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Chapter 6

6:1 Into his own country [eis tēn patrida autou]. So Mt 13:54. There is no real reason for identifying this visit to Nazareth with that recorded in Lu 4:26-31 at the beginning of the Galilean Ministry. He was rejected both times, but it is not incongruous that Jesus should give Nazareth a second chance. It was only natural for Jesus to visit his mother, brothers, and sisters again. Neither Mark nor Matthew mention Nazareth here by name, but it is plain that by [patrida] the region of Nazareth is meant. He had not lived in Bethlehem since his birth.

6:2 Began to teach [ērxato didaskein]. As was now his custom in the synagogue on the sabbath. The ruler of the synagogue [archisunagōgos], see Mt 5:22) would ask some one to speak whensoever he wished. The reputation of Jesus all over Galilee opened the door for him. Jesus may have gone to Nazareth for rest, but could not resist this opportunity for service. Whence hath this man these things? [Pothen toutōi tauta;]. Laconic and curt, Whence these things to this fellow? With a sting and a fling in their words as the sequel shows. They continued to be amazed [exeplēssonto], imperfect tense passive). They challenge both the apparent wisdom [sophia] with which he spoke and the mighty works or powers [hai dunameis] such as those [toiautai] coming to pass [ginomenai], present middle participle, repeatedly wrought) by his hands [dia tōn cheirōn]. They felt that there was some hocus-pocus about it somehow and somewhere. They do not deny the wisdom of his words, nor the wonder of his works, but the townsmen knew Jesus and they had never suspected that he possessed such gifts and graces.

6:3 Is not this the carpenter? [Ouch houtos estin ho tektōn;]. Mt 13:55 calls him “the carpenter’s son” [ho tou tektonos huios]. He was both. Evidently since Joseph’s death he had carried on the business and was “the carpenter” of Nazareth. The word [tektōn] comes from [tekein, tiktō], to beget, create, like [technē] (craft, art). It is a very old word, from Homer down. It was originally applied to the worker in wood or builder with wood like our carpenter. Then it was used of any artisan or craftsman in metal, or in stone as well as in wood and even of sculpture. It is certain that Jesus worked in wood. Justin Martyr speaks of ploughs, yokes, et cetera, made by Jesus. He may also have worked in stone and may even have helped build some of the stone synagogues in Galilee like that in Capernaum. But in Nazareth the people knew him, his family (no mention of Joseph), and his trade and discounted all that they now saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears. This word carpenter “throws the only flash which falls on the continuous tenor of the first thirty years from infancy to manhood, of the life of Christ” (Farrar). That is an exaggeration for we have Lu 2:41-50 and “as his custom was” (Lu 4:16), to go no further. But we are grateful for Mark’s realistic use of [tektōn] here. And they were offended in him [kai eskandalizonto en autōi]. So exactly Mt 13:56, were made to stumble in him, trapped like game by the [skandalon] because they could not explain him, having been so recently one of them. “The Nazarenes found their stumbling block in the person or circumstances of Jesus. He became—[petra skandalou] (1Pe 2:7, 8; Ro 9:33) to those who disbelieved” (Swete). Both Mark and Mt 13:57, which see, preserve the retort of Jesus with the quotation of the current proverb about a prophet’s lack of honour in his own country. Joh 4:44 quoted it from Jesus on his return to Galilee long before this. It is to be noted that Jesus here makes a definite claim to being a prophet [prophētēs], forspeaker for God), a seer. He was much more than this as he had already claimed to be Messiah (Joh 4:26; Lu 4:21), the Son of man with power of God (Mr 1:10; Mt 9:6; Lu 5:24), the Son of God (Joh 5:22). They stumble at Jesus today as the townspeople of Nazareth did. In his own house [en tēi oikiāi autou]. Also in Mt 13:57. This was the saddest part of it all, that his own brothers in his own home disbelieved his Messianic claims (Joh 7:5). This puzzle was the greatest of all.

