passed over!

Mark 6:33. After ὑπάγοντας Elz. has οἱ ὄχλοι, in opposition to decisive evidence; taken from Matt. and Luke.

After ἐπέγνωσαν (for which Lachm., following B* D, reads ἔγνωσαν) Elz. Scholz have αὐτόν, which is not found in B D, min. Arm. Perss. Vulg. It., while A K L M U δ א, min., vss. have αὐτούς. So Tisch. But αὐτόν and αὐτούς are additions by way of gloss.

ἐκεῖ] Elz. Scholz have: ἐκεῖ, καὶ προῆλθον αὐτοὺς καὶ συνῆλθον πρὸς αὐτόν. Griesb.: καὶ ἦλθον ἐκεῖ. Fritzsche: ἐκεῖ καὶ ἦλθον πρὸς αὐτόν. Lachm. Tisch.: ἐκεῖ καὶ προῆλθον αὐτούς. So, too, Rinck, Lucubr. crit. p. 298. The latter reading (B L א) is to be regarded as the original one, and the variations are to be derived from the fact that προσῆλθον was written instead of προῆλθον. Thus arose the corruption καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτούς (so still L, min.). This corruption was then subjected to very various glosses, namely, καὶ προσῆλθον πρὸς αὐτούς (220, 225, Arr.), καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτοῖς ( δ), καὶ συνῆλθον αὐτοῦ (D, Ver.), καὶ συνέδραμον πρὸς αὐτόν (A), καὶ συνῆλθον πρὸς αὐτόν (Elz.), al.; which glosses partly supplanted the original καὶ προῆλθον αὐτούς (D, min. vss.), partly appeared by its side with or without restoration of the genuine προῆλθον. The reading of Griesb. has far too little attestation, and leaves the origin of the variations inexplicable. For the reading of Fritzsche there is no attestation; it is to be put on the footing of a conjecture.

Mark 6:34. After εἶδεν Elz. and Scholz have ἰησοῦς, which in witnesses deserving of consideration is either wanting or differently placed. An addition.

ἐπʼ αὐτοῖς] Lachm. and Tisch. have ἐπʼ αὐτούς, following important witnesses; the Recepta is from Matthew 14:14 (where it is the original reading).

Mark 6:36. ἄρτους· τί γὰρ φάγωσιν οὐκ ἔχουσιν] B L δ, min. Copt. Cant. Verc. Corb. Vind. have merely τί φάγωσιν, which Griesb. approves and Tisch. reads. D has merely τι φαγεῖν, which Fritzsche reads, adding, however, without any evidence: οὐ γὰρ ἔχουσιν. Lachm. has [ ἄρτους·] τί [ γὰρ] φάγωσιν [ οὐκ ἔχουσιν]. The reading of Griesb. is to be preferred; ἄρτους was written in the margin as a gloss, and adopted into the text. Thus arose ἄρτους, τι φάγωσιν (comp. א: βρώματα τι φάγωσιν, Vulg.: “cibos, quos manducent”). This was then filled up from Mark 8:2, Matthew 15:32, in the way in which the Recepta has it. The reading of D (merely τι φαγεῖν) would be preferable, if it were better attested.

Mark 6:37. δῶμεν] Lachm. has δώσομεν, following A B (?) L δ 65, It. Vulg. Comp. D א, min., which have δώσωμεν. The future is original; not being understood, it was changed into δῶμεν, and mechanically into δώσωμεν (Tisch.).

Mark 6:38. καί before ἴδετε is wanting in B D L א, min. vss., and is an addition which Griesb. has condemned, Lachm. has bracketed, and Tisch. has deleted.

Mark 6:39. ἀνακλῖναι] Lachm. has ἀνακλιθῆναι, not sufficiently attested from Matthew 14:19.

Mark 6:40. Instead of ἀνά, Lachm. and Tisch. have κατά both times, in accordance with B D א, Copt. Rightly; ἀνά is from Luke 9:14.

Mark 6:44. Elz. has after ἄρτους: ὡσεί, in opposition to decisive evidence.

Mark 6:45. ἀπολύσῃ] Lachm. and Tisch. have ἀπολύει, following B D L δ א 1. The Recepta is from Matthew 14:22.

Mark 6:48. εἶδεν] B D L δ א, min. Vulg. It. Copt. have ἰδών. So Lachm. and Tisch., omitting the subsequent καί before περί. Rightly; the participle was changed into εἶδεν, because the parenthetic nature of the following ἦν γὰραὐτοῖς was not observed.

Mark 6:51. καὶ ἐθαύμαζον] is wanting, it is true, in B L δ א, min. Copt. Vulg. Vind. Colb. Rd., and is condemned by Griesb., bracketed by Lachm., cancelled by Tisch.; but after ἐξίσταντο it was, as the weaker expression, more easily passed over than added.

