Mark 6
Expositor's Greek Testament


The first two of the miscellaneous group of narratives contained in this chapter (Mark 6:1-13) are regarded by some (Weiss, Schanz, etc.) as forming the conclusion of a division of the Gospel beginning at Mark 3:7, having for its general heading: The disciplecircle versus the unreceptive multitude. Such analysis of the Gospels into distinct masses is useful provided it be not overdone.

And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
Mark 6:1-6 a. Jesus at Nazareth (Matthew 13:53-58 cf. Luke 4:16-30).

Mark 6:1. ἐξῆλθεν ἐκεῖθεν. It is not said, but it is very probable, that this was another of Christ’s attempts to escape from the crowd into a scene of comparative quiet and rest (the hill, Mark 3:13, the eastern shore, Mark 5:1, Nazareth, Mark 6:1). Mt. gives this incident at the close of the parable collection; Lk. at the beginning of the Galilean ministry. Mk.’s connection is the most historical, Lk.’s is obviously an anticipation. It is the same incident in all three Gospels.—πατρίδα: vide notes on Mt., ad loc.οἱ μαθηταὶ α. Mt. omits this.

And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
Mark 6:2. ἤρξατο διδάσκειν, etc.: Jesus did not go to Nazareth for the purpose of preaching, rather for rest; but that He should preach was inevitable; therefore, the Sabbath coming round, He appeared in the synagogue, and spoke.—πόθεν τούτῳ ταῦτα: laconic; comprehensive, vague question, covering the discourse just heard and all that had been reported to them about their townsman, with the one word ταῦτα: such speech, such wisdom (τίς ἡ σοφία), such powers (δυνάμεις, not wrought there), in such a well-known person (τούτῳ).

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
Mark 6:3. ὁ τέκτων: avoided by Mt., who says the carpenter’s son: one of Mk.’s realisms. The ploughs and yokes of Justin M. (c. Trypho., 88) and the apocryphal Gospels pass beyond realism into vulgarity.—ἐσκανδαλίζοντο: what they had heard awakened admiration, but the external facts of the speaker’s connections and early history stifled incipient faith; vide notes on Mt.

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
Mark 6:4. ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν α., among his kinsmen. This omitted in Mt., ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ α. covering it.

And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
Mark 6:5. οὐκ ἠδύνατο, etc., He was not able to do any mighty work, which is qualified by the added clause, that He placed His hands on a few ailing persons (ἀρρώστοις); quite minor cures, not to be compared with those reported in the previous chapter. For this statement Mt. substitutes: He did not there many mighty works.

And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
Mark 6:6. ἐθαύμασεν, etc. Jesus marvelled at the faith of the centurion. Nazareth supplied the opposite ground for astonishment. There Jesus found an amount of stupid unreceptivity for which His experience in Decapolis and elsewhere had not prepared Him. It was the ne plus ultra in that line. This wonder Mt. omits, merely noting the unbelief as cause of the non-performance of miracles. We are to conceive of it as bringing about this result, not by frustrating attempts at healing, but by not giving Jesus an opportunity. The people of Nazareth were so consistently unbelieving that they would not even bring their sick to Him to be healed (Klostermann), and, as Euthy. Zig. remarks, it was not fitting that Jesus should benefit them against their will (οὐκ ἔδει βιαίως εὐεργετεῖν αὐτούς).

Mark 6:6 b may either be connected with the foregoing narrative, when it will mean that Jesus, rejected by the Nazareans, made a teaching tour among the villages around (Fritzsche, Meyer), or it may be taken as an introduction to the following narrative = Jesus resumes the röle of a wandering preacher in Galilee (Mark 1:38-39) and associates with Himself in the work His disciples (Schanz, Weiss, Klostermann, etc.). This brief statement in Mark: and He went round about the villages in a circle teaching, answers to Matthew 9:35-38, where the motive of the mission of the Twelve is more fully explained.

