Ezra Palmer Gould.

A critical and exegetical commentary on the Gospel according to ..., Volume 27 online

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10. KOX €v$v's — And immediately? ava^aiVwv Ik — going up out

Ik (instead of dr^) Tisch. Treg. WH.RV.N BDL 13, 28, 33, 69, 124.

(Txi^ofievov^ Tov^ ovpavov^ — the heavens openings not opened.
The pres. part, denotes action in its progress, not completed

o>s TTcpto-rcpotv — as a dove, Lk. 3^ says that this resemblance
wa^ in bodily shape. And the language itself implies that. The
dove was the emblem of guilelessness (Mt. 10^*). It was not a
bird of prey. The appearance accords with the gentleness of
Christ's reign. The descent of the Spirit was moreover a real
event, while the appearance was only a vision. It was not merely
a sign that here was a person endued with the Spirit, but a special
influence beginning at the time, and preparing him for his new
work. It was Hke the descent of the Spirit at Pentecost, prepar-
ing the disciples for their new work. Neither event implied in any
way that the Spirit was not present in their lives before.* And

1 This circumlocution for the simple verb is a translation of the Heb. 1 >n^i, and
is foreign to the Greek idiom. The absence of a conj. between the two verbs is
also a solecism.

2 See Bib. Die. On the form of the Greek name, see Thay.-Grm. Lex,

* This adverb is one of the marks of the style of this Gospel. It is used by Mk.
nearly twice as often as by Mt. and Lk. together, euau? is substituted for evaews in
the critical texts in most of these passages in Mk. See Thay.-Grm. Lex,

* See Burton, N. T. Moods and Tenses, 125.
6 On this ofl&ce of the Spirit, cf. Is. ii2.


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we find in all the Synoptics mention that Jesus began his ministry
under the impulsions of the Spirit. See Mt. 12^ Mk. i^^ Lk. 4*- "• ^*.
This descent of the Spirit is moreover indicative of the meaning
of our Lord's baptism. It has already been indicated that the
real baptism, of which that in the water is only the sign, is a bap- *
tism in the Holy Spirit, and it is this which is signified by the
baptism of Jesus, but without the accompanying repentance which
belongs to the baptism of the rest of the people.

11. Kal <f>o)vr) (cycrcTo) — And a voice (came).

Omit h^v^o Tisch. (WH.) K D ff.2.

2v €1 6 vlos juuw 6 aya7n;Tos — Thou art my beloved Son, This
is one of the passages in the Synoptics which indicate that the
Synoptical use of vlos {tov ®€ov) applied to Jesus, conforms to
current Jewish usage, omitting the metaphysical Sonship, and
including only the theocratic, or figurative meaning of the word.
The aor. cvSoiciycra, / came to take pleasure , denotes the historical
process by which God came to take pleasure in Jesus during his
earthly life, not the eternal delight of the Father in the Son. The
title here would denote one, therefore, who has been received
into special love and favor by God, as Paul calls Timothy his son
(i Tim. i^). It accords with Lk.'s statement, that Jesus grew in
favor with God and man (Lk. 2*^).^ cv (rd evSoKrja-a — tn thee I
came to take pleasure,

kv ffol (instead of iv v) Tisch. Treg. WH. RV.K BDLP I, 13, 22, 33,
69, Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh.


12, 13. Jesus retires into the wilderness, where he remains
forty days, tempted by Satan, and attended by angels.

Immediately after the baptism, Jesus is impelled by the Spirit
who has taken possession of him into the wilderness. He remains
there forty days, surrounded by the wild beasts, attended by
angels, and tempted by Satan.

It is especially the story of the temptation, in the period pre-
ceding the public ministry, which is abbreviated by Mk. He
gives us simply the fact of the temptation, the place, the wild-
erness, the time, forty days, and the descriptive touch, that he
was with the wild beasts.

