Mark 7:33
Parallel Verses
New International Version
After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue.

King James Bible
And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;

Darby Bible Translation
And having taken him away from the crowd apart, he put his fingers to his ears; and having spit, he touched his tongue;

World English Bible
He took him aside from the multitude, privately, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat, and touched his tongue.

Young's Literal Translation
And having taken him away from the multitude by himself, he put his fingers to his ears, and having spit, he touched his tongue,

Mark 7:33 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

And he spit, and touched his tongue - This place is exceedingly difficult. There is scarcely an action of our Lord's life but one can see an evident reason for, except this. Various interpretations are given of it - none of them satisfies my mind. The Abbe Giradeau spiritualizes it thus: -

1. He took him aside from the multitude - When Christ saves a sinner, he separates him from all his old evil companions, and from the spirit and maxims of an ungodly world.

2. He put his fingers in his ears - to show that they could be opened only by the finger, i.e. the power, of God, and that they should be shut to every word and voice, but what came from him.

3. Spitting out he touched his tongue - to show that his mental taste and relish should be entirely changed: that he should detest those things which he before esteemed, and esteem those which he before hated.

4. Looking up to heaven - to signify that all help comes from God, and to teach the new convert to keep continually looking to and depending upon him.

5. He groaned - to show the wretched state of man by sins and how tenderly concerned God is for his present and eternal welfare; and to intimate that men should seek the salvation of God in the spirit of genuine repentance, with strong crying and tears.

6. He said, Be opened - Sin is a shutting of the ears against the words of God; and a tying of the tongue, to render it incapable of giving God due praise. But when the all-powerful grace of Christ reaches the heart, the ear is unstopped, and the man hears distinctly - the tongue is unloosed, and the man speaks correctly.

After all, it is possible that what is attributed here to Christ belongs to the person who was cured. I will give my sense of the place in a short paraphrase.

And Jesus took him aside from the multitude: and [the deaf man] put his fingers into his ears, intimating thereby to Christ that they were so stopped that he could not hear; and having spat out, that there might be nothing remaining in his mouth to offend the sight when Christ should look at his tongue, he touched his tongue, showing to Christ that it was so bound that he could not speak: and he looked up to heaven, as if to implore assistance from above: and he groaned, being distressed because of his present affliction, and thus implored relief: for, not being able to speak, he could only groan and look up, expressing by these signs, as well as he could, his afflicted state, and the desire he had to be relieved. Then Jesus, having compassion upon him, said, Be opened: and immediately his ears were opened, so that he could hear distinctly; and the impediment to his speaking was removed, so that he spake properly. The original will admit of this interpretation; and this, I am inclined to believe, is the true meaning of this otherwise (to me and many others) unaccountable passage.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

he took.

Mark 5:40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he takes the father and the mother of the damsel...

Mark 8:23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands on him...

1 Kings 17:19-22 And he said to her, Give me your son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he stayed...

2 Kings 4:4-6,33,34 And when you are come in, you shall shut the door on you and on your sons, and shall pour out into all those vessels...

John 9:6,7 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay...

put. This was clearly a symbolical action; for these remedies evidently could not, by their natural efficacy, avail to produce so wonderful an effect. As the ears of the deaf appear closed, he applies his fingers to intimate that he would open them; and as the tongue of the dumb seems to be tied, or to cleave to the palate, he touches it, to intimate he would give loose and free motion to it. He accommodated himself to the weakness of those who might not indeed doubt his power, but fancy some external sign was requisite to healing. It was also thus made manifest, that this salutiferous power came from Himself, and that He who by one word, [ephphatha,] had healed the man, must be Divine.

The Pattern of Service
'He touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, He sighed, and saith Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.'--Mark vii 33, 34. For what reason was there this unwonted slowness in Christ's healing works? For what reason was there this unusual emotion ere He spoke the word which cleansed? As to the former question, a partial answer may perhaps be that our Lord is here on half-heathen ground, where aids to faith were much needed, and His power had to be veiled that it might be beheld. Hence the miracle is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Second Sermon for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity
(From the Gospel for the day) This sermon tells us how a man who truly loves God, whose ears have been opened to receive the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit, is neither lifted up in joy nor cast down in sorrow. Mark vii. 37.--"He hath done all things well: He maketh both the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak." WE read in the Gospel for this day, that as our blessed Lord was going from one place to another, they brought unto Him a man who was born deaf and dumb; as must needs be; for he who is
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler

Things which Defile
"And He called to Him the multitude again, and said unto them, Hear Me all of you, and understand: there is nothing from without the man, that going into him can defile him: but the things which proceed out of the man are those that defile the man. And when He was entered into the house from the multitude, His disciples asked of Him the parable. And He saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Perceive ye not, that whatsoever from without goeth into the man, it cannot defile him; because
G. A. Chadwick—The Gospel of St. Mark

The Children and the Dogs
"And from thence He arose, and went away into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered into a house, and would have no man know it; and He could not be hid. But straightway a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of Him, came and fell down at His feet. Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. And she besought Him that He would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. And He said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the
G. A. Chadwick—The Gospel of St. Mark

Cross References
Jeremiah 1:9
Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "I have put my words in your mouth.

Matthew 26:67
Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him

Mark 8:23
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?"

John 9:6
After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes.

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