Mark 6:52. The order αὐτῶν καρδ. is, with Scholz, Lachm. Tisch., to be preferred on far preponderating evidence.

Mark 6:54. After αὐτόν Lachm. has bracketed οἱ ἄνδρες τοῦ τόπου ἐκείνου, which A G δ, min. vss. read; from Matthew 14:35.

Mark 6:55. ἐκεῖ] is not found in B L δ א, 102, Copt. Vulg. Vind. Brix. Colb. Deleted by Lachm. and Tisch. Passed over as superfluous.

Mark 6:56. ἥπτοντο] Lachm. reads ἥψαντο, following B D L δ א, min. Matthew 14:36.


Verses 1-6

Mark 6:1-6. See on Matthew 13:54-58, who follows Mark with slight abbreviations and unessential changes. As respects the question of position, some advocates of the priority of Matthew have attributed to Mark an unthinking mechanism (Saunier), others a very artistic grouping (Hilgenfeld, who holds that the insusceptibility of the people was here to be represented as attaining its climax).

The narrative itself is not to be identified with that of Luke 4:16 ff. See on Matt.

ἐξῆλθεν ἐκεῖθεν] from the house of Jairus. Matthew has an entirely different historical connection, based on a distinct tradition, in which he may have furnished the more correct τάξις.

ἤρξατο] for the first emergence and its result are meant to be narrated.

After elimination of ὅτι, the words from πόθεν to αὐτῷ are to be taken together as an interrogative sentence, and καὶ δυνάμεις on to γίνονται forms again a separate question of astonishment.

δυνάμεις τοιαῦται] presupposes that they have heard of the miracles that Jesus had done (in Capernaum and elsewhere); these they now bring into association with His teaching.

διὰ τῶν χειρ. αὐτοῦ] that is, by laying on of His hands, by taking hold of, touching, and the like; Mark 6:5. Comp. Acts 5:12; Acts 19:11.

Mark 6:3. τέκτων] According to the custom of the nation and of the Rabbins (Lightfoot, p. 616; Schoettgen, II. p. 898; Gfrörer in the Tub. Zeitschr. 1838, p. 166 ff.), Jesus Himself had learned a handicraft. Comp. Justin, c. Tryph. 88, p. 316, where it is related that He made(94) ploughs and yokes; Origen, c. Celsum, vi. 4. 3, where Celsus ridicules the custom; Theodoret, H. E. iii. 23; Evang. infant. 38; and see generally, Thilo, ad Cod. Apocr. I. p. 368 f. The circumstance that Mark has not written τοῦ τέκτονος υἱός, as in Matthew 13:55, is alleged by Hilgenfeld, Evang. p. 135 (“Mark tolerates not the paternity of Joseph even in the mouth of the Nazarenes”), Baur, Markusevangel. p. 138, and Bleek, to point to the view of the divine procreation of Jesus. As though Mark would not have had opportunity and skill enough to bring forward this view otherwise with clearness and definitely! The expression of Matthew is not even to be explained from an offence taken at τέκτων (Holtzmann, Weizsäcker), but simply bears the character of the reflection, that along with the mother the father also would have been mentioned. And certainly it is singular, considering the completeness of the specification of the members of the families, that Joseph is not also designated. That he was already dead, is the usual but not certain assumption (see on John 6:42). In any case, however, he has at an early date fallen into the background in the evangelical tradition, and in fact disappeared: and the narrative of Mark, in so far as he names only the mother, is a reflection of this state of things according to the customary appellation among the people, without any special design. Hence there is no sufficient reason for supposing that in the primitive-Mark the words ran: τέκτων, υἱὸς ἰωσήφ (Holtzmann).

ἰωσῆ] Matthew, by way of correction, has ἰωσήφ. See on Matthew 13:55. The brother of James of Alphaeus was called Joses. See on Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40.

Mark 6:4. The generic προφήτης is not to be misapplied (so Schenkel) to make good the opinion that Jesus had not yet regarded Himself as the Messiah.

καὶ ἐν τοῖς συγγ. κ. τ. λ.(95)] graphic fulness of detail; native town, kinsfolk, house, proceeding from the wider to the narrower circle; not a glance back at Mark 3:20 (Baur, p. 23).

Mark 6:5. οὐκ ἠδύνατο] neither means noluit (Verc. Vind. Brix. Germ. 2), nor is ἠδύν. superfluous; but see on Matthew 13:58. Theophylact says well: οὐχ ὅτι αὐτὸς ἀσθενὴς ἦν, ἀλλʼ ὅτι ἐκεῖνοι ἄπιστοι ἦσαν.

