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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Mark 9

 

 

Verse 1

Mark 9:1. ἐν δυνάμει, with power) Romans 1:4; 2 Corinthians 13:4.


Verse 2

Mark 9:2. κατʼ ἰδίαν, apart) In antithesis to the people [Mark 8:34].— μόνους, alone) In antithesis to the nine remaining disciples.


Verse 3

Mark 9:3. χιὼν, snow) The production of nature.— λευκᾶναι, make white) the effect of art.


Verse 4

Mark 9:4. σὺν, with) The appearance of Moses had been less anticipated by the disciples than that of Elias, Mark 9:11.


Verse 5

Mark 9:5. καὶ ποιήσωμεν, and let us make) So also, and let us make, Luke 9:33. καὶ, and so therefore, represents the alacrity of mind on the part of Peter: or else the particle is that of the Evangelists, who join together two short speeches of Peter; comp. καὶ, ch. Mark 3:22; Luke 7:16, or even Matthew 8:13; John 13:13.


Verse 6

Mark 9:6. τὶ λαλῆσαι) So the LXX., γινώσκοντες τί ποιῆσαι ἰσραήλ, 1 Chronicles 12:32, where also some have made a subjunctive of the optative.— ἔκφοβοι) stricken with fear, and that a mild kind of fear; for otherwise Peter would not have wished to remain there.


Verse 7

[7. αὐτοῦ ἀκούετε) Hear ye Him: viz. Jesus. For Moses and Elias had by this time disappeared.—V. g.]


Verse 8

Mark 9:8. ἐξάπινα) This is an adverb often found in the LXX.— μεθʼ ἑαυτῶν, with themselves) because He was still about to suffer.


Verse 10

Mark 9:10. ἐκράτησαν, they laid hold of) They received with attention, and did not treat with neglect.— τί ἐστι, what is) They did not so much feel difficulty respecting the thesis [the position or conclusion], as they did respecting the hypothesis [the foundation or assumption on which the conclusion was made to rest]. [In fact, to those who had no idea that Christ must die, any discourse concerning His resurrection seemed out of place.—V. g.]


Verse 11

Mark 9:11. ὅτι λέγουσιν, they say) An interrogation by implication.(3) [ τρῶτον, first) before that the great and terrible day of the Lord shall come, Malachi 4:5. The disciples appear to have supposed, that it was to be on that day that the resurrection, even as of all the dead of every class, so also of Christ, since even He must die, would take place; and that it is for that reason the exceedingly long silence is imposed on them.—V. g.]


Verse 12

Mark 9:12. εἶπεν, told) In this discourse, Jesus acts as a president would in a discussion, allowing its just weight to the argument of the opponent, and then meeting it fully in His reply.— πρῶτον, first) This is construed with coming, ἐλθὼν, and with restoreth, ἀποκαθιστάνει, although in the preceding verse it is joined with come, ἐλθεῖν, only. For so also forty years is construed in a double connection, Hebrews 3:9 [Tempted and Saw My works forty years], 17 [was He grieved forty years].— ἀποκαθιστᾷ, restoreth) The present indefinite, as in Matthew 2:4.— καὶ πῶς, and how(4)) That is, the expectation of Elias as a restorer of all things, and the Scripture concerning the death of the Messiah, seems to you as not capable of standing together [seem irreconcileable]: but yet, for all that, they do stand together.— ἵνα, in order that) Because it was written, therefore He was bound to suffer.— ἐξουδενωθῇ, be set at nought) Isaiah 53:3. To reason, the restoration of all things seems not possibly compatible with this setting at nought.


Verse 13

Mark 9:13. ὅτι καὶ) καὶ, even.— αὐτῷ, to him) to Elias. See by all means Matthew 17:12.— καθὼς, even as) Refer this to is come. He intimates, that the coming of Elias rests, not upon the opinion of the Scribes, but on a prophecy of Scripture, which was less known to the disciples. Nor, however, is this not also to be referred to, they have done unto Him whatsoever, etc. For our Lord quickly followed after the forerunner; therefore the forerunner made room for Him, being quickly taken out of the way.


