Mark 6
ICC New Testament Commentary
And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.

6:1-6. Jesus visits Nazareth, and teaches in the synagogue. His countrymen express their surprise at the wisdom and power displayed by one so obscure in his origin, and Jesus is prevented by their unbelief from the usual exercise of his healing gifts.

1. Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἐκεῖθεν—And he went out thence. With these words Mk. connects this visit with the events of the preceding chap.

Mt. places this visit after the parables, saying expressly that it was after he had ended these parables1 (13:54-58). Lk. tells us of a visit to Nazareth at the beginning of his ministry, 4:16-30, in which Jesus quotes the same parable as in this visit, of the prophet not without honor except in his own country. And the position in which he places this rejection at the beginning of the ministry in Galilee, and just before the record of the beginning of Jesus’ residence in Capernaum, seems to indicate a connection between these events in the author’s mind. However, Lk. inserts in v. 23 a reference to works done in Capernaum, which is inconsistent with the place which he assigns to the visit, previous to the settlement in Capernaum. Mt. also notes the leaving Nazareth and settling in Capernaum, but places this present event after the parables. The accounts cannot be harmonized, except on the supposition of a repetition of the visit to Nazareth, and his rejection there. It is easy enough to suppose that Jesus visited his family several times, and met this ungracious reception at the hands of his countrymen, but it is also quite evident that the Evangelists have got hold of one story, marked by the same details throughout, and have placed this one rejection in different parts of the Gospel. Two things are evident in regard to the chronological arrangement of the Gospels; first, that the Evangelists intended to make such an arrangement, and secondly, that their several arrangements do not always agree.

τὴν πατρίδα αὐτοῦ—his own country. Nazareth is the place meant, the residence of his family, and where he had lived himself up to the beginning of his public ministry.

ἔρχεται comes, instead of ἦλθεν came, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCLD Harcl. marg.

2. ἤρξατο διδάσκειν ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ. There was no regularly appointed person to perform this office in the synagogue, but the ἀρχισυνάγωγος might select any one to read the lessons and to preach.1 If any Rabbi was present, they would avail themselves of him for the purpose. Jesus used this opportunity as long as it was open to him, but he seems to have been denied the synagogue after a time.

καὶ οἱ πολλοὶ ἀκούοντες—and the many hearing him.

Insert οἱ before πολλοὶ, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV.marg. BL 13, 28, 69.

The many means here the multitude, all except a few.2

Πόθεν τούτῳ ταῦτα;—Whence to this man these things? The demonstratives bring into sharp contrast the man and the things done by him; this man of whom we know everything and nothing great, and these wonderful things. The same thing is repeated in the next clause, where τούτῳ replaces αὐτῷ in the Crit. text. They imply by their question, which is evidently contemptuous in its tone, that these things are unaccountable, and their inference is not creditable to him, as it might easily be, from such facts. They reason that anything legitimate of this kind would have shown itself in his early life. καὶ δυνάμεις τοιαῦται … γινόμεναι. With this reading, the question in this v. resolves itself into three, or rather two questions and an exclamation. The substitution of the participle γινόμεναι for the verb in the last part makes it an exclamation. The picture is of several groups of objectors, of which one throws out the sneer, “Whence to this one these things?” another takes it up in the same tone, “And what is the wisdom given to this one?” and a third exclaims, “And such miracles done through his hands!”

τούτῳ, instead of αὐτῷ, after δοθεῖσα, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ Memph. (most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. illi). Omit ὅτι before καὶ δυνάμεις א*et c ABC2 EFGHLMSUV Δ 1, 13, 28, 33, 69, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. γινόμεναι, instead of γίνονται, Treg. WH. RV. א*et c BL Δ 33, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph.

3. ὁ τέκτων—the wood-worker. Mt. says ὁ τοῦ τέκτονος υἱός,—the son of the carpenter, 13:55. The word τέκτων, which is found in the N.T. only in these two parallel passages, means any worker in wood, rarely in any other substance. ὁ υἱὸς τῆς Μαρίας—the son of Mary. The dropping out of Joseph in the gospel narrative probably indicates his death before this time of Jesus’ ministry. καὶ ἀδελφὸς—and brother. On the nature of this relation, see on 3:18. It should be added, in proof of the improbability that these ἀδελφοί were anything else than brothers of Jesus, that Luke 2:7 speaks of Jesus as the first-born son. There is no more baseless, nor for that matter, prejudiced theory, in the whole range of Biblical study, than that which makes Jesus the only child of Mary.

καὶ ἀδελφὸς, instead of ἀδελφὸς δὲ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDL Δ one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh.

ἐσκανδαλίζοντο ἐν αὐτῷ—they were made to stumble in him, prevented from proper action by what they saw in him. On the meaning of the verb, see on 4:17. The prep. denotes the person in whom the stumbling block is found. But its use in such a connection is unusual in Greek. And the repetition of the exact language in Matthew 13:57 furnishes another item in the linguistic proof of the interdependence of the Synoptical Gospels.

4. Καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς—And Jesus said to them.

Καὶ ἔλεγεν, instead of ἔλεγεν δὲ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDL Δ 33, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh.

προφήτης—a prophet. The word means in classical Greek an interpreter of the gods, or of their oracles, and then in general, a seer. In the Biblical usage, it denotes an inspired teacher.


συγγενεῦσιν, instead of συγγενέσι, Tisch. Treg. WH. B* D2 EFGHLUV Δ 1, 33, 69, 124, 209, 262, 271, 346. Insert αὐτοῦ after συγγενεῦσιν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BC* KLM2 (Δ ἑαυτοῦ) 28, 71, 218, 235, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr.

This proverb has various forms, among them the one stating the principle on which they are all based being Familiarity breeds contempt. It applies exactly to the case of our Lord at Nazareth, where he was brought up, and in that early private life showed no signs of the supernatural powers of his public ministry. There is always some difference that separates public from private life, a man not being called upon for the same exercise of his powers in the one as in the other. And to the unthinking person, this is a defect, because it seems to indicate something unreal, put on for the occasion, in the greatness of the man in whom it appears. And of course, if there is any real descent, the charge is true. But in the case of our Lord, there was only the difference that naturally belongs to the difference of the two spheres. In the same way, a statesman does not continually air his wisdom in private, which may be a sign of his greatness.

5. οὐκ ἐδύνατο—he could not. Of course, this was a moral inability. Jesus required faith for the performance of his miracles, and that was wanting here; nay, there was a positive disbelief, no mere doubt. He found elsewhere a poor wavering faith, but not enough lack to hinder his work of physical healing, though it kept him out of men’s souls. But here the general unbelief of the nation reached its climax, and prevented even this one good that his countrymen generally permitted him to do them.

εἰ μὴ ἐθεράπευσε—except that he healed.1 ἀρῥώστοις—sick folk EV.2

6. ἐθαύμασεν διὰ τὴν ἀπιστίαν αὐτῶν—he marvelled at their unbelief.3

ἐθαύμασεν, instead of ἐθαύμαζε, Tisch. WH. א BE*.