Mark 6:6. διὰ τὴν ἀπιστ. αὐτῶν] on account of their unbelief. διά is never thus used with θαυ΄άζειν in the N. T. (not even in John 7:21) and in the LXX. But the unbelief is conceived not as the object, but as the cause of the wondering. Comp. Ael. V. H. xii. 6, xiv. 36: αὐτὸν θαυμάζομεν διὰ τὰ ἔργα. Jesus Himself had not expected such a degree of insusceptibility in His native town. Only a few among the sick themselves (Mark 6:5) met Him with the necessary condition of faith.

καὶ περιῆγε κ. τ. λ.] seeking in the country a better field for His ministry.

κύκλῳ] as Mark 3:34, belonging to περιῆγε.


Verses 7-13

Mark 6:7-13. Comp. Matthew 10:1-14; Luke 9:1-6. Mark here adopts, with abridgment and sifting, from the collection of Logia what was essentially relevant to his purpose; Luke follows him, not without obliteration and generalizing of individual traits.

ἤρξατο] He now began that sending forth, to which they were destined in virtue of their calling; its continuance was their whole future calling, from the standpoint of which Mark wrote his ἤρξατο.

δύο δύο] binos, in pairs. Sirach 36:25. A Hebraism; Winer, p. 223 [E. T. 312]. The Greek says κατά, ἀνά, εἰς δύο, or even συνδύο (see Valckenaer, ad Herod. p. 311; Heindorf, ad Plat. Parm. p. 239). Wherefore in pairs? “Ad plenam testimonii fidem,” Grotius. Comp. Luke 7:19; Luke 9:1.

Mark 6:8. αἴρωσιν] should take up, in order to carry it with them, 1 Maccabees 4:30.

εἰ μὴ ῥάβδον μόνον] The variation in Matthew and Luke betokens the introduction of exaggeration,(96) but not a misunderstanding of the clear words (Weiss). There is an attempt at a mingling of interpretations at variance with the words in Ebrard, p. 382; Lange, L. J. II. 2, p. 712. It ultimately comes to this, that εἰ μὴ . μ. is intended to mean: at most a staff. Even Bleek has recourse to the unfounded refinement, that the staff in Mark is meant only for support, not as a weapon of defence.

Mark 6:9. ἀλλʼ ὑποδεδεμ. σανδάλ.] There is no difference from μηδὲ ὑποδήματα, Matthew 10:10, not even a correction of this expression (Bleek, comp. Holtzmann). See on Matt. l.c. The meaning is, that they should be satisfied with the simple light foot-covering of sandals, in contrast with the proper calceus ( ὑπόδημα κοῖλον), which had upper leather, and the use of which was derived from the Phoenicians and Babylonians (Leyrer in Herzog’s Encykl. VII. p. 729). Comp. Acts 12:8. The construction is anacoluthic, as though παρήγγειλεν αὐτοῖς πορεύεσθαι had been previously said. Then the discourse changes again, going over from the obliqua into the directa ( ἐνδύσησθε). See Kühner, II. p. 598 f., and ad Xen. Mem. i. 4. 15, iii. 5. 14, iv. 4. 5. A lively non-periodic mode of representing the matter; comp. Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 330 [E. T. 384 f.].

Mark 6:10. καὶ ἔλεγ. αὐτ.] a new portion of the directions given on that occasion. Comp. on Mark 4:13.

ἐκεῖ] in this house: but ἐκεῖθεν: from this τόπος (see the critical remarks).

Mark 6:11. εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς] which is to serve them for a testimony, namely, of that which the shaking off of the dust expresses, that they are placed on a footing of equality with heathens. Comp. on Matthew 10:14.

Mark 6:12 f. ἵνα] the aim of the ἐκήρυξαν.

ἤλειφον ἐλαίῳ] The anointing with oil (the mention of which in this place is held by Baur, on account of James 5:14, to betray a later date) was very frequently applied medically in the case of external and internal ailments. See Lightfoot, p. 304, 617; Schoettgen, I. p. 1033; Wetstein in loc. But the assumption that the apostles had healed by the natural virtue of the oil (Paulus, Weisse), is at variance with the context, which narrates their miraculous action. Nevertheless it is also wholly unwarranted to regard the application of the oil in this case merely as a symbol; either of the working of miracles for the purpose of awakening faith (Beza, Fritzsche, comp. Weizsäcker), or of the bodily and spiritual refreshment (Euthymius Zigabenus), or of the divine compassion (Theophylact, Calvin), or to find in it merely an arousing of the attention (Russwurm in the Stud. u. Krit. 1830, p. 866), or, yet again, a later magical mingling of the supernatural and the natural (de Wette). In opposition to the latter view the pertinent remark of Euthymius Zigabenus holds good: εἰκὸς δὲ, καὶ τοῦτο παρὰ τοῦ κυρίου διδαχθῆναι τοὺς ἀποστόλους. Comp. James 5:14. The anointing is rather, as is also the application of spittle on the part of Jesus Himself (Mark 7:33, Mark 8:23; John 9:6), to be looked upon as a conductor of the supernatural healing power, analogous to the laying on of hands in Mark 6:5, so that the faith was the causa apprehendens, the miraculous power the causa efficiens, and the oil was the medians, therefore without independent power of healing, and not even necessary, where the way of immediate operation was, probably in accordance with the susceptibility of the persons concerned, adopted by the Healer, as Jesus also heals the blind man of Jericho without any application of spittle, Mark 10:46 f. The passage before us has nothing to do with the unctio extrema (in opposition to Maldonatus and many others), although Bisping still thinks that he discovers here at least a type thereof.