And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
Mark 6:7. ἤρξατο, etc.: Jesus calling to Him (προσκαλεῖται, vide Mark 3:13) the Twelve began at length to do what He had intended from the first (Weiss), viz., to send them forth as missioners (ἀποστέλλειν).—δύο δύο, two (and) two, Hebraic for κατὰ or ἀνὰ δύο; two together, not one by one, a humane arrangement.—ἐδίδου, imperfect, as specifying an accompaniment of the mission, not pointing to separate empowerment of each pair.—ἐξουσίαν τ. π. τ. ., power over unclean spirits, alone mentioned by Mark, cf. Matthew and Luke.

And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
Mark 6:8. εἰ μὴ ῥάβδον μόνον: vide in Matthew, ad loc.χαλκόν: no mention of gold and silver, brass the only money the poor missionaries were likely to handle.

But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
Mark 6:9. ἀλλὰσανδάλια, but shod with sandals.—μηδὲ ὑποδήματα, says Matthew, reconcilable either by distinguishing between sandals and shoes (vide on Matthew), or by understanding μηδὲ before ὑποδεδεμένους (Victor Ant.).—δύο χιτῶνας: In Mark the prohibition is not to wear (ἐνδύσησθε) two tunics, in Matthew and Luke not to possess a spare one. The sentence in Mark 6:8-9 presents a curious instance of varying construction: first ἵνα with the subjunctive after παρήγγειλεν (Mark 6:8), then ὑποδεδεμένους, implying an infinitive with accusative (πορεύεσθαι understood), then finally there is a transition from indirect to direct narration in μὴ ἐνδύσησθε.

And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.
Mark 6:10. ἐκεῖ, ἐκεῖθεν, there, in the house; thence, from the village.

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Mark 6:11. καὶ ὃς ἆν τ.… ὑμῶν; another instance of inconsequent construction beginning with a relative clause and passing into a conditional one = and whatever place does not receive you, if (ἐάν understood) they, its people, do not listen to you (so Schanz and Weiss in Meyer).—ὑποκάτω, the dust that is under your feet, instead of ἐκ and ἀπὸ in Matthew and Luke. The dust of their roads adhering to your feet, shake it off and leave it behind you. Mark 6:12-13 report the carrying out of the mission by the Twelve through preaching and healing.—ἵνα μετανοῶσιν: the burden of their preaching was, Repent. Luke has the more evangelic term, εὐαγγελιζόμενοι. The other aspect of their ministry is summed up in the expulsion of many demons, and the cure of many suffering from minor ailments, ἀρρώστους (cf. Mark 6:5). In Mark’s account the powers of the Twelve appear much more restricted than in Matthew (cf. Mark 10:8). The use of oil in healing (ἐλαίῳ) is to be noted. Some have regarded this as a mark of late date (Baur). Others (Weiss, Schanz) view it as a primitive practice (vide Jam 5:14). Many conjectural opinions have been expressed as to the function or significance of the oil. According to Lightfoot and Schöttgen it was much used at the time by physicians.

The instructions to the Twelve present an interesting problem in criticism and comparative exegesis. It is not improbable that two versions of these existed and have been drawn upon by the synoptists, one in the Logia of Matthew, reproduced, Weiss thinks, substantially in Luke 10 (mission of Seventy), the other in Mark 6, used (Weiss) in Luke 9:1-6. Matthew, according to the same critic, mixes the two. Similarly Holtzmann, who, however, differs from Weiss in thinking the two versions entirely independent. Weiss reconstructs the original version of the Logia thus:—

1Matthew 9:38 = Luke 10:2, prayer for labourers.

2Luke 10:3 = go forth, I send you as lambs among wolves.

3Matthew 10:5-6, go not to Samaria, but to Israel only.

4Luke 10:4-11, detailed instructions.

And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
Mark 6:14-16. Herod and Jesus (Matthew 14:1-2, Luke 9:7-9).