Verse 14

Mark 9:14. περὶ αὐτοὺς, about them) They were still labouring, though alone.


Verse 15

Mark 9:15. ἐξεθαμβήθη, were greatly amazed) They were affected by the glory, even though they knew not what had taken place on the mountain; comp. ch. Mark 10:32; Luke 19:11; also Exodus 4:14; Exodus 34:29-30. [you may readily perceive that there follows upon secret communion with God a greater leaning on the part of men towards you.—V. g.]— προστρέχοντες, running up to) eagerly.— ἠσπάζοντο, began saluting) with joy.


Verse 16

Mark 9:16. αὐτοὺς, them) This is not reciprocal in the present instance, but is to be referred to the disciples, Mark 9:14.


Verse 17

Mark 9:17. εἷς, one) Neither the Scribes nor the disciples were venturing to speak.


Verse 18

Mark 9:18. καταλάβῃ, he taketh him) The term [demoniacal] possession, seems too narrow to express the idea here.


Verse 20

Mark 9:20. ἰδὼν) Others read ἰδὸν, which is to be referred to πνεῦμα. Comp. Heupelii annot. on Mark, p. 230. ἰδὼν remains the established reading, i.e. the boy seeing Him, viz. Jesus: and the construction is conveniently analysed and explained by Hyperbaton,(5) and seeing Him and falling, etc.; wherein the straightway, etc., interrupts the construction the less violently, inasmuch as it is all the same as if he were to say, forthwith he was torn by the spirit. A similar figure of speech occurs, ch. Mark 3:17.


Verse 21

Mark 9:21. καὶ, and) Jesus acted wisely, in interposing a delay.


Verse 22

Mark 9:22. τὸ πῦρ) This noun is without a plural: otherwise, as ὕδατα, so πῦρα might have been said in this passage: but the place of the plural is supplied by the article.— ἵνα ἀπολέσῃ, that it might destroy) either because it was promising itself power even over the dead body of the possessed, or else lest it should be cast out by Jesus: for otherwise it would gladly have remained in a human body. It had not the power of itself to destroy a man without water or fire.


Verse 23

Mark 9:23. τὸ, εἰ δύνασαι πιστεῦσαι, this (the), if thou canst believe) The expression of the man, if Thou canst do anything, Mark 9:22, is given back in reply to him. The father seems to have been offended at the disciples; Mark 9:18, at the end. τὸ is nominative, and stands in apposition with, If thou canst believe. The predicate is the verb is, to be understood, as in Philippians 1:22. This, if thou canst believe, is the thing [the point at issue]: this is the question.— πάντα, all things) in antithesis to anything, in if Thou canst do anything, Mark 9:22.— τῷ πιστεύοντι, to him that believeth) Faith on the part of man, as an instrument, adapts itself to the Divine omnipotence, so as to receive, or even to act. [This is the dative of advantage.—V. g.]


Verse 24

Mark 9:24. βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ, help Thou mine unbelief) by removing mine unbelief or else by healing my son, even though I have not sufficient faith. Comp. the help, βοήθησον, Mark 9:22.


Verse 25

Mark 9:25. δὲ, but) Jesus everywhere avoided a din.— ἀκαθάρτωò— ἄλαλονκωφόν, unclean—dumb—deaf) The spirit made the wretched boy be so, or else even the spirit itself was so [unclean, dumb, and deaf].— ἐγὼ σοὶ ἐπιτάσσω, I charge thee) I, in antithesis to the disciples, who had not been able to cast out the demon: the disciples themselves say, we, Mark 9:28 [Why could not we cast him out?]. This illustrates the great power of the Lord. The spirit was only the more exasperated to fury by the inability of the disciples.— μήκετι, no more any longer) Those who in the beginning of life have undergone continued adversities, sometimes receive, as it were, a greater privilege as to the rest of their life.— εἰσέλθῃς, enter into) The spirit would have wished to enter again into him.


Verse 26

Mark 9:26. κράξαν, having cried) although it would have preferred, in the present case, to have been altogether dumb.— σπαράξαν, having rent) In the vouchsafing of the Divine aid, the body of man is not always handled softly. A violent going out was the sign of a more permanent deliverance.