Verses 14-16

Mark 6:14-16. See on Matthew 14:1-2. Comp. Luke 9:7-9. Mark bears the impress of the original in his circumstantiality and want of polish in form.

βασιλεύς] in the wider sense ἀδιαφόρως χρώμενος τῷ ὀνόματι (Theophylact): the prince (comp. the ἄρχων βασιλεύς of the Athenians, and the like), a more popular but less accurate term than in Matthew and Luke: τετράρχης. Comp. Matthew 2:22.

φανερὸν γὰρ ἐγέν. τ. ὄν. αὐτοῦ] is not to be put in a parenthesis, since it does not interrupt the construction, but assigns the reason for the ἤκουσεν, after which the narrative proceeds with καὶ ἔλεγεν.

As object to ἤκουσεν (generalized in Matthew and Luke) we cannot, without arbitrariness, think of aught but the contents of Mark 6:12-13. Comp. ἀκούσας, Mark 6:16. Antipas heard that the disciples of Jesus preached and did such miracles. Then comes the explanation assigning the reason for this: for His name became known, i.e. for it did not remain a secret, that these itinerant teachers and miracle-workers were working as empowered by Jesus. Comp. also Holtzmann, p. 83. According to Grotius, Griesbach, and Paulus (also Rettig in the Stud. u. Krit. 1838, p. 797), the object of ἤκουσεν is: τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, so that φαν. γ. ἐγέν. would be parenthetic. This is at variance with the simple style of the evangelist. According to de Wette, Mark has been led by the alleged parenthesis φανερὸναὐτοῦ to forget the object, so that merely something indefinite, perhaps ταῦτα, would have to be supplied. But what carelessness! and still the question remains, to what the ταῦτα applies. Ewald (comp. Bengel) takes φανερὸνπροφητῶν as a parenthesis, which was intended to explain what Herod heard, and holds that in Mark 6:16 the ἤκουσεν of Mark 6:14 is again taken up (that instead of ἔλεγεν in Mark 6:14 ἔλεγον is to be read, which Hilgenfeld also prefers; see the critical remarks). But the explanation thus resorted to is not in keeping with the simple style of the evangelist elsewhere (in the case of Paul it would create no difficulty).

βαπτίζων] substantival (see on Matthew 2:20). Observe with what delicacy the set evangelic expression βαπτιστής is not put into the mouth of Antipas; he speaks from a more extraneous standpoint. Moreover, it is clear from our passage that before the death of John he can have had no knowledge of Jesus and His working.

διὰ τοῦτο] πρότερον γὰρ ἰωάννης οὐδὲν σημεῖον ἐποίησεν· ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς ἀναστάσεως ἐνόμισεν ἡρώδης προσλαβεῖν αὐτὸν τῶν σημείων τὴν ἐργασίαν, Theophylact.

αἱδυνάμεις] the powers κατʼ ἐξοχήν, i.e. the miraculous powers, the effluence of which he saw now also in the working of the disciples.

Mark 6:15. The difference between these assertions is that some gave Him out to be the Elias, and so to be the prophet who was of an altogether special and distinguished character and destination; but others said: He is a prophet like one of the prophets, i.e. (comp. Judges 16:7; Judges 16:11), a usual, ordinary prophet, one out of the category of prophets in general, not quite the exceptional and exalted prophet Elias. Comp. Ewald, p. 258 f. The interpolation of before ὡς could only be occasioned by the expression not being understood.(97)

Mark 6:16. ἀκούσας] namely, these different judgments. Mark now relates the more special occasion of the utterance of Herod.

ὃνἰωάυνην] a familiar form of attraction. See Winer, p. 148 [E. T. 205].

ἐγώ] has the stress of an evil conscience. Mockery (Weizsäcker) is, in accordance with Mark 6:14 f., not to be thought of.

οὗτος] anaphorically with emphasis (Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. ii. 1. 19): this is he.

αὐτός] the emphatic He, precisely he, for designation of the identity. Observe the urgent expression of certainty, which the terror-stricken man gives to his conception: This one it is: He is risen!


Verses 17-29

Mark 6:17-29. See on Matthew 14:3-12. Mark narrates more circumstantially(98) and with more peculiar originality; see especially Mark 6:20, the contents of which, indeed, are held by Baur to rest on a deduction from Matthew 14:9.