Mark 6:14. ἤκουσεν: Herod heard, what? Christ’s name, τὸ ὀ. α. (φανερὸν γὰρ ἐγέν., a parenthesis)? Or all that is stated in Mark 6:14-15, court opinion about Jesus (from φανερὸν to προφητῶν, a parenthesis)? Both views have been held, but the simplest view is that Herod heard of the doings of the Twelve, though it is difficult to believe that the report of their mission was the first tidings he had received of the great work of Jesus, especially in view of the understanding between the Pharisees and Herodians mentioned in Mark 3:6. In the reports which reached Herod the Twelve were merged in their Master. He was the hero of the whole Galilean movement. Such is the import of the statement that His name had become known.—βασιλεὺς: strictly, Herod was only a tetrarch (Matthew and Luke), but it was natural for Mark writing for the Roman world to use this title, as it was applied freely in Rome to all eastern rulers.—ἔλεγεν, he said, i.e., Herod. ἔλεγον, the reading of [42] [43], and adopted by W.H[44], puts the saying into the mouth of the court people. Matthew has taken it the former way, Luke the latter. The theory that Jesus was John risen looks more like the creation of a troubled conscience than the suggestion of light-minded courtiers, unless indeed it was thrown out by them as a jest, and yet it appears to be the aim of the evangelist first to report the opinions of others and then to give the king’s, emphatically endorsing one of the hypotheses.—ἐγήγερται, is risen, and is now alive and active, the latter the point emphasised.—ἐνεργοῦσιν αἱ δ.: vide notes on Matthew.

[42] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[43] Codex Bezae

[44] Westcott and Hort.

Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.
Mark 6:15. Ἠλίας, Elias redivivus, with extraordinary power and mission.—προφήτης, etc., a prophet like one of the old prophets, not any of them redivivus. Luke understands it in the latter sense.

But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.
Mark 6:16. Ἰωάννην: the accusative incorporated with the relative clause by attraction both in position and in construction; vide Winer, § xxiv. 2, and Viger, p. 33. The king’s statement is very emphatic = the man whom I beheaded, John, he is risen (that is what it all means).

For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her.
Mark 6:17-29. Story of Herod and the Baptist (Matthew 14:3-12). Herod’s endorsement of the theory that Jesus is John redivivus gives a convenient opportunity for reporting here post eventum the Baptist’s fate. The report is given in aorists which need not be translated as pluperfects (as in A. V[45] and R. V[46]).

[45] Authorised Version.

[46] Revised Version.

Mark 6:17. αὐτὸς γὰρ ὁ Ἡ., for the same Herod, who made the speech just reported, etc.—τὴν γυναῖκα φιλίππου: some have supposed that the mistake is here made of taking Herodias for the wife of Philip the tetrarch, who in reality was husband of her daughter Salome (so Holtz. in H. C.). Herodias had previously been the wife of a rich man in Jerusalem, step-brother of Herod Antipas, referred to by Josephus (Ant. J., xviii., 5, 4) by the name of Herod, the family name. He may, of course, have borne another name, such as Philip. Even if there be a slip it is a matter of small moment compared to the moral interest of the gruesome story.

For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.
Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:
Mark 6:19. ἡ δὲ Ἡρ.: the murderous mood is by Mark ascribed to Herodias; in her it would certainly be strongest and unchecked by any other feeling. In Herod, if the mood was there, it was accompanied by worthier impulses (vide on Matthew).—ἐνεῖχεν, had a grudge (χόλον understood, so Fritzsche al.) against him αὐτῷ, dative of disadvantage); or, kept in mind what John had said, treasured up against him, with fixed hate and purpose of revenge.—καὶ οὐκ ἠδύνατο, and was not able, to compass her end for a while.

For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
Mark 6:20 gives the reason.—ἐφοβεῖτο, feared, a mixture of reverence and superstitious dread towards the prophet and man of God.—συνετήρει, not merely observed him (A. V[47])—this, too neutral and colourless—kept him safe (R. V[48]) from her fixed malice often manifested but not likely to have its way with him in ordinary circumstances.—ἀκούσας πολλὰ implies frequent meetings between the Baptist and the king, either at Machaerus or at Tiberias.—ἠπόρει, the true reading, not only on critical grounds (attested by [49] [50] [51]), but also on psychological, corresponding exactly to the character of the man—a δίψυχος ἀνὴρ—drawn two ways, by respect for goodness on the one hand, by evil passions on the other. He was at a loss what to do in the matter of his wife’s well-known purpose, shiftless (ἀπορεῖν, to be without resources); half sympathised with her wish, yet could not be brought to the point.—ἡδέως α. ἤκουεν, ever heard him with pleasure; every new hearing exorcising the vindictive demon, even the slightest sympathy with it, for a time.