6:6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief [kai ethaumasen dia tēn apistian autōn]. Aorist tense, but Westcott and Hort put the imperfect in the margin. Jesus had divine knowledge and accurate insight into the human heart, but he had human limitations in certain things that are not clear to us. He marvelled at the faith of the Roman centurion where one would not expect faith (Mt 8:10; Lu 7:9). Here he marvels at the lack of faith where he had a right to expect it, not merely among the Jews, but in his own home town, among his kinspeople, even in his own home. One may excuse Mary, the mother of Jesus, from this unbelief, puzzled, as she probably was, by his recent conduct (Mr 3:21,31). There is no proof that she ever lost faith in her wonderful Son. He went round about the villages teaching [periēgen tās kōmas kuklōi didaskōn]. A good illustration of the frequent poor verse division. An entirely new paragraph begins with these words, the third tour of Galilee. They should certainly be placed with verse 7. The Revised Version would be justified if it had done nothing else than give us paragraphs according to the sense and connection. “Jesus resumes the role of a wandering preacher in Galilee” (Bruce). Imperfect tense, [periēgen].

6:7 By two and two [duo duo]. This repetition of the numeral instead of the use of [ana duo] or [kata duo] is usually called a Hebraism. The Hebrew does have this idiom, but it appears in Aeschylus and Sophocles, in the vernacular Koinē (Oxyrhynchus Papyri No. 121), in Byzantine Greek, and in modern Greek (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, pp. 122f.). Mark preserves the vernacular Koinē better than the other Gospels and this detail suits his vivid style. The six pairs of apostles could thus cover Galilee in six different directions. Mark notes that he “began to send them forth” [ērxato autous apostellein]. Aorist tense and present infinitive. This may refer simply to this particular occasion in Mark’s picturesque way. But the imperfect tense [edidou] means he kept on giving them all through the tour, a continuous power (authority) over unclean spirits singled out by Mark as representing “all manner of diseases and all manner of sickness” (Mt 10:1), “to cure diseases” [iasthai], Lu 9:1), healing power. They were to preach and to heal (Lu 9:1; Mt 10:7). Mark does not mention preaching as a definite part of the commission to the twelve on this their first preaching tour, but he does state that they did preach (6:12). They were to be missioners or missionaries [apostellein] in harmony with their office [apostoloi].

6:7 Save a staff only [ei mē rabdon monon]. Every traveller and pilgrim carried his staff. Bruce thinks that Mark has here preserved the meaning of Jesus more clearly than Mt 10:10 (nor staff) and Lu 9:3 (neither staff). This discrepancy has given trouble to commentators. Grotius suggests no second staff for Matthew and Luke. Swete considers that Matthew and Luke report “an early exaggeration of the sternness of the command.” “Without even a staff is the ne plus ultra of austere simplicity, and self-denial. Men who carry out the spirit of these precepts will not labour in vain” (Bruce).

6:9 Shod with sandals [hupodedemenous sandalia]. Perfect passive participle in the accusative case as if with the infinitive [poreuesthai] or [poreuthēnai], (to go). Note the aorist infinitive middle, [endusasthai] (text of Westcott and Hort), but [endusēsthe] (aorist middle subjunctive) in the margin. Change from indirect to direct discourse common enough, not necessarily due to “disjointed notes on which the Evangelist depended” (Swete). Mt 10:10 has “nor shoes” [mēde hupodēmata], possibly preserving the distinction between “shoes” and “sandals” (worn by women in Greece and by men in the east, especially in travelling). But here again extra shoes may be the prohibition. See on Mt 10:10 for this. Two coats [duo chitōnas]. Two was a sign of comparative wealth (Swete). The mention of “two” here in all three Gospels probably helps us to understand that the same thing applies to shoes and staff. “In general, these directions are against luxury in equipment, and also against their providing themselves with what they could procure from the hospitality of others” (Gould).