Jesus’ wonder was a part of his humanity. He had a wonderful intuitive knowledge of men, and his proverb shows that he traced this unbelief to its source; he could account for it, that is to say: but it exceeded his expectations, and excited his wonder.

περιῆγε τὰς κώμας—he went round about the villages. Jesus had left Capernaum for a time, and being rebuffed at Nazareth, he does not return to the former place, but makes a tour of the villages about Nazareth.


7-13. Jesus sends out the twelve to aid him in his more extended work. His instructions to them.

Jesus is now engaged in one of those journeys through Galilee, in which he branches out from his more restricted work in the neighborhood of Capernaum, and instead of keeping the twelve with him after his ordinary custom, he sends them out in groups of two to help him in his work of proclaiming the kingdom, and preaching repentance, and healing the sick. His instructions, which are evidently practical in their nature, not ascetic, nor involving any important principle, are that they should not encumber themselves with any unnecessary outfit, nor spend their time in finding better entertainment than that which first offers itself in any place that they enter.

7. καὶ προσκαλεῖται τοὺς δώδεκα—This statement belongs immediately with the preceding περιῆγε τὰς κώμας κύκλῳ διδάσκων. Evidently, this mission of the twelve is for the purposes of this wider work undertaken by him. In this going around from place to place, this attempt to cover more ground than usual, he calls in the aid of his disciples. ἤρξατο ἀποστέλλειν—Since the appointment of the apostles, this is the first mention of such a general circuit as this, and hence this is designated as the beginning of Jesus’ sending them forth. So Meyer and others. Morison treats it as an idiosyncrasy of Mark’s, a part of his vividness of style. And I am inclined to agree with him, that the general use of this verb in the Gospels is periphrastic and peculiar, many of the cases not yielding to treatment. But it is not peculiar to Mk., and this is a case in which there is evidently a beginning pointed out.

δύο δύο—two by two.1 ἐξουσίαν τ. πνευμάτων τῶν ἀκαθάρτων—authority over the unclean spirits. This is to Mk. the representative miracle, being mentioned by him frequently as if it were by itself, where it is evident that it must have been accompanied by other miracles. See 1:39, 3:15, Tex. Crit. It was so accompanied in this case. See v. 13

8. εἰ μὴ ῥάβδον μόνον—This was to be the only addition to their home outfit, the only thing that they were to take for the road. Mt. and Lk. do not make this exception, but expressly include the stick among the prohibited things. μὴ ἄρτον, μὴ πήραν—no bread, no wallet (or haversack). This order, adopted by Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. is the natural order. The words belong together, as do ζώνην and χαλκόν. πήραν is a leather sack, haversack, used to carry provisions. ζώνην is the girdle or belt, in which they carried money. χαλκόν means brass, or copper, and secondarily, money of any kind.

ἄρτον μὴ πήραν, instead of πήραν μὴ ἄρτον, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ 33, Memph.

9. ὑποδεδεμένους—The participle is put in the acc. as if to agree with a preceding acc. with an inf. The command to wear sandals seems superfluous, but it is really a part of the injunction against any luxury in their outfit, being contrasted with shoes protecting the upper part of the feet as well as the soles. There is no contradiction between this and the command not to buy sandals for the journey, Matthew 10:9, the latter being directed against the purchase of extra sandals over and above what they were wearing. But, while there is no contradiction, there is a difference; they are two orders about this same matter of sandals. All that we can gather about it is, that Jesus gave some direction about sandals in connection with the general direction for simplicity of equipment, of which the several Gospels have preserved different accounts. μὴ ἐνδύσησθε δύο χιτῶνας—do not wear two tunics.1 Mt. and Lk. say that they were not to have or provide two tunics. But this forbids their wearing two, referring to a custom of dress belonging to persons of distinction, who wore two χιτῶνας, an inner and an outer. See Bib. Dic., article Dress, and Dic. of Antiq., article Tunica. In general, these directions are against luxury in their equipment, and also against their providing themselves with what they could procure from the hospitality of others. Evidently, if they took no food and no money, this dependence on others would be their only resort. See Matthew 10:10.

Treg. marg. WH. read ἐνδύσασθαι, which is also the reading of Beza and Elzevir, with B2 S Π*. L and some others read ἐνδεδύσθαι. Improbable and unsupported.

10. ἐκεῖ … ἐκεῖθεν—there … thence. The first of these refers to οἰκίαν in the preceding, and the second to ὅπου. They were to remain in the one house until they left the place. This injunction is directed evidently against a restless and dissatisfied changing from one house to another. They were to be satisfied with the hospitality offered them. See Luke 10:7.

11. ὃς ἂν τόπος μὴ δέξηται, μηδὲ ἀκούσωσιν—With this reading, the subject changes in the second clause, so that it reads, “whatever place does not receive you, and they do not hear you.”

ὃς ἂν τόπος μὴ δέξηται, instead of ὅσοι ἂν μὴ δέξωνται, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL Δgr 13, 28, 69, 124, 346, Memph. Harcl. marg.

ἐκτινάξατε τὸν χοῦν—This was a symbolical act, signifying that the actor considered even the dust of the place as defiling. See Luke 10:11. εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς—for a testimony unto them, not against them. It was to testify to the men themselves what the act signifies, viz. that these heralds of the Kingdom of God shook off all association with them as defiling. The rest of the verse is to be omitted. It is evidently copied from Matthew 10:15.

Omit ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, Verily I say unto you, to end of verse, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDL Δ 17, 28, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg.

12. ἐκήρυξαν ἵνα μετανοῶσιν—they made proclamation that men should repent. On the meaning of the verbs, see on 1:4. ἵνα with the subj. denotes the contents of their proclamation, the same as the inf., not its purpose. See Win. 44, 8, a.1

ἐκήρυξαν, instead of ἐκήρυσσον, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDL Δ Pesh. Harcl. marg.

13. ἤλειφον ἐλαίῳ—they anointed with oil. This is the only place in the N.T., except Jam 5:14, in which anointing and healing are mentioned together. Anointing was a frequent specific, however, in ordinary medical treatment, and this would suggest its use in the symbolism of supernatural healing. ἀρῥώστους—this word occurs only four times in the N.T., and two of these, the only ones in Mk., are this and v. 5 In this account of what the disciples did, we have the purpose of their mission, which is only implied in v. 7.


14-16. Herod hears of the miracles performed by the disciples, and explains them by the supposition that Jesus is John the Baptist, whom he has beheaded, and who has risen from the dead.

Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee, from his residence at Tiberias on the southern shore of the lake, would not hear much of Jesus. Our Lord never went there himself, owing probably to the unsympathetic attitude of the court, and its corrupting influence on the Jewish element of the population.2 But it is possible that the disciples, in this more extended tour, had come near enough to attract the attention of Herod, who was usually careless of the religious, or even of the possible political aspects of Jesus’ work. And the king, so called by courtesy, conscience stricken by his execution of John the Baptist, thinks that these miracles of which he hears are the work of the resurrected prophet.