αὐτός] is a commentary upon the ἐγώ of Mark 6:16. Herod himself, namely, etc.

ἐν φυλακῇ] in a prison, without the article. At Mark 6:28, on the other hand, with the article. Comp. 1 Maccabees 9:53; Thuc. iii. 34; Plut. Mor. p. 162 B Plat. Leg. ix. 864 E: ἐν δημοσίῳ δεσμῷ δεθείς.

Mark 6:19-20. The θέλειν αὐτὸν ἀποκτεῖναι is here, in variation from Matthew, denied in the case of Herod. It is not merely an apparent variation (Ebrard, p. 384; Lange), but a real one, wherein Mark’s narrative betrays a later shape of the tradition (in opposition to Schneckenburger, erst. kan. Ev. p. 86 f.); while with Matthew Josephus also, Antt. xviii. 5. 2, attributes to Herod the intention of putting to death. Comp. Strauss, I. p. 396 f. As to ἐνεῖχεν (she gave close heed to him), see on Luke 11:53.

ἐφοβεῖτο] he feared him; he was afraid that this holy man, if he suffered him to be put to death, would bring misfortune upon him. From this fear arose also the utterance contained in Mark 6:14; Mark 6:16 : “Herodem non timuit Johannes,” Bengel.

συνετήρει] not; magni eum faciebat (Erasmus, Grotius, Fritzsche, de Wette), which the word does not mean, but he guarded him (Matthew 9:17; Luke 5:38; Tobit 3:15; 2 Maccabees 12:42; Polyb. iv. 60. 10; Herodian, ii. 1.11), i.e. he did not abandon him, but took care that no harm happened to him: “custodiebat eum,” Vulg. Comp. Jansen, Hammond, Bengel, who pertinently adds by way of explanation: “contra Herodiadem;” and also Bleek. According to Ewald, it is: “he gave heed to him.” Comp. Sirach 4:20; Sirach 27:12. But this thought is contained already in what precedes and in what follows. The compound strengthens the idea of the simple verb, designating its action as entire and undivided.

ἀκούσας] when he had heard him. Observe afterwards the emphasis of ἡδέως (and gladly he heard him).

πολλὰ ἐποίει] namely, which he had heard from John. Very characteristic is the reading: π. ἠπόρει, which has the strongest internal probability of being genuine, although only attested by B L א, Copt. τι as equivalent to περί τινος, see Krüger on Thuc. v. 40. 3; Heindorf, ad Plat. Crat. p. 409 D.">(99)

We may add that all the imperfects apply to the time of the imprisonment, and are not to be taken as pluperfects (Grotius, Bolten). The ἤκουε took place when Herod was actually present (as was now the case; see on Matthew 14:10 f.) in Machaerus; it is possible also that he had him sent for now and then to his seat at Tiberias. But in any case the expressions of Mark point to a longer period of imprisonment than Wieseler, p. 297, assumes.

Mark 6:21. ἡ΄έρας εὔκαιρου] εὐκαίρος, in reference to time, means nothing else than at the right time, hence: a rightly-timed, fitting, appropriate day (Beza, Grotius, Jansen, Fritzsche, de Wette, Ewald, Bleek, and many others). Comp. Hebrews 4:16; Psalms 104:27; 2 Maccabees 14:29; Soph. O. C. 32; Herodian, i. 4. 7, i. 9. 15, v. 8. 16; and see Plat. Def. p. 413 C. Mark makes use of this predicate, having before his mind the purpose of Herodias, Mark 6:19, which hitherto had not been able to find any fitting point of time for its execution on account of the tetrarch’s relation to John.(100) Grotius well says: “opportuna insidiatrici, quae vino, amore et adulatorum conspiratione facile sperabat impelli posse nutantem mariti animum.” Others (Hammond, “Wolf, Paulus, Kuinoel) have explained it contrary to linguistic usage as: dies festivus ( יוֹם טוֹב). At the most, according to a later use of εὐκαιρεῖν (Phrynich. p. 125; comp. below, Mark 6:31), ἡ΄έρα εὔκαιρος might mean: a day, on which one has convenient time, i.e. a leisure day (comp. εὐκαίρως ἔχειν, to be at leisure, Polyb. v. 26. 10, al., εὐκαιρία, leisure), which, however, in the connection would be inappropriate, and very different from the idea of a dies festivus.

On μεγιστᾶνες, magnates, a word in current use from the Macedonian period, see Kypke, I. p. 167; Sturz, Dial. Mac. p. 182; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 197.

καὶ τοῖς πρώτοις τῆς γαλ.] The first two were the chief men of the civil and military service of the tetrarch. Moreover, the principal men of Galilee, people who were not in his service (“status provinciales,” Bengel), were called in.