6:10 There abide [ekei menete]. So also Mt 10:11; Lu 9:4. Only Matthew has city or village (10:11), but he mentions house in verse 12. They were to avoid a restless and dissatisfied manner and to take pains in choosing a home. It is not a prohibition against accepting invitations.

6:11 For a testimony unto them [eis marturion autois]. Not in Matthew. Lu 9:5 has “for a testimony against them” [eis marturion epi autous]. The dative [autois] in Mark is the dative of disadvantage and really carries the same idea as [epi] in Luke. The dramatic figure of shaking out [ektinaxate], effective aorist imperative, Mark and Matthew), shaking off [apotinassete], present imperative, Luke).

6:12 Preached that men should repent [ekēruxan hina metanoōsin]. Constative aorist [ekēruxan], summary description. This was the message of the Baptist (Mt 3:2) and of Jesus (Mr 1:15).

6:13 They cast out many demons and they anointed with oil [exeballon kai ēleiphon elaiōi]. Imperfect tenses, continued repetition. Alone in Mark. This is the only example in the N.T. of [aleiphō elaiōi] used in connection with healing save in Jas 5:14. In both cases it is possible that the use of oil (olive oil) as a medicine is the basis of the practice. See Lu 10:34 for pouring oil and wine upon the wounds. It was the best medicine of the ancients and was used internally and externally. It was employed often after bathing. The papyri give a number of examples of it. The only problem is whether [aleiphō] in Mark and James is used wholly in a ritualistic and ceremonial sense or partly as medicine and partly as a symbol of divine healing. The very word [aleiphō] can be translated rub or anoint without any ceremony. “Traces of a ritual use of the unction of the sick appear first among Gnostic practices of the second century” (Swete). We have today, as in the first century, God and medicine. God through nature does the real healing when we use medicine and the doctor.

6:14 Heard [ēkousen]. This tour of Galilee by the disciples in pairs wakened all Galilee, for the name of Jesus thus became known [phaneron] or known till even Herod heard of it in the palace. “A palace is late in hearing spiritual news” (Bengel). Therefore do these powers work in him [dia touto energousin hai dunameis en autōi]. “A snatch of Herod’s theology and philosophy” (Morison). John wrought no miracles (Joh 10:41), but if he had risen from the dead perhaps he could. So Herod may have argued. “Herod’s superstition and his guilty conscience raised this ghost to plague him” (Gould). Our word energy is this same Greek word here used [energousin]. It means at work. Miraculous powers were at work in Jesus whatever the explanation. This all agreed, but they differed widely as to his personality, whether Elijah or another of the prophets or John the Baptist. Herod was at first much perplexed [diēporei], Lu 9:7 and Mr 6:20).

6:16 John, whom I beheaded [hon ego apekephalisa Iōanēn]. His fears got the best of him and so Herod settled down on this nightmare. He could still see that charger containing John’s head coming towards him in his dreams. The late verb [apokephalizō] means to cut off the head. Herod had ordered it done and recognizes his guilt.

6:17 For Herod himself [Autos gar ho Hērōidēs]. Mark now proceeds to give the narrative of the death of John the Baptist some while before these nervous fears of Herod. But this post eventum narrative is very little out of the chronological order. The news of John’s death at Machaerus may even have come at the close of the Galilean tour. “The tidings of the murder of the Baptist seem to have brought the recent circuit to an end” (Swete). The disciples of John “went and told Jesus. Now when Jesus heard it, he withdrew from thence in a boat” (Mt 14:12f.). See on Mt 14:3-12 for the discussion about Herod Antipas and John and Herodias.

6:17 Thy brother’s wife [tēn gunaika tou adelphou]. While the brother was alive (Le 18:16; 20:21). After a brother’s death it was often a duty to marry his widow.