14. ἤκουσεν—the object of this verb is evidently the things just narrated, the work accomplished by the twelve. φανερὸν γὰρ ἐγένετο τὸ ὄνομα—this explains the preceding statement, showing how the works of the disciples led to these conjectures of Herod and others in regard to Jesus himself. Jesus became known through the works of his disciples, and hence Herod found it necessary to account for him in some way.

The Herod who beheaded John was Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great and Malthace, and in the partition of his father’s kingdom, he was made tetrarch of Galilee and Peræa.1

καὶ ἔλεγεν ὅτι Ἰωάννης … ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρῶν—and he said that John … has risen from the dead.

Καὶ ἔλεγον, and they said, Treg. marg. WH. RV.marg. BD 6, 271 mss. of Lat. Vet. Improbable, as it makes Herod take up a common rumor, v.16, whereas it is evident that this strange conjecture started with the king’s conscience. ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρῶν, instead of ἐκ νεκρῶν ἠγέρθη, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDL Δ 33, Latt. Memph. Pesh.

Herod’s superstition and his guilty conscience raised this ghost to plague him. It has been suggested that Herod makes the statement in regard to John’s resurrection in order to account for the difference between his natural life, in which he performed no miracles, and this report of wonderful works. But it seems doubtful if Herod went so curiously into the matter as this. Rather, he wishes to account for these phenomena, and he does it by attributing them to a man who had proved himself so far above mortal man by his own resurrection, that any other wonders seemed natural for him. ἐνεργοῦσιν αἱ δυνάμεις ἐν αὐτῷ—the powers work in him, are active in him. In conjunction with a verb like ἐνεργοῦσιν, δυνάμεις returns to its proper meaning of powers.

15. Ἄλλοι δὲ ἔλεγον—And others said.

Insert δὲ after ἄλλοι Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCDEHKLS ΔΠ Latt. Memph. Harcl.

Ἡλίας—Referring to the expectation that Elijah would return to the earth before the great day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5). ὅτι προφήτης ὡς εἷς τῶν προφητῶν—that it is a prophet like one of the prophets. The words do not express the idea that he was just a prophet, like one of the ordinary prophets, in distinction from the great prophet Elijah. This would require the idea of ordinariness to be more definitely expressed. It is the likeness to the old prophets, rather than unlikeness to some special one of them, that is meant to be emphasized. We do not need to suppose that these different opinions were expressed by people in conversation with each other, which would lead us to dwell on the points of contrast. But it is quite probable that they were isolated statements, uttered at different times, and brought together here.

Omit ἐστὶν after προφήτης, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC* L Δ 1, 28, 33, 209. Omit ἣ, or, before ὡς, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCL Π mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh.

16. ὁ Ἡρώδης ἔλεγεν, Ὃν ἐγὼ ἀπεκεφάλισα—Herod said, John, whom I beheaded.

ἔλεγεν, instead of εἶπεν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ 33, one ms. Lat. Vet. Omit ὅτι before ὅν, Tisch, Treg. WH. RV. א BDL 1, 28, 33, 67, 124, 209, Latt. Syrr.

Herod’s conjecture does stand in contrast with these others, of which he has heard. ὃν ἐγὼ ἀπεκεφάλισα—Herod dwells upon the thought, that this prophet who has now risen from the dead was beheaded by himself. Hence the relative clause, which contains this statement of the beheading, is placed first and ἐγὼ is expressed.

Ἰωάννην, οὗτος ἠγέρθη—John, this one was raised.1

Omit ἐστιν· αὐτὸς, after οὗτος, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א* et c BDL Δ 69, 106, 346, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. (Memph.). Omit ἐκ νεκρῶν, from the dead, after ἠγέρθη, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. א BL Δ 33, Memph. Hier.

οὗτος ἠγέρθη—this one was raised. The pronoun, which is not necessary to the construction, is introduced in order to continue the solemn emphasis of the whole statement. Luke 9:7-9 says that Herod was perplexed by the report that John had risen from the dead, and said, “John I beheaded, but who is this?” exactly reversing the positions of Herod and of the other parties to this discussion in our account.


17-29. Mk. tells the story of John’s imprisonment and death at the hands of Herod, in order to explain Herod’s allusion to his beheading of John.

Mk. has alluded to the fate of the Baptist, and now proceeds to tell the story of it. Herod Antipas had been married to a daughter of Aretas, king of Arabia, but on a visit to Jerusalem he had become enamoured of Herodias, the wife of his disinherited brother, and herself a member of the Herodian family, and had contracted an adulterous marriage with her. Here is where Mk. takes up the story, with John’s reproof of this adultery. It incensed Herodias especially, and though Herod imprisoned the brave prophet, he was so impressed with John’s saintliness, and even a sort of superstitious fear of him, that he protected him against his wife’s fury. But Herodias, who was biding her time, took advantage of a birthday feast given by Herod, and sent her daughter to dance before the king, and when the gratified king swore to give the girl anything she might ask, Herodias instructed her to ask for the head of John. The king was fairly trapped, and though sorely against his will, he sent a soldier and beheaded John in prison.

Philip, commonly known as Herod, was son of Herod the Great and Mariamne, the daughter of the high priest Simon, and was disinherited by his father, living as a private citizen in retirement. Secular history tells of only one Philip, the tetrarch of Gaulanitis and other districts E. of Galilee, and Volkmar and Holtzmann contend that the Evv. have confounded him with the disinherited brother, who was known only as Herod. Winer, Meyer, Weiss, and others answer that there may have been two Philips, as there were two Antipaters, especially as they were only half-brothers. Herodias was niece of both her husbands, being daughter of Aristobulus, another of Herod’s sons. It was on the occasion of a feast given by Philip to his brothers at Jerusalem, that Antipas became enamoured of the beauty of Herodias, and she of his power, and they began the intrigue which ended in their adulterous marriage. Antipas became involved in a war with Aretas, king of Arabia, his father-in-law, on account of his desertion of his first wife for Herodias. The marital relations of the Herodian family were a most extraordinary mixture, though belonging to the general license of the age. This is one of the places where the Gospels bring us into contact with the Gentile world, the Herodians being Gentile in their extraction and spirit, though nominally Jews in their religion, and the note of that Gentile world was open vice and profligacy, while of the Jewish leaders it was hypocrisy.

17-29. 17. Αὐτὸς γὰρ Ἡρώδης—for Herod himself. αὐτὸς serves to keep up in Mk.’s account the emphasis which Herod had put on the ἐγὼ, v.16. ἐκράτησε—seized.1 ὅτι αὐτὴν ἐγάμησεν—for he had married her. This states more particularly the connection between Herodias and the imprisonment of John, already denoted by διὰ Ἡρωδιάδα. It is an independent statement of cause, usually introduced by γάρ.2 But strictly, the causal conjunction is out of place, except in connection with John’s rebuke, of which it is the cause, and not of John’s imprisonment. Properly, this is one of the steps leading up to the imprisonment, and would be denoted by a relative clause, ἣν ἐγάμησεν.