Mark 6:22. αὐτῆς τῆς ἡρωδ.] of Herodias herself. The king was to be captivated with all the greater certainty by Herodias’ own daughter; another dancer would not have made the same impression upon him.

Mark 6:23. ἕως ἡ΄ίσους κ. τ. λ.] in accordance with Esther 5:3. See in general, Köster, Erläut. p. 194. It is thus that the unprincipled man, carried away by feeling, promises. The contracted form of the genitive belongs to the later manner of writing. Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 347. The article was not requisite. Heindorf, ad Phaed. p. 176.

Mark 6:25. Observe the pertness of the wanton damsel. As to θέλω ἵνα (Mark 10:35 : I will that thou shouldst, etc.), see on Luke 6:31.

Mark 6:26. περίλυπος] on account of what was observed at Mark 6:20.

διὰ τοὺς ὅρκους κ. τ. συνανακ.] emphatically put first, as the determining motive.

αὐτὴν ἀθετῆσαι] eam repmdiare. Examples of ἀθετεῖν, referred to persons (comp. Heliod. vii. 26: εἰς ὅρκους ἀθετοῦ΄αι), may be seen in Kypke, I. p. 167 f. The use of the word in general belongs to the later Greek. Frequent in Polybius.

Mark 6:27. σπεκουλάτωρα] a watcher, i.e. one of his body-guard. On them also devolved the execution of capital punishment (Seneca, de ira, i. 16, benef. iii. 25, al.; Wetstein in loc.) The Latin word (not spiculator, from their being armed with the spiculum, as Beza and many others hold) is also adopted into the Hebrew ספקלטור. See Lightfoot and Schoettgen, also Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. p. 1533. The spelling σπεκουλάτορα (Lachm. Tisch.) has decisive attestation.


Verses 30-44

Mark 6:30-44. See on Matthew 14:13-21. Comp. Luke 9:10-17. The latter, but not Matthew, follows Mark also in connecting it with what goes before; Matthew in dealing with it abridges very much, still more than Luke. On the connection of the narrative in Matthew, which altogether deviates from Mark, see on Matthew 14:13. Mark has filled up the gap, which presented itself in the continuity of the history by the absence of the disciples who were sent forth, with the episode of the death of John, and now makes the disciples return, for whom, after the performance and report of their work, Jesus has contemplated some rest in privacy, but is hampered as to this by the thronging crowd.

ἀπόστολοι] only used here in Mark, but “apta huic loco appellatio,” Bengel.

συνάγονται] returning from their mission, Mark 6:7.

πάντα] What? is told by the following καίκαί: as well … as also.

Mark 6:31. ὑμεῖς αὐτοί] vos ipsi (Stallb. ad Plat. Phaed. p. 63 C Kühner, § 630, A 3), ye for yourselves, ye for your own persons, without the attendance of the people. Comp. on Romans 7:25. See the following ἦσαν γὰρ κ. τ. λ.

καὶ οὐδὲ φαγεῖν] Comp. Mark 2:2, Mark 3:20.

Mark 6:33. And many saw them depart and perceived it, namely, what was the object in this ὑπάγειν, whither the ὑπάγουτες wished to go (Mark 6:31-32), so that thereby the intention of remaining alone was thwarted. πολλοί is the subject of both verbs.

πεζῇ] emphatically prefixed. They came partly round the lake, partly from its sides, by land.

ἐκεῖ] namely, to the ἔρημος τόπος, whither Jesus with the disciples directed His course.

προῆλθον αὐτούς] they anticipated them. Comp. Luke 22:47. Not so used among the Greeks, with whom, nevertheless, φθάνειν τινά (Valck. ad Eur. Phoen. 982), and even προθεῖν τινά (Ael. N. A. vii. 26; Oppian. Hal. iv. 431) is analogously used.

Mark 6:34. ἐξελθών] not as in Matthew 14:14, but from the ship, as is required by the previous προῆλθον αὐτούς. In Mark 6:32 there was not as yet reported the arrival at the retired place, but the direction of the course thither.

ἤρξατο] His sympathy outweighed the intention, under which He had repaired with the disciples to this place, and He began to teach.

Mark 6:35 ff. καὶ ἤδη ὥρας πολλ. γενομ.] and when much of the day-time had already passed (comp. subsequently: καὶ ἤδη ὥρα πολλή), that is, when the day-time was already far advanced, τῆς ὥρας ἐγένετο ὀψέ, Dem. 541 pen. πολύς, according to very frequent usage, applied to time. Comp. Dion. Hal. ii. 54: ἐμάχοντοἄχρι πολλῆς ὥρας; Polyb. v. 8. 3; Joseph. Antt. viii. 4. 3.

λέγουσιν] more exactly in John 6:7.

