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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Mark 2

Verse 1

It was noised [ηκουσθη] . Lit., It was heard. That he was in the house [οτι εις οικον εστιν] . The oti, that, is recitative, introducing the report in the direct form. It was reported - he is in the house ! The preposition in is literally into, carrying the idea of the motion preceding the stay in the house. "He has gone into the house, and is there." But the best texts read ejn oikw, in the house. The account of this rumor is peculiar to Mark. He preached [ελαλει] . Lit., spake, as Rev. Imperfect tense. He was speaking when the occurrence which follows took place.

Verse 3

Born of four. A detail peculiar to Mark.

Verse 4

Come nigh unto him [προσεγγισαι] . The word does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. But some read prosenegkai bring him unto him. So Rev., in margin.

They uncovered [απεστεγασαν] . The only use of the word in New Testament.

Broken it up [εξορυξαντες] . Lit., scooped it out. Very graphic and true to fact. A modern roof would be untiled or unshingled; but an oriental roof would have to be dug to make such an opening as was required. A composition of mortar, tar, ashes, and sand is spread upon the roofs, and rolled hard, and grass grows in the crevices. On the houses of the poor in the country the grass grows more freely, and goats may be seen on the roofs cropping it. In some cases, as in this, stone slabs are laid across the joists. See Luke 5:19, where it is said they let him down through the tiles; so that they would be obliged, not only to dig through the grass and earth, but also to pry up the tiles. Compare Psalms 79:6.

The bed [κραβαττον] . One of Mark's Latin words, grabatus, and condemned by the grammarians as inelegant. A rude pallet, merely a thickly padded quilt or mat, held at the corners, and requiring no cords to let it down. They could easily reach the roof by the steps on the outside, as the roof is low; or they could have gone into an adjoining house and passed along the roofs. Some suppose that the crowd was assembled in an upper chamber, which sometimes extended over the whole area of the house. It is not possible accurately to reproduce the details of the scene. Dr. Thomson says that Jesus probably stood in the lewan or reception - room, a hall which is entered from the court or street by an open arch; or he may have taken his stand in the covered court in front of the house itself, which usually has open arches on three sides, and the crowd was around and in front of him.

Verse 6

Reasoning [διαλογιζομενοι] . The word dialogue is derived from this, and the meaning literally is, that they held a dialogue with themselves.

Verse 8

Perceived [επιγνους] . The preposition ejpi gives the force of fully. He was not only immediately aware of their thought, but clearly and fully aware.

Verse 9

Walk [περιπατει] . Lit., walk about.

Verse 10

Power [εξουσιαν] ; or better, authority, as Rev., in margin. The word is derived from exesti, it is permitted or lawful. It combines the ideas of right and might. Authority or right is the dominant meaning in the New Testament.

Verse 13

Resorted - taught [ηρχετο - εδιδασκεν] . The imperfects are graphic - kept coming, kept teaching.

Verse 14

See on Matthew 9:9.

Verse 15

His house. Levi 's. See Luke 5:29.

Verse 16

Scribes and Pharisees. But the best texts read grammateiv twn Farisaiwn, scribes of the Pharisees. So Rev. Scribes belonging to the sect of the Pharisees. They had followed him into the hall where the company were seated. This hall answered to the k'hawah of Arabian houses, which is thus described by William Gifford Palgrave : "The k'hawah was a long, oblong hall about twenty feet in height, fifty in length, and sixteen or thereabouts in breadth. The walls were covered in a rudely decorative manner with brown and white wash, and sunk here and there into small triangular recesses, destined to the reception of books, lamps, and other such like objects. The roof was of timber, and flat; the floor was strewn with fine, clean sand, and garnished all round alongside of the walls with long strips of carpet, upon which cushions, covered with faded silk, were disposed at suitable intervals. In poorer houses, felt rugs usually take the place of carpets" (" Central and Eastern Arabia ").