[47] Authorised Version.

[48] Revised Version.

[49] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[50] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[51] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.

And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;
Mark 6:21-29. The fatal day.

Mark 6:21. εὐκαίρου, a day convenient for the long cherished purpose of Herodias; so regarded by her as well as by the evangelist. She had a chance then, if ever, and might hope that by wine, love, and the assistance of obsequious guests, her irresolute husband would at last be brought to the point (Grotius). The word occurs again in the N. T., Hebrews 4:16, εὔκαιρον βοήθειαν = seasonable succour.—μεγιστᾶσιν (μεγιστᾶνες from μέγιστος), magnates. A word belonging to Macedonian Greek, condemned by Phryn. (p. 196: μέγα δυναμένοι the right expression), frequent in Sept[52] With these magnates, the civil authorities, are named the chief military men (χιλιάρχοις) and the socially important persons of Galilee (πρώτοις)—an imposing gathering on Herod’s birthday.


And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
Mark 6:22. ἤρεσεν, it, the dancing, pleased Herod and his guests.—τ. κορασίῳ, to the girl, as in Mark 5:41-42, not necessarily a child; the word was used familiarly like the Scotch word “lassie”; disapproved by Phryn., p. 73.—αἴτησόν μεὥμοσεν: promise first, followed by oath after a little interval, during which the girl naturally hesitated what to ask.

And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.
Mark 6:23. ἡμίσους, genitive of ἥμισυς, like ἡμίση (τὰ, plural), a late form = the half, of my kingdom: maudlin amorous generosity.

And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
Mark 6:24. She goes out to ask advice of her mother, implying that she had not previously got instructions as Matthew’s account suggests.

And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.
Mark 6:25. εὐθὺς μετὰ σπουδῆς, without delay and with quick step, as of one whose heart was in the business. There had been no reluctance then on the girl’s part, no need for much educating to bring her to the point; vide remarks on προβιβασθεῖσα in Matthew 14:8. Her mother’s child.—ἐξαυτῆς (supply ὥρας), on the spot, at once; request proffered with a cool pert impudence almost outdoing the mother.

And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.
Mark 6:26. περίλυπος γενόμενος: a concessive clause, καίπερ understood = and the king, though exceedingly sorry, yet, etc.—ὅρκους: there might be more oaths than one (vide on Matthew), but the plural was sometimes used for a single oath. Schanz cites instances from Aeschylus and Xenophon.—ἀθετῆσαι α., to slight her, by treating the oath and promise as a joke; a late word, used, in reference to persons, in the sense of breaking faith with (here only). Kypke renders the word here: “noluit fidem illi datam fallere,” citing instances from Diod., Polyb., and Sept[53] [53]Septuagint.

And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,
Mark 6:27. σπεκουλάτορα = speculator in Latin, literally a watcher, a military official of the empire who acted partly as courier, partly as a police officer, partly as an executioner; illustrative citations in Wetstein. The word found its way into the Jewish language (here only).

And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.
And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
Mark 6:29 relates how the disciples of John buried the carcase of their master.—ἐν μνημείῳ, in a tomb. The phrase recalls to mind the burial of Jesus. Did the evangelist wish to suggest for the reflection of his readers a parallel between the fate of the Baptist and that of Christ? (So Klostermann).

And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.
Mark 6:30-33. Return of the Twelve (Matthew 14:13, Luke 9:10-11).

Mark 6:30 transfers us from the past date of the horrible deed just related to the time when the fame of Jesus and His disciples recalled the deed of guilt to Herod’s mind.—συνάγονται οἱ ἀπόστολοι πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν, the apostles (here only, and not in the technical sense of after days, but = the men sent out on the Galilean mission, the missioners) gather to Jesus. Where? after how long? and what has Jesus been doing the while? No answer is possible. These are gaps in the evangelic history.—πάντα ὅσα ἐπ.: suggests that they had great things to tell, though Mark 6:12-13 create very moderate expectations. The repetition of ὅσα before ἐδίδαξαν = how much they had taught (“quanta docuerant,” Fritzsche), may surprise. The teaching element could not be extensive in the range of topics. Yet, if it took the form of personal narrative concerning Jesus, it might be copious enough, and really the principal feature of the mission. Vide notes on Mt., chap. 10