6:19 And Herodias set herself against him [Hē de Hērōidias eneichen autōi]. Dative of disadvantage. Literally, had it in for him. This is modern slang, but is in exact accord with this piece of vernacular Koinē. No object of [eichen] is expressed, though [orgēn] or [cholon] may be implied. The tense is imperfect and aptly described the feelings of Herodias towards this upstart prophet of the wilderness who had dared to denounce her private relations with Herod Antipas. Gould suggests that she “kept her eye on him” or kept up her hostility towards him. She never let up, but bided her time which, she felt sure, would come. See the same idiom in Ge 49:23. She desired to kill him [ēthelen auton apokteinai]. Imperfect again. And she could not [kai ouk ēdunato]. [Kai] here has an adversative sense, but she could not. That is, not yet. “The power was wanting, not the will” (Swete).

6:20 Feared John [ephobeito ton Iōanēn]. Imperfect tense, continual state of fear. He feared John and also Herodias. Between the two Herod vacillated. He knew him to be righteous and holy [dikaion kai hagion] and so innocent of any wrong. So he kept him safe [sunetērei]. Imperfect tense again. Late Greek verb. From the plots and schemes of Herodias. She was another Jezebel towards John and with Herod. Much perplexed [polla ēporei]. This the correct text not [polla epoiei], did many things. Imperfect tense again. He heard him gladly [hēdeōs ēkouen]. Imperfect tense again. This is the way that Herod really felt when he could slip away from the meshes of Herodias. These interviews with the Baptist down in the prison at Machaerus during his occasional visits there braced “his jaded mind as with a whiff of fresh air” (Swete). But then he saw Herodias again and he was at his wits’ end [ēporei], lose one’s way, [a] privative and [poros], way), for he knew that he had to live with Herodias with whom he was hopelessly entangled.

6:21 When a convenient day was come [genomenēs hēmeras eukairou]. Genitive absolute. A day well appointed [eu], well, [kairos], time) for the purpose, the day for which she had long waited. She had her plans all laid to spring a trap for her husband Herod Antipas and to make him do her will with the Baptist. Herod was not to know that he was the mere catspaw of Herodias till it was all over. See on Mt 14:6 for discussion of Herod’s birthday [genesiois], locative case or associative instrumental of time). Made a supper [deipnon epoiēsen]. Banquet. To his lords [tois megistāsin autou]. From [megistan] (that from [megas], great), common in the LXX and later Greek. Cf. Re 6:15; 18:23. In the papyri. The grandees, magnates, nobles, the chief men of civil life. The high captains [tois chiliarchois]. Military tribunes, commanders of a thousand men. The chief men of Galilee [tois prōtois tēs Galilaias]. The first men of social importance and prominence. A notable gathering that included these three groups at the banquet on Herod’s birthday.

6:22 The daughter of Herodias herself [tēs thugatros autēs Hērōidiados]. Genitive absolute again. Some ancient manuscripts read [autou] (his, referring to Herod Antipas. So Westcott and Hort) instead of [autēs] (herself). In that case the daughter of Herodias would also have the name Herodias as well as Salome, the name commonly given her. That is quite possible in itself. It was toward the close of the banquet, when all had partaken freely of the wine, that Herodias made her daughter come in and dance [eiselthousēs kai orchēsamenēs] in the midst (Matthew). “Such dancing was an almost unprecedented thing for women of rank, or even respectability. It was mimetic and licentious, and performed by professionals” (Gould). Herodias stooped thus low to degrade her own daughter like a common [hetaira] in order to carry out her set purpose against John. She pleased Herod and them that sat at meat [ēresen Hērōidēi kai tois sunanakeimenois]. The maudlin group lounging on the divans were thrilled by the licentious dance of the half-naked princess. Whatsoever thou wilt [ho ean thelēis] The drunken Tetrarch had been caught in the net of Herodias. It was a public promise.

6:23 And he sware unto her [kai ōmosen autēi]. The girl was of marriageable age though called [korasion] (cf. Es 2:9). Salome was afterward married to Philip the Tetrarch. The swaggering oath to the half of the kingdom reminds one of Es 5:3f., the same oath made to Esther by Ahasuerus.