Verse 27

Mark 9:27. ἤγειρεν, raised him up) A new part of the miracle.


Verse 28

Mark 9:28. ὅτι) למה LXX. render ὅτι, Isaiah 58:3; 1 Chronicles 17:6.


Verse 29

Mark 9:29. δύναται, can) That is, by no means can you cast out this class of enemies, save with the accompaniment of prayer and fasting.


Verse 30

Mark 9:30. παρεπορεύοντο, they were passing by) not through the cities, but going past [passing by] them.— οὐκ ἤθελεν, ἵνα τις γυῷ, He would not that any should know) Hence may be inferred the reason, why the Saviour sometimes forbade Himself to be spoken of abroad, whilst at other times He did not forbid it: Mark 9:31.(6)


Verse 31

Mark 9:31. ἐδίδασκεν, He was teaching) Not merely in a few words, which would be soon spoken, whilst they and He were retired apart; but according to a determined plan.— γὰρ, for) It was not the time, in which others [besides the disciples] could hear His words as to the passion of the Messiah.— παραδίδοται, is delivered up) The present: it is already being plotted [meditated] that He be delivered up. Comp. John 6:70-71.— ἀποκτανθεὶς, after having been killed) This word is emphatic: so [dependent on the event], if He shall be killed, He shall rise again.


Verse 32

Mark 9:32. ἐφοβοῦντο, They were afraid) They ask questions of Jesus more readily concerning anything whatever, Mark 9:28, than concerning Himself. So it generally happens, even among intimates.


Verse 33

Mark 9:33. ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ, in the house) A change having in some degree, simultaneously with the change of place, taken place in their state of feeling, which had been rather excited whilst in “the way.” [Comp. Matthew 18:1, note].— τί, what) We must render an account of all things.


Verse 34

Mark 9:34. ἐσιώπων, they were silent) A circumstance, which did not seem bad in itself at the time, appears in its true character such as it really is, when it is referred to the judgment of God and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.— μείζων, the greater) in virtue [or power] now; and therefore about to be the greater in dignity.


Verse 35

Mark 9:35. καθίσας, ἐφώνησε, τοὺς δώδεκα, sitting down, He called, the Twelve) solemnly.— ἔσχατοςδιάκονος, the last—servant) These two words differ. He who is the last is not by that very fact proved to be a servant. Therefore the ἔσται has rather this force, he ought to be, than, he shall be, by way of punishment. For a servant [minister] implies something of a voluntary character.


Verse 36

Mark 9:36. ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν, in the midst between Himself) and His disciples: as appears by comparing Luke 9:47, by Himself [He set the child by Him].— ἐναγκαλισάμενος, having embraced him in His arms) Symbolical of the intimate union between Him and such children. Comp. Mark 9:37; ch. Mark 10:16. By that very act He conferred grace on the little one [and how great was the sweetness, with which the child was thereby bedewed, is not hard to understand.—V. g.]. So dear to Him, doth He teach us, that the lowly are.


Verse 37

Mark 9:37. τῶν τοιούτων, of such) Little children; also those who are such in heart.— ἐμὲ, Me) Who “am lowly in heart.”— οὐκ ἐμὲ, not Me) That is, his act of reception does not terminate with this. [What a difference there is between a little child and the Supreme GOD! Yet they are joined together through Christ.—V. g.]


Verse 38

Mark 9:38. ἀπεκρίθη, answered) The connection of the words of John with the preceding words of Jesus is manifold. The power of the name of Christ is asserted in the words of both, Mark 9:37-38; Mark 9:41. The disciples had previously discussed with one another, which among them should be the greater: now they are made to perceive, by the teaching of our Lord’s words, that they are not even to despise others. If Christ, and faith in Him, has place in little children [of whom not even the one, of whom mention is made in Mark 9:36, was following Jesus.—V. g.], it might also have place in that person, whom they had forbidden. Hence there is manifested the moderation of John and his candour: he seems to have carried this doubt for some time in his breast, until he could, at a suitable opportunity, bring it forward.— ἡμῖνἡμῖν, us) The apostles, in subordination to Thee.