Verse 17

They that are whole [οι ισχυοντες] . Lit., they that are strong. See on Luke 14:30, was not able; and 2 Peter 2:11, power.

No need. The Greek order throws the emphasis on these words : No need have they that are strong of a physician. Wyc., Whole men have no need to a leech, but they that have evil.

Verse 18

And of the Pharisees. But the of is wrong. Read as Rev., John's disciples and the Pharisees. Used to fast [ησαν νηστευοντες] . The A. V. refers to the fact as a custom; but Mark means that they were observing a fast at that time. Hence the use of the participle with the finite verb. Rev., correctly, were fasting. The threefold repetition of the word fast is characteristic of Mark. See Introduction.

Verse 19

Children of the bride - chamber [υιοι του νυμφωνος] . More correctly as Rev., sons. It is noteworthy that Christ twice uses a figure drawn from marriage in his allusions to John the Baptist, the ascetic. Compare John 3:29. The sons of the bride - chamber are different from the groomsmen. They are the guests invited to the bridal. The scene is laid in Galilee, where groomsmen were not customary, as in Judaea. Hence there is no mention of them in the account of the marriage at Cana. In Judaea there were at every marriage two groomsmen or friends of the bridegroom. See on John 3:29.

Verse 20

Then - in those days. The proper reading is ejn ejkeinh, in that day. So Rev. Another of Mark's double expressions : then - in that day.

Verse 21

Seweth [επιρραπτει] . A word found in Mark only. Matthew (ix. 16) and Luke (v. 36) use ejpiballei, throweth upon, as we speak of clapping a patch upon.

Verse 23

He went [αυτον παραπορευεσθαι] . Lit., went along beside, along the stretches of standing grain. Matthew and Luke use dia, through, as Mark does, but not para.

Began, as they went, to pluck [ηρξαντο οδον ποιειν τιλλοντες] . Lit., began to make a way plucking the ears. This does not mean that the disciples broke a way for themselves through the standing corn by plucking the ears, for in that event they would have been compelled to break down the stalks. They could not have made a way by plucking the heads of the grain. Mark, who uses Latin forms, probably adopted here the phrase iter facere, to make a way, which is simply to go. The same idiom occurs in the Septuagint, Jude 1:17:8; poihsai oJdon, as he journeyed. The offense given the Pharisees was the preparation of food on the Sabbath. Matthew says to eat, stating the motive, and Luke, rubbing with their hands, describing the act. See on Matthew 12:2. The Rev. rightly retains the rendering of the A. V.

Verse 25

Had need. Mark adds this to the was an hungered, which is in both Matthew and Luke. The analogy lay in the necessity. The had need is generic; the was hungry is specific, describing the peculiar character of the need.

Verse 26

The shewbread [τους αρτους της προθεσεως] . Lit., the loaves of proposition, i e., the loaves which were set forth before the Lord. The Jews called them the loaves of the face, i e., of the presence of God. The bread was made of the finest wheaten flour that had been passed through eleven sieves. There were twelve loaves, or cakes, according to the number of tribes, ranged in two piles of six each. Each cake was made of about five pints of wheat. They were anointed in the middle with oil, in the form of a cross. According to tradition, each cake was five hand - breadths broad and ten long, but turned up at either end, two hand - breadths on each side, to resemble in outline the ark of the covenant. The shewbread was prepared on Friday, unless that day happened to be a feast - day that required sabbatical rest; in which case it was prepared on Thursday afternoon. The renewal of the shewbread was the first of the priestly functions on the commencement of the Sabbath. The bread which was taken off was deposited on the golden table in the porch of the sanctuary, and distributed among the outgoing and incoming courses of priests (compare save for the priests). It was eaten during the Sabbath, and in the temple itself, but only by such priests as were Levitically pure. This old bread, removed on the Sabbath morning, was that which David ate.

Verse 27

For man [δια] . On account of, or for the sake of. This saying is given by Mark only.

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The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Mark 2". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/vnt/mark-2.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.