6:24 What shall I ask? [Ti aitēsōmai;]. The fact that she went and spoke to her mother proves that she had not been told beforehand what to ask. Mt 14:7 does not necessarily mean that, but he simply condenses the account. The girl’s question implies by the middle voice that she is thinking of something for herself. She was no doubt unprepared for her mother’s ghastly reply.

6:25 Straightway with haste [euthus meta spoudēs]. Before the king’s rash mood passed and while he was still under the spell of the dancing princess. Herodias knew her game well. See on Mt 14:8f.

6:26 He would not reject her [ouk ēthelēsen athetēsai autēn]. He was caught once again between his conscience and his environment. Like many since his day the environment stifled his conscience.

6:27 A soldier of his guard [spekoulatora]. Latin word speculator. A spy, scout, lookout, and often executioner. It was used of the bodyguard of the Roman emperor and so for one of Herod’s spies. He was used to do errands of this sort and it was soon done. It was a gruesome job, but he soon brought John’s head to the damsel, apparently in the presence of all, and she took it to her mother. This miserable Tetrarch, the slave of Herodias, was now the slave of his fears. He is haunted by the ghost of John and shudders at the reports of the work of Jesus.

6:29 His corpse [to ptōma autou]. See on Mt 24:28. It was a mournful time for the disciples of John. “They went and told Jesus” (Mt 14:12). What else could they do?

6:30 And the apostles gather themselves together unto Jesus [kai sunagontai hoi apostoloi pros ton Iēsoun]. Vivid historical present. All things whatsoever they had done and whatsoever they had taught [panta hosa epoiēsan kai hosa edidaxan]. Not past perfect in the Greek, just the aorist indicative, constative aorist that summed it all up, the story of this their first tour without Jesus. And Jesus listened to it all (Lu 9:10). He was deeply concerned in the outcome.

6:31 Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place and rest awhile [Deute humeis autoi kat’ idian eis erēmon topon kai anapauesthe oligon]. It was plain that they were over-wrought and excited and needed refreshment [anapauesthe], middle voice, refresh yourselves, “rest up” literally). This is one of the needed lessons for all preachers and teachers, occasional change and refreshment. Even Jesus felt the need of it. They had no leisure so much as to eat [oude phagein eukairoun]. Imperfect tense again. Crowds were coming and going. Change was a necessity.

6:32 And they went away in a boat [kai apēlthon en tōi ploiōi]. They accepted with alacrity and off they went.

6:33 Outwent them [proēlthon autous]. The crowds were not to be outdone. They recognized [egnōsan] Jesus and the disciples and ran around the head of the lake on foot [pezēi] and got there ahead of Jesus and were waiting for Him when the boat came.

6:34 They were as sheep not having a shepherd [ēsan hōs probata mē echonta poimena]. Matthew has these words in another context (Mt 9:26), but Mark alone has them here. [] is the usual negative for the participle in the Koinē. These excited and exciting people (Bruce) greatly needed teaching. Mt 14:14 mentions healing as does Lu 9:11 (both preaching and healing). But a vigorous crowd of runners would not have many sick. The people had plenty of official leaders but these rabbis were for spiritual matters blind leaders of the blind. Jesus had come over for rest, but his heart was touched by the pathos of this situation. So “he began to teach them many things” [ērxato didaskein autous polla]. Two accusatives with the verb of teaching and the present tense of the infinitive. He kept it up.

6:35 When the day was now far spent [ēdē hōras pollēs genomenēs]. Genitive absolute. [Hōra] used here for day-time (so Mt 14:15) as in Polybius and late Greek. Much day-time already gone. Lu 9:12 has it began to incline [klinein] or wear away. It was after 3 P.M., the first evening. Note second evening or sunset in Mr 6:47; Mt 14:23; Joh 6:16. The turn of the afternoon had come and sunset was approaching. The idiom is repeated at the close of the verse. See on Mt 14:15.