18. Ἔλεγε γὰρ Ἰωάννης—for John had said.1 Ὅτι οὐκ ἐξεστί σοι—it is not lawful for thee. See Leviticus 18:16, Leviticus 20:21. But John would emphasize not so much the departure from Jewish law, for which Herod had slight regard, but the broader ground of common morals.

19. ἐνεῖχεν αὐτῷ—AV. had a quarrel against him. But it is doubtful if the words had this meaning. It requires the ellipsis of τὸν χόλον to explain it, and it is unusual to leave so specific a word to be implied, though the use of τὸν χόλον with the verb is quite frequent. On the other hand, it would be quite common to supply a word like τὸν νοῦν with the verb, and that would give us the meaning, she kept her eye (mind) on him. But the phrase, though quite natural, does not seem to occur. A third supposition is, that the verb may be used, like the Latin insto, intransitively, she followed him up, did not relax hostility against him. On the whole, this seems the best rendering. Thay.-Grm. Lex. καὶ ἤθελεν … καὶ οὐκ ἠδύνατο—and wished … and could not. This representation, that Herodias was restrained from her vengeance by Herod is not borne out by Mt., who says that Herod wished to put John to death, but feared the people (14:5). Verse 9 says that he was grieved by Salome’s demand, but this was evidently, in Mt.’s account, for the same reason, viz. that he feared the people.

20. The statement of Mk. is that John’s righteousness made Herod afraid, and what John said both perplexed and delighted him, so that he preserved him. ἐφοβεῖτο—feared. The kind of fear that Herod had of John is shown by the superstitious idea that he had of John’s resurrection. The prophet’s righteousness and holiness made him seem, even to Herod’s worldly sense, a man of God, and his fear therefore was of the God back of the righteous man. καὶ συνετήρει αὐτόν—and guarded him, viz. from the hostile intentions of Herodias. RV. kept him safe.2 πολλὰ ἠπόρει—was much perplexed. The perplexity arose from the conflict between his fear of John and his entanglement with Herodias. καὶ ἡδέως—The peculiarity of the Hebraistic use of καί to tie together variously related statements is here curiously exemplified.3 The gladness with which Herod heard John is the tribute which the moral sense, even in bad men, pays to the truth, and to boldness and freshness in the utterance of it.

πολλὰ ἠπόρει, was much perplexed, instead of πολλὰ ἐποίει, did many things, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. א BL Memph.

21. ἡμέρας εὐκαίρου—an opportune day, viz. for Herodias’ purposes. τοῖς γενεσίοις—on his birthday feast. This word is used in Greek for a service in commemoration of a dead friend. γενέθλια is the word for a birthday celebration.1 μεγιστᾶσιν—grandees. A later Greek word. χιλιάρχοις—chiliarchs. If we render the word literally, it means commander of a thousand, and its equivalent in our military phraseology is colonel. τοῖς πρώτοις τ. Γαλιλαίας—the first men of Galilee. His retainers, and especially his military officers, would be foreigners. These would be the men of the province.

ἐποίησεν, instead of ἐποίει, after δεῖπνον, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ 13, 28, 69, 124, Latt.

22. τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτῆς τ. Ἡρωδιάδος—the daughter of Herodias herself (RV.).2 The intensive pronoun is used here because such dancing was an almost unprecedented thing for women of rank, or even respectability. It was mimetic and licentious, and performed by professionals. ἤρεσεν—it pleased, rather than she pleased. The latter would require the subject of the verb to be the noun of the preceding gen. abs., a quite unnecessary grammatical irregularity.

ἤρεσεν, instead of καὶ ἀρεσάσης, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC* L 33, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. αὐτοῦ, instead of αὐτῆς, after θυγατρὸς, WH. RV.marg. א BDL Δ 238. This means that it was Herod’s daughter Herodias, who performed the dance, and involves a curious historical error. But this is no reason for rejecting a reading so well attested. Meyer and Tisch. slight the evidence. Weiss and Holtzmann condemn it as an exegetical impossibility, since Herodias with the art. must be the Herodias of v.19. But in spite of all this, the reading itself is not to be lightly set aside.

ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς εἶπεν—and the king said. This reading is necessary with the change from the part. to the indicative in ἤρεσεν.

ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς εἶπεν, instead of εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC* L Δ 33.

κορασίῳ—girl. See on 5:41.

23. ὤμοσεν—he swore. This oath of Herod is the same that Ahasuerus made to Queen Esther, the ἕως ἡμίσους τ. βασιλείας μου, to the half of my kingdom, being the exact language of the Sept. in the O.T. story (Esther 5:3, Esther 5:6, Esther 5:7:2).

24. Καὶ ἐξελθοῦσα—And having gone out.

Καὶ, instead of Ἡ δὲ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL Δ 33, Memph. αἰτήσωμαι,1 instead of αἰτήσομαι, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCDGL Δ 28, 33, 124, 346. βαπτίζοντος, instead of βαπτιστοῦ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL Δ 28, Harcl.

25. εὐθὺς μετὰ σπουδῆς—immediately with haste. Evidently, this haste was lest the king’s ardor should cool. She and her mother both knew that nothing but the king’s oath would make him do a thing so contrary to his own desires. This urgency is shown also in her request that it be done ἐξαυτῆς, forthwith. πίνακι—a platter. The word charger used to translate it in the EV. is practically obsolete in this sense.

26. περίλυπος γενόμενος—the part. is used here concessively, though he was grieved, yet. καὶ τοὺς ἀνακειμένους—and those reclining at table.

Omit συν—with, in συνανακειμένους, reclining with him, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BC* L Δ 42, Pesh.

ἀθετῆσαι αὐτήν—to refuse her. The verb belongs to later Greek.

27. σπεκουλάτορα—this is a Latin word, and means a scout, or secondarily, a member of the body-guard.

σπεκουλάτορα, instead of -τωρα, א ABL Π 1, 108, 124, 131, 157, Harcl. marg. grk.

ἐπέταξεν ἐνέγκαι—commanded him to bring.

ἐνέγκαι, instead of ἐνεχθῆναι, to be brought, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC Δ etc.

28. Καὶ ἀπελθὼν—And having gone out.

Καὶ, instead of ὁ δὲ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BCL Δ 1, 28, 124, most mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. ed. Pesh.

ἀπεκεφάλισεν—beheaded, a later Greek word. φυλακῇ—prison. Josephus tells us that John was beheaded in the castle of Machærus, and as this was one of Herod’s favorite resorts, it may well be that the feast, which was the occasion of the tragedy, took place there. And the whole story is framed on the supposition that the prison was near enough to the banquet hall to have the head brought immediately. Machærus was a ridge a mile long, over-looking a deep ravine, at one end of which Herod had built a great palace, while at the other end was the citadel in which John was confined. It was situated at the southern end of Peræa, and east of the northern end of the Dead Sea. Some have supposed that Tiberias was the scene of both the feast and the execution, and others that the feast was there, and the execution at Machærus. But there does not seem to be any sufficient reason for setting aside Josephus’ testimony about the beheading of John, and in that case the narrative favors the supposition that the feast was in the same place. It is a piece of poetic justice that Aretas, the father of Herod’s rejected wife, made war upon his faithless son-in-law, and defeated him, so that Herod was saved only by the intervention of the Roman Emperor.