δηναρ-g0-. διακοσ-g0-.] Comp. John 6:7, by whom this trait of the history, passed over by Matthew and Luke, not a mere addition of Mark (Bleek, Hilgenfeld), is confirmed. That the contents of the treasure-chest consisted exactly of two hundred denarii (Grotius and others) is not clear from the text. The disciples, on an approximate hasty estimate, certainly much too small (amounting to about £7, 13s., and consequently not quite one-third of a penny per man), specify a sum as that which would be required. It is otherwise at John 6:7. Moreover, the answer of the disciples bears the stamp of a certain irritated surprise at the suggestion δότε αὐτοῖς κ. τ. λ.,—a giving, however, which was afterwards to be realized, Mark 6:41.

With the reading δώσομεν, Mark 6:37 (see the critical remarks), the note of interrogation is to be placed, with Lachmann, after ἄρτους, so that καί is then the consecutive; and so shall we, etc. The reading ἀπελθόντες on to φαγεῖν together without interrogation (Ewald, Tischendorf), is less in keeping with the whole very vivid colouring, which in Mark 6:37-40 exhibits a very circumstantial graphic representation, but not a paraphrase (Weiss).

Mark 6:39 f. συμπόσια συμπόσια] Accusatives: after the fashion of a meal, so that the whole were distributed into companies for the meal. The distributive designation, as also πρασιαὶ πρασιαί (areolatim, so that they were arranged like beds in the garden), is a Hebraism, as at Mark 6:7. The individual divisions consisted partly of a hundred, partly of fifty (not 150, Heupel, Wetstein).

χλωρῷ] Mark depicts; it was spring (John 6:4).

εὐλόγησε] refers to the prayer at a meal. It is otherwise in Luke. See on Matthew 14:19.

Mark 6:41. καὶ τ. δύο ἰχθ.] also the two fishes.

ἐμέρισε πᾶσι] namely, by means of the apostles, as with the loaves.

Mark 6:43. And they took up of fragments twelve full baskets, in which, however, κλασμάτων is emphatically prefixed. Yet probably Mark wrote κλάσματα δώδεκα κοφίνων πληρώματα (so Tischendorf), which, indeed, is only attested fully by B, and incompletely by L, δ, min. (which read κοφίνους), as well as by א, which has κλασμάτων δώδ, κοφίνων πληρώματα, but was very easily subjected to gloss and alteration from the five parallel passages. This reading is to be explained: and they took up as fragments fillings of twelve baskets, i.e. they took up in fragments twelve baskets full

καὶ ἀπὸ τ. ἰχθ.] also of the fishes, that it might not be thought that the κλάσματα had been merely fragments of bread. Fritzsche without probability goes beyond the twelve baskets, and imports the idea: “and further in addition some remnants of the fishes,” so that τί is supplied (so also Grotius and Bleek).

Why Mark 6:44 should have been copied, not from Mark, but from Matthew 14:21 (Holtzmann), it is no easy to see.

τοὺς ἄρτους] These had been the principal food (comp. Mark 6:52); to their number corresponded also that of those who were satisfied.


Verses 45-56

Mark 6:45-56. Comp. on Matthew 14:22-26. The latter abridges indeed, but adds, probably from a tradition(101) not known to Mark, the intervening scene Mark 14:28-31. The conclusion has remained peculiar to Mark.

ἠνάγκασε κ. τ. λ.] remaining behind alone, He could the more easily withdraw Himself unobserved from the people.

τὸ πλοῖον] the ship, in which they had come.

βηθσαϊδάν] The place on the western coast of the lake, in Galilee, is meant, Matthew 11:21. See Mark 6:53; Mark 8:22; John 6:17. In opposition to Wieseler and Lange, who understand the eastern Bethsaida, see on Matthew 14:22, Remark. As to the relation of this statement to Luke 9:10, see in loc.

ἀπολύει (see the critical remarks) is to be explained from the peculiarity of the Greek in introducing in the direct mode of expression in oblique discourse, by which means the representation gains in liveliness. See Kühner, II. p. 594 f., and ad Xen. Anab. i. 3. 14; Bernhardy, p. 389.

ἀποταξάμ. αὐτοῖς] after He had taken leave of them (of the people), an expression of later Greek. See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 24; Wetstein in loc.

Mark 6:48. A point is to be placed, with Lachmann and Tischendorf, after θαλάσσης, and then a colon after αὐτούς; but ἦν γὰρ ἄνε΄. ἐναντ. αὐτ. is a parenthesis. When He had seen them in distress ( ἰδών, see the critical remarks), this induced Him about the fourth watch of the night to come to them walking on the sea (not upon its shore). His purpose therein was to help them (Mark 6:51); but the initiative in this matter was to come from the side of the disciples; therefore He wished to pass by before the ship, in order to be observed by them (Mark 6:49).

περὶ τετάρτ. φυλακ.] The difficulties suggested by the lateness of the time at which they were still sailing, after having already ὀψίας γενο΄ένης reached the middle of the lake (Strauss, B. Bauer), are quite explained by the violence of the contrary wind. Comp. Ebrard, p. 392; Robinson, Pal. III. p. 527, 572.

