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Sunday, October 1st, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
Mark 1

Vincent's Word StudiesVincent's Studies

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Verse 1

Beginning (á̓ñ÷ç̀)

without the article, showing that the expression is a kind of title. It is 'the beginning, not of his book, but of the facts of the Gospel. He shows from the prophets that the Gospel was to begin by the sending forth of a forerunner.

Verse 3

A voice (öùíç̀)

No article as A. V. and Rev., “the voice.” It has a sort of exclamatory force. Listening, the prophet exclaims, Lo! a voice.

Verse 4

John did baptize (å̓ãǻíåôï É̓ùá́ííçò ï̔ âáðôé́æùí)

Baptism of repentance (âá́ðôéóìá ìåôáíïé́áò)

Verse 5

There went out (ἐξεπορεύετο)

The river

See on Mat 3:6.

Verse 6

With camels' hair (τρίχας καμήλου)

Verse 7

To stoop down

Compare to bear; Matthew 3:11.

Verse 10


Verse 11

Thou art my beloved son

Verse 12

Driveth him (ἐκβάλλει)

The place is unknown. Tradition fixes it near Jericho, in the neighborhood of the Quarantania, the precipitous face of which is pierced with ancient cells and chapels, and a ruined church is on its topmost peak. Dr. Tristram says that every spring a few devout Abyssinian Christians are in the habit of coming and remaining here for forty days, to keep their Lent on the spot where they suppose that our Lord fasted and was tempted.

Verse 13

With the wild beasts

Peculiar to Mark. The region just alluded to abounds in boars, jackals, wolves, foxes, leopards, hyenas, etc.

Verse 15

The time (ὁ καιρὸς)

Verse 16

Casting a net (ἀμφιβάλλοντας)

Verse 17

To become (ãåíǻóèáé)

An addition of Mark.

Verse 19

A little farther

See on Mat 4:21.

Verse 20

With the hired servants

Peculiar to Mark. It may imply that Zebedee carried on his business on a larger scale than ordinary fishermen.

Verse 22

He taught (ç̓͂í äéäá́óêùí)

Verse 23


With an unclean spirit (å̓í ðíåṍìáôé á̓êáèá́ñôùͅ)

Verse 24


The Holy One of God

Verse 25

Hold thy peace (φιμώθητι)

Lit., be muzzled or gagged See on Mat 22:12.

Verse 26

Had torn (óðáñá́îáí)

Rev., tearing, convulsions in margin. Luke has had thrown him down in the midst. Mark adds the crying out with a loud voice.

Verse 27

They questioned among themselves (óõíæçôåé͂í ðñï̀ò å̔áõôïõ̀ò)

Verse 30

Lay sick of a fever (êáôǻêåéôï ðõñǻóóïõóá)

Verse 32

At even, when the sun did set

See on Mat 4:23, 24.

Verse 33

All the city was gathered together at the door

Peculiar to Mark.

Verse 34

Devils (δαιμόνια)

We have seen that, in Homer, the bad sense of δαιμόνοις is the prevailing one. In the tragedians, also, δαίμων, though used both of good and bad fortune, occurs more frequently in the latter sense, and toward this sense the word gravitates more and more. The undertone of Greek thought, which tended to regard no man happy until he had escaped from life (see on Mat 5:3, blessed), naturally imparted a gloomy and forbidding character to those who were supposed to allot the destinies of life.

In classical Greek it is noticeable that the abstract τὸ δαιμόνιον fell into the background behind δαίμων, with the development in the latter of the notion of a fate or genius connected with each individual, as the demon of Socrates; while in biblical Greek the process is the reverse, this doctrine being rejected for that of an overruling personal providence, and the strange gods, “obscure to human knowledge and alien to human life,” taking the abstract term uniformly in an evil sense.

Empedocles, a Greek philosopher, of Sicily, developed Hesiod's distinction; making the demons of a mixed nature between gods and men, not only the link between the two, but having an agency and disposition of their own; not immortal, but long-lived, and subject to the passions and propensities of men. While in Hesiod the demons are all good, according to Empedocles they are both bad and good. This conception relieved the gods of the responsibility for proceedings unbecoming the divine nature. The enormities which the older myths ascribed directly to the gods - thefts, rapes, abductions - were the doings of bad demons. It also saved the credit of the old legends, obviating the necessity of pronouncing either that the gods were unworthy or the legends untrue. “Yet, though devised for the purpose of satisfying a more scrupulous religious sensibility, it was found inconvenient afterward when assailants arose against paganism generally. For while it abandoned as indefensible a large portion of what had once been genuine faith, it still retained the same word demons with an entirely altered signification. The Christian writers in their controversies found ample warrant among the earlier pagan authors for treating all the gods as demons; and not less ample warrant among the later pagans for denouncing the demons generally as evil beings” (Grote, “History of Greece”).

This evil sense the words always bear in the New Testament as well as in the Septuagint. Demons are synonymous with unclean spirits (Mark 5:12, Mark 5:15; Mark 3:22, Mark 3:30; Luke 4:33). They appear in connection with Satan (Luke 10:17, Luke 10:18; Luke 11:18, Luke 11:19); they are put in opposition to the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:20, 1 Corinthians 10:21); to the faith (1 Timothy 4:1). They are connected with idolatry (Revelation 9:20; Revelation 16:13, Revelation 16:14). They are special powers of evil, influencing and disturbing the physical, mental, and moral being (Luke 13:11, Luke 13:16; Mark 5:2-5; Mark 7:25; Matthew 12:45).

Verse 35

A great while before day (å̓́ííõ÷á)

Lit., while it was in the night. The word is peculiar to Mark.

Verse 36

Followed after (êáôåäé́ùîáí)

Verse 37


All the people of Capernaum, all are seeking thee. The continuous present tense. So Rev., better than A. V. The all is peculiar to Mark.

Verse 38

Towns (êùìïðḯëåéò)

Lit., village-towns, suburban towns.

Verse 41

Moved with compassion

Only Mark.

Verse 43

Strictly charged (å̓ìâñéìçóá́ìåíïò)

Rev., sternly, in margin. The word is originally to snort, as of mettlesome horses. Hence, to fret, or chafe, or be otherwise strongly moved; and then, as a result of this feeling, to admonish or rebuke urgently. The Lord evidently spoke to him peremptorily. Compare sent him out (å̓îǻâáëåí); lit., drove or cast him out. The reason for this charge and dismissal lay in the desire of Jesus not to thwart his ministry by awaking the premature violence of his enemies; who, if they should see the leper and hear his story before he had been officially pronounced clean by the priest, might deny either that he had been a leper or had been truly cleansed.

Verse 45

The city

Properly, as Rev., a city; any city.

Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Mark 1". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/vnt/mark-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.
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