29. πτῶμα—means a fall, or secondarily, something fallen, and with νεκροῦ,—a corpse. But the omission of νεκροῦ in this sense belongs to the later Greek. Matthew 14:12 adds to this the statement that the disciples of John came and told Jesus.


30-44. Mk. now resumes his narrative of the mission of the twelve with an account of their return, and of their report to Jesus. On their return, probably to Capernaum, they are so beset by the multitude that they have no leisure even to eat, and Jesus seeks retirement with them on the other side of the lake. But the multitudes see them and follow on foot around the head of the lake. Jesus allows his compassion to get the better of his original purpose, and begins to teach the crowd which he found gathered when he landed. It is already late when it is brought to his attention by the apostles, that the multitude, in their eagerness to hear him, have failed to provide themselves with food. Whereupon, Jesus himself feeds them out of five loaves and two fishes which the disciples have brought for themselves.

30. ἀπόστολοι—it is noticeable that the twelve, who are generally called disciples, are here given the name which describes their official work instead of their discipleship, and that the occasion, the only one in which the name is used in Mk., is one in which they were returning from that apostolic work. ὅσα ἐποίησαν, κ. ὅσα ἐδίδαξαν—whatever they did, and whatever they taught.1

Omit Καὶ, both, before the first ὅσα, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDELV Δ 1, 28, 33, 131, Latt. Memph. Pesh. etc. Tisch. omits second ὅσα with א* C* 1, 271, Latt. It is more in Mk.’s manner to retain the ὅσα.

καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς—And he says to them.

λέγει, instead of εἶπεν, said, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ 33, etc. ἀναπαύσασθε,1 instead of ἀναπαύεσθε, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. ABCM Δ 40, 69, 108, 238, 346, 435, etc.

31. ὑμεῖς αὐτοὶ κατʼ ἰδίαν—you yourselves apart. The language is selected to emphasize as much as possible the privacy which Jesus wished to secure for them. εὐκαίρουν—This verb belongs to the later Greek. It means to have opportunity or leisure for anything. As to the occasion of this departure, Mt. gives another account. According to him, Jesus took the disciples away to a solitary place across the lake when he heard the death of John the Baptist. Here, it is to give the disciples rest after their missionary journey, which it was impossible for them to get with the multitudes crowding about them and preventing even their eating.

εὐκαίρουν, instead of ηὐκαίρουν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABEFGHLV ΓΔ, etc.

32. καὶ ἀπῆλθον—and they went away. The point of departure was probably Capernaum, as it was on the lake, and it would be the most likely place for a rendezvous after their journey. εἰς ἔρημον τόπον—Lk. says that they went to Bethsaida, meaning the city on the east side of the lake. But when he comes to tell the story of the feeding of the multitude, he also says that it was a desert place (Luke 9:10, Luke 9:12).

33. καὶ εἶδον αὐτοὺς ὑπάγοντας, κ. ἔγνωσαν πολλοί—and they saw them going, and many knew (them).

Omit οἱ ὄχλοι, the multitudes, after ὑπάγοντας everything except a few cursives. ἔγνωσαν, instead of ἐπέγνωσαν, Treg. WH. B* D 1, 118, 209. Omit αὐτὸν, him, after ἔγνωσαν Treg. WH. RV. BD 1, 13, 28, 118, 131, 209, Vulg. Substitute αὐτοὺς, Tisch. א AKLMU ΔΠ two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Syrr.

πεζῇ—on foot. They went around the head of the lake, and crossed the river at some ford. συνέδραμον—they ran together. The prep. describes the coming together of the crowd from the many starting-places to the point for which they saw the boat heading. προῆλθον αὐτούς—outwent them. The verb means properly to go forward, to advance, or with the gen. to go before another. This use with the acc., meaning to reach a place before another, belongs to later Greek. The rest of the verse is to be omitted.

Omit Καὶ συνῆλθον πρὸς αὐτόν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL Δ 13, Vulg. Memph.

34. καὶ ἐξελθὼν εἶδεν πολὺν ὄχλον—And having come forth, he saw a great multitude. The part. refers to the disembarking from the boat. J., who is here parallel to the Synoptics for the only time between the account of the ministry of the Baptist and the final coming to Jerusalem, says that Jesus spent some time in the mountain with his disciples before the multitude came to him.

Omit ὁ Ἰησοῦς after εἶδεν Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL 1, 20, 33, 69, 124, 209, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. αὐτούς, instead of αὐτοῖς, after ἐπʼ Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDF 245, 253, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg.

ἐσπλαγχνίσθη—had compassion.1

μὴ ἔχοντα ποιμένα—μή is used here, instead of οὐκ, because it denotes Jesus’ conception of the people, his thought about them. It is the fact, but the fact transferred to his mind.2 This expression is used also by Matthew 9:36, in the passage which leads up to the account of the appointment of the twelve, and the sending them forth to supply the lack. It seems as if this feeling of Jesus towards the multitude had somehow impressed itself on the minds of the disciples especially at this period of his life, the period just preceding the close of the ministry in Galilee. The figure itself denotes the lack of spiritual guidance. Then, as always, there was no lack of official religious leadership, but the officials, the priests, and rabbis, were blind leaders of the blind. Notice also the human quality of Jesus’ action here. He seeks a quiet place to escape from the crowd for a time; is defeated in his purpose by the multitude invading his retreat; and he yields to their importunity and to his own exacting pity. It is a distinctly human change of purpose, such as foreknowledge would have prevented, and as an attestation of his humanity it brings him blessedly near to us.

35. ὥρας πολλῆς γενομένης—much time of day having passed. The only other instance in the N.T., in which ὥρα is used to denote daytime is the parallel passage in Matthew 14:15. See Thay.-Grm. Lex.

Tisch. WH. marg. read γινομένης, coming to be a late hour, with א D Latt.

οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἔλεγον—his disciples said.

ἔλεγον, instead of λέγουσιν, say, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL Δ 33, Memph.

ἔρημός ἐστιν ὁ τόπος—the place is desert; and so there is no place here for them to procure food. ἤδη ὥρα πολλή—already it is a late hour, and so there is short time for them to supply their wants. In their haste and eagerness to follow Jesus, they had neglected to bring anything with them, and in their absorption in his teaching, they had forgotten their ordinary wants. According to J. 6:5, this conversation was started by Jesus.

36. ἀγοράσωσιν ἑαυτοῖς τί φάγωσιν—they may buy for themselves somewhat to eat. The subj. is that of a deliberative question.