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
Mark 6:31. ὑμεῖς αὐτοὶ, either: you yourselves, vos ipsi, without the crowd (Meyer, Schanz), or, better: you the same men who have been hard at work and need rest (Weiss in Meyer, Holtz., H. C.). This sympathy of Jesus with the Twelve reflects His own craving for rest which He often unsuccessfully strove to obtain.—ἀναπαύσασθε, aorist—only a breathing space in a life of toil.—οἱ ἐρ. καὶ οἱ ὑπάγ. Many coming and going: a constant stream of people on some errand; no sooner done with one party than another presented itself—no leisure.—οὐδε φαγεῖν εὐκαίρουν: no leisure (cf. εὔκαιρος, Mark 6:21), even to eat; imperfect, implying that it was not a solitary occurrence. What was the business on hand? Probably a political movement in Christ’s favour with which the Twelve sympathised. vide John 6:15.

And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
Mark 6:32. τῷ πλοίῳ. The boat which stood ready for service (Mark 3:9).—κατʼ ἰδίαν, privately, i.e., with Jesus only in the boat, and without other boats accompanying. As to the reason for this withdrawal into privacy cf. Mk.’s account with Mt.’s (Mark 14:13), who connects with the report of John’s death. Beyond doubt, Mk.’s is the correct account. The excursion was an attempt to escape from the crowd and from dangerous illusions; again without success.

And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.
Mark 6:33 explains why.—εἶδον, etc., they (the people) saw them departing.—ἐπέγνωσαν (or ἔγνωσαν, [54] [55]) is better without an object (αὐτοὺς or αὐτὸν) = they knew, not who they were, but what they were after, where they were going, doubtless from the course they were steering.—πεζῇ (from πεζός, adjective, ὁδῷ, understood), on foot, by land round the end of the lake.—συνέδραμον, they ran together, excited and exciting, each town on the way contributing its rill to the growing stream of eager human beings; what a picture! The ultimate result, a congregation of 5000. This the climax of popularity, and, from the fourth Gospel we learn, its crisis (chap. 6).—προῆλθον, “outran” (A. V[56]), anticipated = φθάνειν in classics.

[54] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[55] Codex Bezae

[56] Authorised Version.

And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
Mark 6:34-44. The feeding (Matthew 14:14-21, Luke 9:11-17).

Mark 6:34. ἤρξατο διδάσκειν, He began to teach, constrained by pity (ἐσπλαγχνίσθη), though weary of toil and of popularity. To teach; Mt. says to heal. There could be few, if any, sick in a crowd that had come in such a hurry.

And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:
Mark 6:35. ὥρας πολλῆς, it being late in the day.—πολύς was extensively used by the Greeks in all sorts of connections, time included; examples in Kypke and Hermann’s Viger, p. 137 f. The phrase recurs in last clause of this verse (ὥρα πολλή).

Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.
He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
Mark 6:37. δηναρ. διακ. ἄρτους, loaves of (purchasable for) 200 denarii; the sum probably suggested by what the Twelve knew they were in possession of at the time = seven pounds in the purse of the Jesus-circle (Grotius, Holtz., H. C.).

He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.
And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.
Mark 6:39. συμπόσια συμ. Hebraistic for ἀνὰ συμ. (cf. δύο δύο, Mark 6:7) = in dining companies.—ἐπὶ τῷ χλωρῷ χόρτῳ, on the green grass; a reedy, marshy place near the mouth of the Jordan at the north end of the lake. Vide Stanley’s description (Sinai and Palestine).

And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
Mark 6:40. πρασιαὶ πρασιαὶ = ἀνὰ πρασίας, in garden flower plots, or squares, picturesque in fact and in description, bespeaking an eye-witness of an impressionable nature like Peter.

And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.
And they did all eat, and were filled.
And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.
Mark 6:43. καὶ ἦραν, etc., and they tool up, as fragments (κλάσματα, [57] [58]), the fillings (πληρώματα) of twelve baskets.—καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ἰχθύων, and of the fishes, either over and above what was in the twelve baskets (Fritzsche), or some fragments of the fishes included in them (Meyer).