Verse 39

Mark 9:39. ΄ὴ κωλύετε, forbid him not) Let them give heed to these words, who tie down spiritual gifts to a canonical succession. Forbid not, if there should meet you again either that same person, or another like him.— ταχὺ, hastily) For the soul is secured against doing so by the sense of [His] miraculous power. [After the lapse of some interval of time, it may be possible to happen.—V. g.]


Verse 40

Mark 9:40. ὑμῶνὑμῶν, you—on your part) Comp. ver. foll., Matthew 12:27. Jesus spake in the first person plural as to external things; Luke 22:8; Luke 18:31 : but not so as to the internal principles of His kingdom [John 20:17]. He thus gently corrects the we-us of Mark 9:38.(7)ἔστιν, is) He is speaking of those who undertake something for Christ’s sake.


Verse 41

Mark 9:41. ὃς, who) Jesus, after that He has satisfied the reverently-proposed difficulty felt on the part of John, returns to the former subject.— γὰρ, for) All things are accepted, whereby help is ministered to you, even the smallest things.

[Mark 9:42. καὶ, and) After the reply has been given to John, the former discourse is continued. So Mark 9:42 coheres with Mark 9:37.—V. g.]— περίκειται, is hanged about) The present of the indicative has here an emphasis.


Verses 43-47

Mark 9:43; Mark 9:45; Mark 9:47. εἰσελθεῖν, to enter) Thrice put; to which there stands in antithesis, once, ἀπελθεῖν, to go away into hell, Mark 9:43; and twice, βληθῆναι, to be cast, Mark 9:45; Mark 9:47.— εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ ἄσβεστον, the fire that cannot be quenched) So Mark 9:45; and with a little variation, Mark 9:47.


Verses 44-48

Mark 9:44; Mark 9:46; Mark 9:48. ὁποῦ, where) A most weighty repetition. The allusion is to the carcases, which are the food either of worms, or of the funeral pile. The worm expresses corruption; but this corruption is eternal, 2 Thessalonians 1:9.— σκώληξ, the worm) Of the soul.— αὐτῶν, their) It is not expressed in Mark to what this word is to be referred. Therefore it is a quotation from Isaiah.(8)οὐ τελευτᾷ, dieth not) The present.— πῦρ, the fire) of the body. Here we are to supply αὐτῶν, their.— οὐ σβέννυται, is not quenched) Either because it surely [certo] blazes [is kindled]; comp. 2 Kings 22:17 : or because it blazes [burns] without rest day and night, Revelation 14:11; Revelation 20:10, and for ever; see the same passage. An alternation of torments, with respect to the degrees of torment, may be inferred from Isaiah 66:23-24 : but yet the torments shall be unceasing.(9)


Verse 47

Mark 9:47. βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, the kingdom of God) Previously He had twice said instead, life: but the mention of the kingdom of God, and of life, is especially appropriate in connection with the eyes. John 3:3 [see the kingdom of God], John 3:36 [everlasting life—not see life]: comp. the parallel, Matthew 18:9 [enter life with one eye].


