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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Mark: 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
. 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
. 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
, the Son of man with power of God (Mr 1:10; Mt 9:6; Lu
, 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

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,

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\).

6:8 {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
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
, 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
, 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
. 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
. 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
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

6:16 {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
. See on ¯Mt 14:3-12 for the discussion about Herod
Antipas and John and Herodias.

6:18 {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"

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
. This the correct text not \polla epoiei\, did many
things. Imperfect tense again. {He heard him gladly} (\hēdeōs
. 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
. 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
(\tois chiliarchois\). Military tribunes, commanders of
a thousand men. {The chief men of Galilee} (\tois prōtois tēs
. 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
. Genitive absolute again. Some ancient manuscripts
read \autou\ (his, referring to Herod Antipas. So Westcott and
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
(\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 14:8 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

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

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

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
. 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
(\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

6:32 {And they went away in a boat} (\kai apēlthon en tōi
. 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. \Mē\ 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
. Genitive absolute. \Hōra\ used here for day-time (so
Mt 14:15)
as in Polybius and late Greek. {Much day-time already
. 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.

6:38 {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

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

6:48 {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

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

6:51 {They were sore amazed in themselves} (\lian en heautois
. 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

6:54 {Knew him} (\epignontes auton\). Recognizing Jesus, knowing
fully (\epi\) as nearly all did by now. Second aorist active

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
. {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
. 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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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Mark: Chapter 6)