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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies
Mark 8



Verse 2

I have compassion ( σπλαγχνίξομαι )

A peculiar verb, from σπλάγχνα , the inward parts, especially the nobler entrails - the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. These came gradually to denote the seat of the affections, like our word heart. This explains the frequent use of the word bowels in the A. V. in the sense of tender mercy, affection, compassion. See Luke 1:78; 2 Corinthians 7:15; Philemon 1:8; Philemon 1:7, Philemon 1:12, Philemon 1:20. The Rev. has properly rejected it in every such case, using it only in its literal sense in the single passage, Acts 1:18.

They have been with me ( προσμένουσιν )

Lit., they continue, as Rev.

Verse 3


See on Matthew 15:32. Wyc.,fail.

Some of them came from far

Peculiar to Mark.

Verse 6

To sit down ( ἀναπεσεῖν )

Lit., to recline.

Brake and gave

See on Mark 6:41.

Verse 8

Were filled

See on Matthew 5:6. Wyc., fulfilled. Tynd., sufficed.

Verse 9


See on Matthew 14:20.

Four thousand

Matthew (Matthew 15:38) here adds a detail which we should rather expect in Mark: beside women and children.

Verse 10

With his disciples

Peculiar to Mark.

Verse 11


The beginnings of things seem to have a peculiar interest for Mark. See Mark 1:1, Mark 1:45; Mark 4:1; Mark 5:17, Mark 5:20; Mark 6:2, Mark 6:7, Mark 6:34, Mark 6:55.

Sign ( σημεῖον )

See on Matthew 11:20. Wyc., token. As applied to the miracles of our Lord, this word emphasizes their ethical purport, as declaring that the miraculous act points back of itself to the grace and power or divine character or authority of the doer.

Verse 12

Sighed deeply in his spirit

Peculiar to Mark.

There shall no sign be given ( εἰ δοθήσεται σημεῖον )

Lit., if a sign shall be given. The expression is elliptical. It is a Hebrew idiom, and is really, at bottom, a form of imprecation. If I do not thus or so, may some judgment overtake me. Compare Hebrews 3:11.

Verse 14

The one loaf is a detail given by Mark only.


Verse 23

Took ( ἐπιλαβόμενος )

Tynd., caught.

If he saw ( εἴ τι βλέπεις )

Rev., more accurately, renders the direct question: Seest thou aught? The change of tenses is graphic. Asked (imperfect). Dost thou see (present).

Verse 24

I see men as trees walking (following the reading, Βλέπω τοὺς ἀνθρώπρους ὡς δένδρα περιπατοῦντας )

The Rev. reads, following the amended text, I see men, for ( ὅτι )I behold ( ὁρῶ )them as trees, walking. He saw them dimly. They looked like trees, large and misshapen; but he knew they were men, for they were walking about.

Verse 25

Made him look up

The best texts omit, and substitute διέβλεψεν , he looked stedfastly. See on Matthew 7:5. Instead of vaguely staring, he fixed his eyes on definite objects.

He saw ( ἐνέβλεπεν )

Imperfect tense. Continuous action. He saw and continued to see. Compare the aorist tense above: He looked stedfastly, fastened his eyes, denoting the single act, the first exercise of his restored sight.

Every man

Following the reading ἕπαντας . But the best texts read ἅπαντα , all things. So Rev.

Clearly ( τηλαυγῶς )

From τῆλε , far, αὐγή , shining. The farthest things were clearly seen.

Verse 29

He saith ( ἐπηρώτα )

More correctly, he questioned or asked. So Rev. Mark omits the commendation of Peter. See Introduction.

On Mark 8:31-33, compare notes on Matthew 16:21-28.

Verse 32

He spake the saying openly

Mark only. Not as a secret or mystery, as in his words about being lifted up, or building the temple in three days. Not ambiguously, but explicitly. Wyc., plainly.

Verse 34

Jesus now pauses; for what he has to say now is to be said to all who follow him. Hence he calls the multitude with his disciples. Peculiar to Mark.

Will ( θέλει )

Rev., would. See on Matthew 1:19. It is more than is wishful.

His cross

The pronoun αὐτοῦ ,his, is in an emphatic position.

Verse 35

And the gospel's

Peculiar to Mark.

Verse 36

Gain - lose

See on Matthew 16:26.

Verse 38

My words

Bengel remarks that one may confess Christ in general and yet be ashamed of this or that saying.

In this adulterous and sinful generation

Peculiar to Mark.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Mark 8:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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