παρελθεῖν αὐτούς] The Vulgate rightly has: praeterire eos (Hom. Il. viii. 239; Plat. Alc. i. 123 B), not: “to come over (the lake) to them,” Ewald (yet comp. his Gesch. Chr. p. 365). This is at variance with the New Testament usage, although poets (as Eur. Med. 1137, 1275) join παρέρχεσθαι, to come to any one, with the accusative; moreover, after ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτούς the remark would be superfluous. It, might mean: He wished to overtake them (antevertere, see Hom. Od. viii. 230; Sturz, Lex. Xen. III. p. 453; Ameis and Nägelsbach on Hom. II. i. 132), but the primary and most usual meaning is quite appropriate.

Mark 6:51. ἐκ περισσοῦ] is further strengthened by λίαν: very much above all measure. Comp. λίαν ἄγαν (Meineke, Menand. p. 152), and similar expressions (Lobeck, Paralip. p. 62), also λίαν βέλτιστα, Plat. Eryx. p. 393 E.

ἐν ἑαυτοῖς] in their own hearts, without giving vent to their feelings in utterances, as at Mark 4:14.

ἐθαύμαζον] The imperfect denotes (comp. Acts 2:7) the continuance of the feeling after the first amazement.

Mark 6:52. γάρ] for they attained not to understanding in the matter of the loaves (on occasion of that marvellous feeding with bread; Mark 6:41 ff.); otherwise they would, by virtue of the insight acquired on occasion of that work of Christ, have known how to judge correctly of the present new miracle, in which the same divine power had operated through Him,(102) and they would not have fallen into such boundless surprise and astonishment. Bengel says correctly: “Debuerant a pane ad mare concludere.” De Wette unjustly describes it as “an observation belonging to the craving for miracles;” and Hilgenfeld arbitrarily, as “a foil” to glorify the confession of Peter.

ἦν γὰρ κ. τ. λ.] informs us of the internal reason of their not attaining insight in the matter of the loaves; their heart, i.e. the seat of their internal vital activity (Beck, Seelenlehre, p. 67; Delitzsch, Psych, p. 248 ff.), was withal in a state of hardening, wherein they were as to mind and disposition obtuse and inaccessible to the higher knowledge and its practically determining influence. Comp. Mark 8:7.

Mark 6:53. διαπεράσ] points back to Mark 6:45.

ἐπὶ τ. γῆν γεννησ.] not: into the country, but unto the country of Gennesareth; for the landing ( προσωρμίσθ.) and disembarking does not follow till afterwards.

Mark 6:55. περιδραμόντες] in order to fetch the sick.

ἤρξατο] belongs to the description of the quick result. Immediately they knew Him, they ran round about and began, etc.

περιφέρειν] is not inappropriate (Fritzsche), which would only be the case, if it were necessary to suppose that the individual sick man had been carried about. But it is to be understood summarily of the sick; these were carried about—one hither, another thither, wherever Jesus was at the time (comp. Mark 6:56).

Hence ὅπου ἤκουον, ὅτι ἐκεῖ ἐστι cannot mean: from all the places, at which ( ὅπου) they heard that He was there (in the region of Gennesareth), but both ὅπου and ἐκεῖ, although we may not blend them after the analogy of the Hebrew אֲשֶׁר־שָׁם into the simple ubi (Beza, Grotius, Wetstein, and many others), must denote the (changing, see Mark 6:56) abode of Jesus. They brought the sick round about to the places, at which they were told that He was to be found there. We may conceive that the people before going forth with their sick first make inquiry in the surrounding places, whether Jesus is there. Wherever on this inquiry they hear that He is present, thither they bring the sick.

Mark 6:56. εἰς κώ΄. πόλεις] therefore not merely limiting Himself to the small district of Gennesareth, where He had landed. The following ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς, however, is not in keeping with ἀγρός (country-places). A want of precision, which has suggested the reading ἐν ταῖς πλατειαῖς in D, Vulg. It. The expression is zeugmatic.

κἂν τοῦ κρασπ. κ. τ. λ.] comp. Mark 5:28. As to the mode of expression, see Acts 5:15; 2 Corinthians 11:16.

ὅσοι ἂν ἥπτοντο] all whosoever, in the several cases. Comp. above: ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο. See Hermann, de part. ἄν, p. 26 ff.; Klotz, ad Devar. p. 145; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 186 f. [E. T. 216].

ἐσώζοντο] analogously to the case of the woman with an issue of blood, Mark 5:29-30, yet not independent of the knowledge and will of Jesus. And αὐτοῦ refers to Jesus, no matter where they touched Him.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Mark 6:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/mark-6.html. 1832.

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Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
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