Omit ἄρτους after ἀγοράσωσιν Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL Δ 28, 102, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. γὰρ and οὐκ ἔχουσιν after τί are to be omitted on substantially the same authority.

37. δηναρίων διακοσίων—two hundred shillings’ worth. The Revisers do a somewhat curious thing in translating this word penny, and then explaining in the margin that it means eight pence halfpenny (RV. Matthew 18:28). The actual paying power was much greater than our shilling, as it represented a day’s wages. The sum is evidently suggested here as their hasty guess at the amount required to purchase a frugal supply for the crowd. It would also be a sum quite beyond their means, so that the question is meant to imply the absurdity of the whole thing. This question is not given in the other Synoptics, and in the fourth Gospel it takes the form of a statement that what is absolutely a large sum is quite inadequate for even a small supply of so big a crowd.

δώσωμεν αὐτοῖς—give them.

δώσωμεν, instead of δῶμεν, Tisch. א D 13, 33, 69, 124, 229**, 346. δώσομεν Treg. WH. RV. ABL Δ Latt. External evidence balanced between δώσωμεν and δώσομεν, internal slightly favors δώσομεν, owing to the change of mood, which makes subj. an apparent emendation.

38. ὑπάγετε, ἴδετε—go, see.

Omit καὶ, and, between ὑπάγετε and ἴδετε Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDL 1, 33, 102, 118, 240, 244, two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh.

καὶ γνόντες—and having ascertained. The verb is used here in its inchoative sense to learn, instead of to know. The EV., and when they knew, leaves out the process which the Greek expresses.

39. ἀνακλιθῆναι—to recline.1

ἀνακλιθῆναι, instead of ἀνακλίναι, WH. RV. א B* G 1, 13, 28, 69.

συμπόσια συμπόσια—by parties. The repetition of the noun to express the distributive idea is Hebraistic. The word itself means a drinking party, i.e. the entertainment, not the guests. This present use belongs to the later Greek. ἐπὶ τῷ χλωρῷ χόρτῳ—on the green grass. This is a characteristic touch given by Mk. alone, with his eye for pictorial details, but it is more important than that to us; for the grass is green in Palestine, especially in this hot Jordan valley, only at the time of the Passover. And so, here is one intimation in the Synoptics of more than one year’s ministry. And this is also the place where the fourth Gospel inserts a passover between the first and the last.

40. καὶ ἀνέπεσαν πρασιαὶ πρασιαί, κατὰ ἑκατὸν καὶ κατὰ πεντήκοντα—and they reclined in (regular companies like) garden beds, by hundreds, and by fifties.

ἀνέπεσαν, instead of ἀνέπεσον, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BEFGHMV Δ 1, 28. κατὰ, instead of ἀνὰ, before ἑκατὸν and πεντήκοντα Tisch. Treg. WH. אBD Memph.

This descriptive word πρασιαί, garden beds, gives an admirable picturesque touch. The disposition of the people in orderly groups was for the more convenient distribution of the food.

41. εὐλόγησε—he blessed. This word in Greek means to praise, and only in Biblical Greek does it signify to invoke a blessing on a person or thing, copying from the Heb. use.

καὶ κατέκλασε—and he broke in pieces.1 καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἵνα παρατιθῶσιν αὐτοῖς—and gave to his disciples to set before them.

Omit αὐτοῦ after μαθηταῖς Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL Δ 33, 102, two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. παρατιθῶσιν, instead of παραθῶσιν, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. א* BLM* ΔΠ* 42, 63, 122, 229, 251 **, 253.

πᾶσι—to all. In this, and the πάντες ἐχορτάσθησαν, all were filled, and δώδεκα κοφίνων πληρώματα, fillings of twelve baskets, and finally the πεντακισχίλιοι ἄνδρες, five thousand men alone, are enumerated the several things that point to the greatness of the miracle.

42. ἐχορτάσθησαν—they were filled, or satisfied.2 κλάσματα (-των) δώδεκα κοφίνων πληρώματα—fragments (or of fragments), fillings of twelve baskets. κλάσματα is put in an emphatic position, drawing attention to the quantity of fragments even. It is noticeable that κόφινοι is used in all four accounts of this miracle, while in both accounts of the feeding of the four thousand, σπυρίδες is used. There does not seem to be much difference, if any, between the kind of basket, and the identity of language in the Gospels in each account is the more remarkable.

κλάσματα, instead of κλασμάτων, Treg. marg. WH. RV. BL Δ. κλασμάτων א 13, 69, 124, 209, 346. κοφίνων, instead of κοφίνους, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. א B 1, 13, 69, 124, 209, 346. πληρώματα, instead of πλήρεις, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL Δ 1, 13, 69, 124, 209, 346.

44. πεντακισχίλιοι ἄνδρες—five thousand men alone. ἄνδρες is the Greek word for men, distinct from women and children. See Matthew 14:21. The whole number then was much greater.

This is, with the exception of the raising of the dead, the most remarkable of all the miracles recounted in the Gospels, being the one in which secondary causes are out of the question, making it a purely creative act, a creation out of nothing. The rest of the provision did not come somehow out of the five loaves and two fishes, but was added to it by the mere creative word. All talk about acceleration of natural processes is mere talk, because there is here nothing to start from in such a process. Of course, this has led to all kinds of rationalizing. Paulus, and after him Holtzmann, suppose that Jesus set the example of utilizing such provisions as they had, those who had sharing with those who had not. And even Weiss, in order to preserve the historicity of the account in the face of an increasing skepticism in regard to so stupendous a miracle, admits the possibility of this explanation, only insisting that we have here a miracle of providence in bringing together such supplies even in a natural way, and that Jesus relied with serene confidence upon it. Schenkel explains it as a materialization of Jesus’ feeding of the multitude with spiritual food. But fortunately, we have here, as Weiss points outs, a concurrence of three eye witnesses, the Logia of Mt., the oral testimony of Peter, and the witness of John being all represented in the several accounts, and there is no doubt whatever of the fact that they represent it as an actual feeding of the multitude with five loaves and two fishes, after which there remained twelve baskets of fragments.


45-52. Immediately after the feeding of the multitude, and probably owing to the excitement caused by that, Jesus dismisses his disciples with some urgency to embark in the boat for Bethsaida on the west shore of the lake, while he himself dismisses the multitude. Having taken leave of them, Jesus goes up into the mountain in the neighborhood to pray. Meantime, the disciples were having a hard time with a contrary wind on the lake, and it was past three o’clock in the morning, when Jesus came to them walking on the water. They thought that it was a ghost, but were reassured by his announcement of himself. With his coming, the wind ceased, and they were filled with an unreasonable amazement, not being prepared even by the miracle of feeding the multitude for this fresh wonder.