Verse 49

Mark 9:49. πᾶς, every, all) Every [all] is here put without the noun being added. Some have supplied ἄρτος, bread; others, ἄνθρωπος, man. They seem to have felt, that it is hardly in accordance with usage, that πᾶς, all or every, should be put thus absolutely in the masculine. For where it seems to be put absolutely, the determining of the subject is left to be sought [gathered] from the predicate. Matthew 13:19, πάντος ἀκούοντος τὸν λόγον, when any (hearer) heareth the word, etc.; Luke 6:40, κατηρτισμένος δὲ πᾶς, κ. τ. λ., every (disciple) if he shall be perfected, shall be as his teacher; [Luke] Luke 16:16, πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται, every one, who employs violence, by the employment of violence enters into the kingdom of heaven: John 2:10, Every man (who hath a marriage-feast, and sets forth wine) sets forth first the good wine. Phrases of this kind are to be met everywhere. So in this passage, Every one, who shall be salted at all, shall surely be salted with fire. But we will explain the idea of the passage a little more fully. It stands in position midway between the words concerning the fire which is not quenched, and the words concerning salt and its goodness. There are therefore three degrees: to be salted with salt; to be salted with fire; to be cast into the fire that never shall be quenched. The first degree is the most desirable: the third is the most bitter of the three: the second is intermediate, corresponding with the third in the mention of the fire (which in this passage is more often spoken of by Homonymy, i.e., the calling of things that differ in nature by the same name by analogy [Append.], as in Matthew 3:10-12), whilst it has a closer correspondence with the first in the mention of the salting. Salting, which is a process most natural and suitable, is effected by means of salt: this salt implies the Divine discipline, gently training us to the denial of self, and to the cultivation of peace and harmony with others. They who are thus salted become thereby a sacrifice pleasing to God, the type of which [spiritual sacrifice] existed in the Levitical sacrifices; Leviticus 2:13. They who shrink from and evade the salting by salt, are salted by fire (for even salt has in it the power of burning, Deuteronomy 29:23; and again, in turn, that there is in natural fire the power also of salting, is shown even by flesh that is roasted; and in Plutarch, fire is said to be τῶν ἡδυσμάτων ἄριστον καὶ ἥδιστον, the best and sweetest of modes of sweetening or seasoning); i.e. according to what approaches most closely in analogy, they are salted by a Divine discipline of a severer kind, lest through the stumblingblock, occasioned by the hand, the foot, or the eye waxing stronger, they should go on to the fire that cannot be quenched. Therefore the connection and the idea of the passage stand thus: Without a moment’s delay, and casting aside all self-indulgence, meet and counteract the stumbling-block occasioned by the hand, the foot, or the eye; for otherwise it will thrust you on into hell, and hell’s eternal fire. For every one, who is about to be salted in any way, and who is by that salting to be snatched from the eternal fire, shall be salted, if not by salt, the milder remedy, but by fire, the more severe cure, yet still in this life [shall be so salted, not in the life to come]: and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt, which is a most lenient and excellent kind of salting. Therefore submit to [admit within you] and have this salt, so that, every stumbling-block [occasion of offence] having been laid aside, peace may flourish among you. You are certainly about [you are sure] to have to experience the salt and the fire: see that ye require to undergo [defungamini, perform] as lenient a salting as possible.— ἁλισθήσεται, shall be salted) The future: by which there is intimated the commandment as to the sacrifices of the Old Test, [which was couched in the future, Leviticus 2:13], as also their typical bearing in reference to the sacrifices of the New Test.— καὶ πᾶσα θυσία ἁλὶ ἁλισθήσεται) This is extant in Leviticus 2:13, καὶ πᾶν δῶρον θυσίας ὑμῶν ἁλὶ ἁλισθήσεται. Hence the sentiment in the former clause of the verse is inferred, πᾶς γὰρ πυρὶ ἁλισθ., which is more universal, inasmuch as the being salted with salt is now in fine added as if in the way of exception [qualification] to θυσίας, with the limitation standing in apposition [i.e. shall be salted with salt, in apposition to and qualifying the more universal, shall be salted with fire].


Verse 50

Mark 9:50. καλὸν, good) Salt. For all other foods are seasoned by it.— ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας, but if the salt) In this passage the disciples themselves are called “the salt,” inasmuch as being imbued [endued] with the salt themselves, and salting the world.— ἄναλον, saltless [insipid]) so as to have no pungency. Pride [referring to Mark 9:33-34, the dispute about who should be greatest] most especially makes men saltless [savourless].— αὐτὸ, itself [the very salt]) having lost its primary quality.— ἔχετε, have ye) To have ‘fire,’ is not within human ability: therefore it is not said, have fire. But he who is imbued with the fire is desired to have salt.— ἐν ἑαυτοῖς, in yourselves) In antithesis to, among one another, ἐν ἀλλήλοις. The former duty is in regard to ourselves; the second, towards others.— ἅλας) The singular, or else the plural from ἅλς. The salt is that of self-mortification, whereby pride is destroyed.— καὶ εἰρηνευετε, and have peace) or else, ye shall have: comp. Mark 9:34 : viz. by removing a puffed up spirit, which is the source of quarrels [Mark 9:33-34].

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Mark 9:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/mark-9.html. 1897.

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