[57] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[58] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.

And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.
Mark 6:44. πεντακισχίλιοι ἄνδρες, 5000 men: one loaf for 1000! Mt. adds: χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων, women and children not counted. Of these, in the circumstances, there would be few, therefore probably not referred to by Mk.

And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.
Mark 6:45-52. Another sea-anecdote (Matthew 14:22-33). Luke drops out here and does not join his brother evangelists till we come to Mark 8:27.

Mark 6:45. εὐθὺς: no time to lose; it was getting late.—ἠνάγκασε, vide on Mt.—εἰς τὸ πέραν: we are apt to take this as a matter of course as = to the other (western) side of the lake, and consequently to assume that πρὸς Βηθσαϊδάν points to a Bethsaida there, distinct from Bethsaida Julias (John 1:44). But the expression εἰς τ. π. may mean from the south end of the plain El Batiha, on the eastern side, to the north end towards Bethsaida Julias, the rendezvous for the night. In that case the contrary wind which overtook the disciples would be the prevailing wind from the north-east, driving them in an opposite direction away from Bethsaida towards the western shore. This is the view advocated by Furrer. vide Zeitschrift des Palästina-Vereins, B. ii. (1879). Holtz., H. C., thinks that either this view must be adopted or the true reading in the clause referring to B. must be that represented in some Latin copies: “trans fretum a Bedsaida,” C. Veron.; “a Bethsaida,” C. Monac.

And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.
Mark 6:46. ἀποταξάμενος, having dismissed them, i.e., the multitude; late Greek condemned by Phryn., p. 23 (ἔκφυλον πάνυ).

And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.
And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.
Mark 6:48. ἐν τῷ ἐλαύνειν, in pro pelling (the ship with oars).—περὶ τετ. φυλ., about the fourth watch, between three and six in the morning, towards dawn.—ἤθελε παρελθεῖν, He wished to pass them—“praeterire eos,” Vul.; it appeared so to them.

But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:
For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.
Mark 6:50. Not quite an instance of Mark’s habit of iteration: explains how they came to think it was a phantasm. All saw what looked like Jesus, yet they could not believe it was He, a real man, walking on the water; therefore they took fright and rushed to the conclusion: a spectre!

And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
Mark 6:51. ἐκόπασεν, as in Mark 4:39λίαν ἐκ περισσοῦ, very exceedingly, a double superlative, a most likely combination for Mark, though ἐκ περ. is wanting in some important MSS. and omitted in W.H[59] Cf. ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ in Ephesians 3:20.

[59] Westcott and Hort.

For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
Mark 6:52 reflects on the astonishment of the Twelve as blameworthy in view of the recent feeding of the multitude. One might rather have expected a reference to the stilling of the storm in crossing to Decapolis. But that seems to have appeared a small matter compared with walking on the sea. The evangelist seems anxious to show how much the Twelve needed the instruction to which in the sequel Jesus gives Himself more and more.

And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore.
Mark 6:53-56. The landing (Matthew 14:34-36).

Mark 6:53. προσωρμίσθησαν (πρὸς ὁρμίζω from ὄρμος), they came to anchor, or landed on the beach; here only in N. T.

And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,
And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.
Mark 6:55. ἐπὶ τοῖς κραββάτοις, upon their beds, vide Mark 2:4.—περιφέρειν, to carry about from place to place. If they did not find Jesus at one place, they were not discouraged, but carried their sick to another place where He was likely to be. Their energy, not less than the word κραββάτοις, recalls the story in Mark 2:1-12.—ὅπου ἤκουον ὅτι ἔστιν, not: wherever He was = ὅπου ἦν, but: wherever they were told He was; ἐστιν, present, from the point of view of those who gave the information in indirect discourse. Vide on this, Burton, M. and T., § 351.

And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
Mark 6:56. κώμας, πόλεις, ἀγρούς: point probably to a wider sphere of activity than the plain of Gennesaret. This was practically the close of the healing ministry, in which the expectation and faith of the people were wound pp to the highest pitch.

The Expositor's Greek Testament - Nicoll

Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

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