45. εὐθὺς ἠνάγκασε—immediately he compelled. This language expresses haste and urgency, for which, however, Mt. and Mk. give no reason. But the fourth Gospel states a fact, which would certainly account for this urgency, telling us that the people were about to come and seize him to make him a king (J. 6:15). According to this, Jesus knew that his disciples would side with the multitude in this design, and therefore dismisses them with this abruptness and imperativeness. Βηθσαϊδάν—Luke 9:10 tells us that this was the name of the place where the miracle was performed. There were two places of the name, one on each side of the lake. See Bib. Dic. ἕως αὐτὸς ἀπολύει—while he himself dismisses. The αὐτὸς emphasizes the fact that Jesus himself, having forced his disciples away, dismissed the multitude. It was an emergency in which he would trust no one but himself.

ἀπολύει, instead of ἀπολύσῃ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL 1. E*K Γ 28, 69, etc. read. ἀπολύσει.

46. ἀποταξάμενος αὐτοῖς—having taken leave of them. The verb is not used in this sense in the earlier Greek writers, who said, instead, ἀσπάζεσθαι. τὸ ὄρος—the mountain, viz. in that place. προσεύξασθαι—to pray. Mt. adds to this only the scene in Gethsemane as an occasion when Jesus retired to pray. This Gospel gives, besides these two, the occasion of his first day’s work in Capernaum (ch. 1:35). Lk. gives several others. The two mentioned in Mt. and the three of Mk. were crises in his life, two of them growing out of a sudden access of popularity, and the third out of the impending tragedy of his life. Prayer with Jesus was real, growing out of his human needs.

47. ὀψίας—evening.1 It was already evening (Mt.), or late (Mk.), or the decline of day (Lk.), when the question of feeding the multitude came up. That was, therefore, the early evening, from three to six o’clock, and this the late evening, from six o’clock till night.

48. ἰδὼν … ἔρχεται—And seeing them … he comes … instead of he saw them … and comes.

ἰδὼν, instead of εἶδεν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDL Δ mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Omit καὶ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL Δ.

βασανιζομένους—distressed. This is one of the words in which the notion of trial or testing has run over into that of distress, since difficulty and hardship are so frequent forms of testing. The verb is formed from βάσανος, a touchstone. ἐλαύνειν—literally, driving. But the word is used frequently of rowing or sailing a boat. τετάρτην φυλακὴν—the fourth watch. The Jews at this time divided the night into four watches of three hours each, and this was therefore the last watch, from three to six o’clock. They had been having a hard time therefore, having been, at a moderate estimate, some eight hours in rowing three miles. Cf. J. 6:19.

ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης—on the sea. It is one of the absurdities of rationalizing exegesis, that this has been made to mean on the shore of the sea, or in view of the obvious fact that the author cannot possibly have meant that, that the story, as it stands, is supposed to have arisen from a mythical handling of so common-place an event as walking on the shore. The miracle is one of those, moreover, that cannot, in our present state of knowledge, be explained away. Jesus’ miracles of healing can, most of them, be attributed to his extraordinary influence over the minds of those healed, though it may be doubted if the exceptional cases, such as the raising of the dead and the healing at a distance, do not so give the law to the rest as to turn even this possibility into an improbability. But here is a miracle upon inanimate matter, overcoming the difference in specific gravity between water and the human body, so that the water will support the heavier body. This miracle will yield to no rationalizing treatment, and in it, therefore, we are confronted with the problem of the miraculous without any alleviation. Nor does it yield any more to a legitimate historical criticism, which leaves our Lord’s miracles untouched, unless we accept it as an axiom of that criticism that the miraculous does not happen. And so it is with the problem of the miraculous as a fact, with which the life of our Lord confronts us.

καὶ ἤθελε παρελθεῖν αὐτούς—and he purposed to pass by them, or was on the point of passing by them. See Thay.-Grm. Lex. Would have passed by them, EV., would be expressed by the aor. ind. of παρέρχομαι, with ἄν. This was what he was on the point of doing when he was interrupted by their cry. His purpose at the time was that, and he waited for some demonstration on their part to change it.

49. ὅτι φάντασμά ἐστιν—that it is an apparition. The lack of substance, or material reality, is emphasized by the word. In the dark, they did not recognize Jesus, and they could attribute the appearance on the water to nothing solid.

ὅτι φάντασμά ἐστιν, instead of φάντασμα εἶναι, Tisch. WH. RV. א BL Δ 33.

50. πάντες γὰρ αὐτὸν εἶδαν—for all saw him.1

εἶδαν, instead of εἶδον, Tisch. Treg. WH. א B. D and mss. of Lat. Vet. omit the clause.

ὁ δὲ εὐθὺς ἐλάλησε—and he immediately spoke.

ὁ δὲ, instead of καὶ, Tisch. Treg. marg. WH. RV. א BL Δ 33, one ms. Lat. Vet. Memph. εὐθὺς, instead of εὐθέως, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL Δ.

ἐγώ εἰμι—I am it, where we say, it is I. The language of Jesus is reported in the same words by all the evangelists, except that J. omits θαρσεῖτε.

51. καὶ ἀνέβη … εἰς τ. πλοῖον—and he went up … into the boat. J. says, J. 6:21, that they purposed receiving him into the boat, but were prevented by the boat’s immediate arrival at the land. ἐκόπασεν ὁ ἄνεμος—the wind abated. This is evidently to be taken as a part of the miracle, as it is connected immediately with his coming to them.

καὶ λίαν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἐξίσταντο—and they were exceedingly amazed1 in themselves. Their amazement was inward; they kept it to themselves.

Omit ἐκ περισσοῦ, beyond measure (Treg.) WH. RV. א BL Δ 1, 28, Pesh. Omit καὶ ἐθαύμαζον, and wondered, Tisch. Treg. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. א BL Δ 1, 28, 102, 118, 209, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph.

52. ἐπὶ τοῖς ἄρτοις—this does not denote, as in RV., the object of the verb, concerning the loaves, but the ground of understanding, on the ground of the (miracle of the) loaves. The miracle of the loaves and fishes should have led to an understanding of the present miracles, but it did not have this effect.2 ἀλλʼ ἦν αὐτῶν ἡ καρδία πεπωρωμένη—but their heart was hardened. This hardness of heart is something quite different from our use of the same words, denoting blunted feelings and moral sensibilities. The Biblical καρδία denotes the general inner man, and here especially the mind, which is represented as so calloused as to be incapable of receiving mental impressions.

ἀλλʼ ἦν, instead of ἦν γὰρ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BLM2 S Δ 33, Memph. Harcl. marg.


53-56. On their return to the western side, Jesus and his disciples land in the district of Gennesaret, and are no sooner landed, than the people recognize them, and there is a popular uprising throughout the region. Those who first recognize him spread the report from village to village, and wherever Jesus goes, they bring their sick to him, and beg that they may as much as touch the hem of his garment as he passes. And as many as touched were healed.

53. ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ἦλθον εἰς Γεννησαρέτ—they came upon the land to Gennesaret. Gennesaret was a fertile plain on the west side of the lake, about three miles long and a mile wide, lying just south of Capernaum. See Bib. Dic. This landing place was several miles south of Bethsaida, for which they had started originally, showing how much they had been driven out of their course. προσωρμίσθησαν—they moored.

