Mark 9
Vincent's Word Studies
And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.

See on Matthew 17:2.

And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
Shining (οτίλβοντα)

Rev., glistering. The word is used of a gleam from polished surfaces - arms, sleek horses, water in motion, the twinkling of the stars, lightning.

As no fuller, etc

Peculiar to Mark.

And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

Though no question had been asked him: but the Lord's transfiguration was an appeal to him and he desired to respond.

For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.
And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
Sore afraid

Wyc., aghast by dread.

Beloved son

Wyc., most dearworthy.

And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.
Suddenly (ἐξάπινα)

The Greek word only here in the New Testament.

And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.
Tell (διηγήσωνται)

Mark's word is more graphic than Matthew's εἴπητε. The word is from διά, through, and ἡγέομαι, to lead the way. Hence to lead one through a series of events: to narrate.


Wyc., asking. Tynd., disputing.

And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.
And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?
And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.
But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.
And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.
The scribes

The particularizing of the scribes as the questioners, and Mark 9:15, Mark 9:16, are peculiar to Mark.

And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.
Were greatly amazed (ἐξεθαμβήθησαν)

A word peculiar to Mark. See Introduction.

And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?
And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
It taketh him (καταλάβῃ)

Lit., seizeth hold of him. Our word catalepsy is derived from this.

Teareth (ῥήσσει)

Rev., dasheth down, with rendeth in margin. The verb is a form of ῥήγνυμι, to break. The form ῥήσσω is used in classical Greek of dancers beating the ground, and of beating drums. Later, in the form ῥάσσειν, a term of fighters: to fell, or knock down, which is the sense adopted by Rev.

Gnasheth with his teeth

Rev., grindeth. This and the pining away are peculiar to Mark.

He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.
Faithless (ἄπιστος)

Faithless has acquired the sense of treacherous, not keeping faith. But Christ means without faith, and such is Tyndale's translation. Wyc., out of belief. Unbelieving would be better here. The Rev. retains this rendering of the A. V. at 1 Corinthians 7:14, 1 Corinthians 7:15; Titus 1:15; Revelation 21:8, and elsewhere.

And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
Mark is more specific in his detail of the convulsion which seized the lad as he was coming to Jesus. He notes the convulsion as coming on at the demoniac's sight of our Lord. "When he saw him, straightway the spirit," etc. Also his falling on the ground, wallowing and foaming. We might expect the detail of these symptoms in Luke, the physician.
And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

Very touching. The father identifies himself with the son's misery. Compare the Syro-Phoenician, who makes her daughter's case entirely her own: "Have mercy on me" (Matthew 15:22).

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
If thou canst believe (τὸ εἰ δύνῃ)

Lit., the if thou canst. The word believe is wanting in the best texts. It is difficult to explain to an English reader the force of the definite article here. "It takes up substantially the word spoken by the father, and puts it with lively emphasis, without connecting it with the further construction, in order to link its fulfilment to the petitioner's own faith" (Meyer). We might paraphrase thus. Jesus said: "that if thou canst of thine - as regards that, all things are possible," etc. There is a play upon the words δύνῃ, canst, and δυνατὰ, possible, which cannot be neatly rendered. "If thou canst - all things can be."

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Cried out and said (κράξας - ἔλεγεν)

The former denoting the inarticulate cry, the ejaculation, followed by the words, "Lord, I believe," etc.

When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it.
Passed through (παρεπορεύοντο)

Lit., passed along (παρά). Not tarrying. Bengel says, "not through the cities, but past them."

For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
He taught (ἐδίδασκεν)

The Rev. would have done better to give the force of the imperfect here: He was teaching. He sought seclusion because he was engaged for the time in instructing. The teaching was the continuation of the "began to teach" (Mark 8:31).

Is delivered

The present tense is graphic. The future is realized by the Lord as already present. See on Matthew 26:2.

But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.
And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
Servant (διάκονος)

Rev., minister. Probably from διώκω to pursue; to be the follower of a person; to attach one's self to him. As distinguished from other words in the New Testament meaning servant, this represents the servant in his activity; while δοῦλος, slave, represents him in his condition or relation as a bondman. A διάκονος, may be either a slave or a freeman. The word deacon is an almost literal transcription of the original. See Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8, 1 Timothy 3:12. The word is often used in the New Testament to denote ministers of the gospel. See 1 Corinthians 3:5; Ephesians 3:7; 1 Thessalonians 3:2, and elsewhere. Mark uses δοῦλος, in Mark 10:44.

And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,
Let (ἔστησεν)

Wyc. renders ordained.

When he had taken him in his arms (ἐναγκαλισάμενος)

The verb is found only in Mark, and only he records this detail.

Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
In my name

Lit., "upon (ἐπὶ) my name." See on Matthew 18:5.

And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
In thy name

John's conscience is awakened by the Lord's words. They had not received the man who east out devils in Christ's name.

But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
For he that is not against us is on our part.
For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Rev., great millstone. See on Matthew 18:6. Wyc., millstone of asses. Note the graphic present and perfect tenses; the millstone is hanged, and he hath been cast.

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

See on Matthew 5:22.

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
With one eye (μονόφθαλμον)

Lit., one-eyed. One of Mark's words which is branded as slang. Wyc. oddly renders goggle-eyed.

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
Have lost its saltness (ἄναλον γένηται)

Lit., may have become saltless. Compare on Matthew 5:13.

Will ye season (ἀρτύσετε)

Lit., will ye restore. Compare Colossians 4:5.

Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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