6:36 Into the country and villages round about [eis tous kuklōi agrous kai kōmas]. The fields [agrous] were the scattered farms (Latin, villae). The villages [kōmas] may have included Bethsaida Julias not far away (Lu 9:10). The other Bethsaida was on the Western side of the lake (Mr 6:45). Somewhat to eat [ti phagōsin]. Literally, what to eat, what they were to eat. Deliberative subjunctive retained in the indirect question.

6:37 Go and see [hupagete idete]. John says that Jesus asked Philip to find out what food they had (Joh 6:5f.) probably after the disciples had suggested that Jesus send the crowd away as night was coming on (Mr 6:35f.). On this protest to his command that they feed the crowds (Mr 6:37; Mt 14:16; Lu 9:13) Jesus said “Go see” how many loaves you can get hold of. Then Andrew reports the fact of the lad with five barley loaves and two fishes (Joh 6:8f.). They had suggested before that two hundred pennyworth [dēnariōn diakosiōn]. See on Mt 18:28) was wholly inadequate and even that (some thirty-five dollars) was probably all that or even more than they had with them. John’s Gospel alone tells of the lad with his lunch which his mother had given him.

6:39 By companies [sumposia sumposia]. Distribution expressed by repetition as in Mr 6:7 [duo duo] instead of using [ana] or [kata]. Literally our word symposium and originally a drinking party, Latin convivium, then the party of guests of any kind without the notion of drinking. So in Plutarch and the LXX (especially I Macca.). Upon the green grass [epi tōi chlōrōi chortōi]. Another Markan touch. It was passover time (Joh 6:4) and the afternoon sun shone upon the orderly groups upon the green spring grass. See on Mt 14:15. They may have been seated like companies at tables, open at one end.

6:40 They sat down in ranks [anepesan prasiai prasiai]. They half-way reclined [anaklithēnai], verse 39). Fell up here (we have to say fell down), the word [anepesan] means. But they were arranged in groups by hundreds and by fifties and they looked like garden beds with their many-coloured clothes which even men wore in the Orient. Then again Mark repeats the word, [prasiai prasiai], in the nominative absolute as in verse 39 instead of using [ana] or [kata] with the accusative for the idea of distribution. Garden beds, garden beds. Peter saw and he never forgot the picture and so Mark caught it. There was colour as well as order in the grouping. There were orderly walks between the rows on rows of men reclining on the green grass. The grass is not green in Palestine much of the year, mainly at the passover time. So here the Synoptic Gospels have an indication of more than a one-year ministry of Jesus (Gould). It is still one year before the last passover when Jesus was crucified.

6:41 Brake the loaves; and he gave to the disciples [kai apo tōn ichthuōn]. Apparently the fishes were in excess of the twelve baskets full of broken pieces of bread. See on Mt 14:20 for discussion of [kophinos] and [sphuris], the two kinds of baskets.

6:44 Men [andres]. Men as different from women as in Mt 14:21. This remarkable miracle is recorded by all Four Gospels, a nature miracle that only God can work. No talk about accelerating natural processes will explain this miracle. And three eyewitnesses report it: the Logia of Matthew, the eyes of Peter in Mark, the witness of John the Beloved Disciple (Gould). The evidence is overwhelming.

6:45 To Bethsaida [pros Bēthsaidan]. This is Bethsaida on the Western side, not Bethsaida Julias on the Eastern side where they had just been (Lu 9:10). While he himself sendeth the multitude away [heōs autos apoluei ton ochlon]. Mt 14:22 has it “till he should send away” [heōs hou apolusēi] with the aorist subjunctive of purpose. Mark with the present indicative [apoluei] pictures Jesus as personally engaged in persuading the crowds to go away now. Joh 6:41f. explains this activity of Jesus. The crowds had become so excited that they were in the mood to start a revolution against the Roman government and proclaim Jesus king. He had already forced in reality the disciples to leave in a boat to go before him [proagein] in order to get them out of this atmosphere of overwrought excitement with a political twist to the whole conception of the Messianic Kingdom. They were in grave danger of being swept off their feet and falling heedlessly into the Pharisaic conception and so defeating the whole teaching and training of Jesus with them. See on Mt 14:22,23. To this pass things had come one year before the Crucifixion. He had done his best to help and bless the crowds and lost his chance to rest. No one really understood Jesus, not the crowds, not the disciples. Jesus needed the Father to stay and steady him. The devil had come again to tempt him with world dominion in league with the Pharisees, the populace, and the devil in the background.