ἐπὶ τὴν γὴν ἦλθον εἰς, instead of ἦλθον ἐπὶ τὴν Γεννησαρέτ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL Δ 28, 33.

55. περιέδραμον ὅλην τὴν χώραν ἐκείνην, καὶ ἤρξαντο—they ran about all that country, and began.

περιέδραμον … καὶ, instead of περιδραμόντες, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BL Δ 1, 13, 33, 69, Memph. Pesh. Omit ἐκεῖ in clause ὅπου ἤκουον ὅτι ἐκεῖ ἐστι, Tisch. (Treg.) WH. RV. א BL Δ 102, Pesh.


56. καὶ ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο εἰς κώμας ἢ εἰς πόλεις ἢ εἰς ἀγρούς2—and wherever he entered into villages, or into cities, or into hamlets.

Insert εἰς before πόλεις and ἀγρούς, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDFL Δ most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Harcl. ἐτίθεσαν, instead of ἐτίθουν, Tisch. Treg. WH. א BL Δ. ἥψαντο, instead of ἥπτοντο, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDgr L Δ 1, 13, 28, 33, 69, 124, 346.

κρασπέδου—the fringe or tassel appended to the hem of the outer garment, which served to remind Jews of the Law. But probably this ceremonial use is not in mind here, and it means just the edge of the garment, as if that slightest touch would be healing. J. gives a different account of what followed the storm on the lake, viz. that he landed at Capernaum, and delivered the discourse on the bread of life in the synagogue (J. 6:22).

1 See Note on Relation of Synoptical Accounts at beginning of ch. 5, for the place of the parables in Mt.’s account. And notice how Mt. thus connects the visit to Nazareth with the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, which Mk. and Lk. put at the beginning of the Galilean ministry, while Mt., though connecting the two events as they do, puts them both at a late period.

Tisch. Tischendorf.

Treg. Tregelles.

WH. Westcott and Hort.

RV. Revised Version.

אԠCodex Sinaiticus.

B Codex Vaticanus.

C Codex Bezae.

L Codex Regius.

D Codex Ephraemi.

Harcl. Harclean.

marg. Revided Version marg.

1 See Note on ἀρχισυνάγωγος, 5:22.

13 Codex Regius.

28 Codex Regius.

69 Codex Leicestrensis.

2 See Win. 18, 3, end of section.

Δ̠Codex Sangallensis

Memph. Memphitic.

Lat. Vet. Vetus Latina.

Vulg. Vulgate.

A Codex Alexandrinus.

E Codex Basiliensis.

F Codex Borelli.

G Codex Wolfi A.

H Codex Wolfi B.

M Codex Campianus.

S Codex Vaticanus.

U Codex Nanianus.

V Codex Mosquensis.

1 .Codex Basiliensis

33 Codex Regius.

Pesh. Peshito.

1 “A barbarous declension,” Thay.-Grm. Lex.

209 An unnamed, valuable manuscript.

346 Codex Ambrosianus.

K Codex Cyprius.

Syrr. Syriac Versions.

1 The regular construction would require the inf. here, this verb being in the same construction as ποιῆσαι, and not ἐδύνατο.

2 This is exactly our word invalid, or infirm.

3 διὰ τὴν ἀπιστίαν is an unusual construction with ἐθαύμασεν, in fact, the only case of it in the N.T. (It seems quite improbable, both from the position and from the course of thought, that διὰ τοῦτο in J. 7:22, belongs with v. 21.)

1 δύο δύο—is a Hebrew fashion of expressing the distributive idea, where the Greeks would say ἀνὰ or κατὰ δύο.

1 On this change from the indirect to direct discourse, see Win. 63, II. 2. The RV. indicates the change of structure by inserting said he. And the change in νποδεδεμἐνους by inserting to go.

Bib. Dic. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible (1st or 2d edition).

Π̠Codex Petropolitianus

Win. Winer’s Grammar of N. T. Greek.

1 Morison makes a curious mistake in supposing that the aor. subj. of the TR. means might, while the pres. sub. means may. This difference is expressed in Greek by a change of moods, not of tenses.

2 See Schürer, II. I. 23, 33.

1 On the genealogy of the Herodian family, see Bib. Dic.

Latt. Latin Versions.

1 This is a case of the noun being attracted from the principal into the relative clause, and taking its construction.

Hier. Jerusalem Lectionary.

1 On the use of the aor. for the plup. in Greek, see Win. 40, 5 a. Burton, 52. Both of these, however, fail to account for the infrequency of the plup. in the N.T.

2 See Burton, 232.

1 See Burton, 29. In this case, the impf. contains an element of repeated action, not expressed by the plup. We combine both in he had kept saying.

AV. Authorised Version.

Thay.-Grm. Thayer’s Grimm.

2 AV. observed him. This comes probably from the meaning keep in mind, but it is not a legitimate derivation, nor is the meaning consonant with the context. See Morison’s Note. Also Meyer.

3 Win. 53, 3 b. It is to be said, however, that while καί itself is never strictly adversative, it is used to connect statements more or less adverse. Only καί does not express the opposition.

1 See Win. 2, 1 d. Thay.-Grm. Lex.

2 Of the said Herodias, AV., would require the art. before αὐτῆς.

1 This is the subj. of deliberative questions, in which advice is asked.

1 See footnote v.17. This is one of the cases, where, owing to the close conjunction of this with the principal verb, the absence of the plup. is most marked. But in relative clauses, the Greek rarely uses the plup. Win. 40, 5 a, β.

1 The aor. differs from the pres. imp. here, as denoting beginning, instead of continuance. Get rest expresses it.

Γ̠Codex Tischendorfianus

1 On the form and meaning of this verb, see on 1:41.

2 See Win. 55, 5 g, β.

102 Codex Bibliothecae Mediceae.

1 In this sense of reclining at meals, the use of compounds with ἀνά belongs to later Greek. Win. 2, 1 b.

1 The prep. in composition denotes the separation of the bread into parts by the breaking. See Thay.-Grm. Lex.

2 Properly χορτάζειν is used of the feeding of animals.

1 See on 1:32.

1 On this use of the vowel of the first aor, in the sec. aor., see Win. 13, 1 a.

1 On the meaning of this verb, see on 2:12.

2 Win. 48 c, Mey. explain this by the German bei, as a temporal adjunct—in connection with, at the time of.

1 See on 2:4.

2 The N.T. uses ἄν to denote indefiniteness in a relative clause with a past tense of the ind., where the Greek uses the opt. without ἄν. Burton, 315.

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?
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.
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.
And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.
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.
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.
Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.
But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.
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.
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:
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.
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;
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.
And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.
And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
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.
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.
And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,
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.
And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.
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.
And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
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.
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.
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:
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?
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.
And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
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.
And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.
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.
And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.
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.
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.
And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore.
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.
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.
ICC New Testament commentary on selected books

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