6:47 When even was come [opsias genomenēs]. The second or late evening, six P.M. at this season, or sunset on. He alone on the land [kai autos monos ēpi tēs gēs]. Another Markan touch. Jesus had come down out of the mountain where he had prayed to the Father. He is by the sea again in the late twilight. Apparently Jesus remained quite a while, some hours, on the beach. “It was now dark and Jesus had not yet come to them” (Joh 6:17).

6:47 Seeing them distressed in rowing [idōn autous basanizomenous en tōi elaunein]. See also Mt 8:29 for the word [basanizō], to torture, torment (Mt 4:24) with a touch-stone, then to distress as here. Papyri have [dia basanōn] used on slaves like our third degree for criminals. [Elaunein] is literally to drive as of ships or chariots. They drove the boat with oars. Common in Xenophon for marching. About the fourth watch of the night [peri tetartēn phulakēn tēs nuktos]. That is, between three and six A.M. The wind was contrary to them [enantios autois], that is in their faces and rowing was difficult, “a great wind” (Joh 6:18), and as a result the disciples had made little progress. They should have been over long before this. And he would have passed by them [kai ēthelen parelthein autous]. Only in Mark. He wished to pass by them, praeterire eos (Vulgate). Imperfect tense [ēthelen]. They thought [edoxan]. A natural conclusion. And cried out [anekraxan]. Cried up, literally, a shriek of terror, or scream.

6:50 It is I [ego eimi]. These were the astounding words of cheer. They did not recognize Jesus in the darkness. They had never seen him or any one walk on the water. His voice reassured them.

6:51 They were sore amazed in themselves [lian en heautois existanto]. Only in Mark. Imperfect tense picturing vividly the excited disciples. Mark does not give the incident of Peter’s walking on the water and beginning to sink. Perhaps Peter was not fond of telling that story.

6:52 For they understood not [ou gar sunēkan]. Explanation of their excessive amazement, viz., their failure to grasp the full significance of the miracle of the loaves and fishes, a nature miracle. Here was another, Jesus walking on the water. Their reasoning process [kardia] in the general sense for all the inner man) was hardened [ēn pepōrōmenē]. See on 3:5 about [pōrōsis]. Today some men have such intellectual hardness or denseness that they cannot believe that God can or would work miracles, least of all nature miracles.

6:53 And moored to the shore [kai prosōrmisthēsan]. Only here in the New Testament, though an old Greek verb and occurring in the papyri. [Hormos] is roadstead or anchorage. They cast anchor or lashed the boat to a post on shore. It was at the plain of Gennesaret several miles south of Bethsaida owing to the night wind.

6:54 Knew him [epignontes auton]. Recognizing Jesus, knowing fully [epi] as nearly all did by now. Second aorist active participle.

6:55 Ran about [periedramon]. Vivid constative aorist picturing the excited pursuit of Jesus as the news spread that he was in Gennesaret. On their beds [epi tois krabattois]. Pallets like that of the man let down through the roof (Mr 2:4). Where they heard he was [hopou ēkouon hoti estin]. Imperfect tense of [akouō] (repetition), present indicative [estin] retained in indirect discourse.

6:56 Wheresoever he entered [hopou an eiseporeueto]. The imperfect indicative with [an] used to make a general indefinite statement with the relative adverb. See the same construction at the close of the verse, [hosoi an hēpsanto auton] (aorist indicative and [an] in a relative clause), as many as touched him. One must enlarge the details here to get an idea of the richness of the healing ministry of Jesus. We are now near the close of the Galilean ministry with its many healing mercies and excitement is at the highest pitch (Bruce).

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