12. Kal cv^vs — And immediately, viz., after the baptism. This
event, with its accompaniments, is of the nature of an inaugural

1 On this use of the aor., see Win. 40, 2 ; Burton, N. T, Moods and Tenses, 55.


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I. 12, 13] THE TEMPTATION 1 3

act. And it is followed immediately by his retirement into the
wilderness. The time, the circumstances, and the nature of the
temptations, all point to the probability that this retirement was
for the purpose of meditation upon the work into which he had
been inaugurated. Moreover, the Ilvcvfui, the Spirit, connects this
with the account of the baptism. He begins now immediately to
act under the impulsions of the Spirit which he has just received.
cK^oXXct — thrusts him out, Mt. and Lk. both use the milder
ayctv, to lead, to describe this, t^v iprifwv — the wilderness. This
is the same general region in which the baptism took place. But,
inasmuch as it was from the wilderness into the wilderness, and
Mk. adds that he was with the wild beasts, it must mean that he
penetrated still further into its soUtudes.

13. K(u y]v iv tq ip'qfxt^ T€(r<r€pdKovTa i7/A€pas — And he was in
the wilderness forty days. This period is given by both Mk. and
Lk. as that of the temptation, though Mt. and Lk. both give us
the three special temptations following the forty days. Mt. makes
these the only temptations. Trct/aaid/Acvos — tempted. Used here
of an actual soHcitation to evil.

The proper meaning of veipd^eiv is to try, in the sense both of attempt
and test. It is through the latter meaning that it comes to be applied to
the test of character, whether by trial, or by solicitation to evil.

^rava — Satan} The name is Hebrew, but the personage
does not figure much in O.T. narrative or discourse (i Chr. 21^
Zech. 3^-2 Job i*"* a^'^*'). In the N.T., he is represented, in
accordance with current Jewish ideas, as the ruler of a kingdom
of evil, having subjects and emissaries in the shape of demons,
corresponding to the angels who act as God's messengers. His
special function is to tempt men to evil, ficra twv 0-qpmv — with
the wild beasts. The desert of Judaea is in parts wild and un-
tamed, and abounds in beasts of the same description, such as
the leopard, the bear, the wild boar, and the jackal. This descrip-
tive touch, in which, just as with a word, the wildness and solitari-
ness of the scene are brought before us, and equally, the omission
of details of the temptation, are characteristics of Mk. The omis-
sion accords with the plan of his Gospel, but, also, with a certain
objective quality belonging to it. See Introduction. StiyKovow —
were ministering? This ministry, like the temptations, is rep-
resented in Mt. as taking place after the forty days. In our
account, it is evidently an offset to the presence of the wild beasts.
The visible things figuring in the scene were these beasts, but
there were invisible presences as well, and these were minister-
ing to him. Mk. does not tell us what the ministrations were.
(Nor Mt)

1 A Heb. word, meaning the Adversary.

2 The impf. describes the act as taking place during his stay in the wilderness.


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The historicity of the account of the temptation is attacked with some
plausibility. There are certain things about it on which a just historical
criticism throws some doubt. There is a concreteness about the appear-
ance of Satan, and of the angels, an air of visibility even, an impression of
actual transportation through the air, and the introduction of a typical
number (forty) ,^ which can, however, easily be eliminated without touch-
ing the essential history. The account which has been preserved is evi-
dently the pictorial and concrete story of what realjy took place within the
soul of Jesus. But the temptations themselves, just because they represent
the actual temptations of his later life, are a portrait, and not an imagina-
tive picture. Holtzmann, in his Note on the passage, gives an admirable
statement of the way in which the story corresponds to the real temptations
of Jesus' life. But his argument that some one made up this story from
those falls to the ground. It implies that some one understood that life
better than any contemporary did understand it.


14-20. After John' s imprisonment, Jestis goes to Galilee,
where he begins his ministry with the proclamation of the
kingdom, of God,

After the imprisonment of John, Jesus departs into Galilee,
where he begins his ministry with the proclamation of the good
news of the kingdom of God, announcing the completion of the
time for it. He finds Peter, Andrew, James, and John fishing in
the lake of Galilee, and calls them to follow him and become
fishers of men.

The order of events in the Synoptics is as follows :


Delivering up of John
(mere mention).

Departure into Galilee.

Change of residence
from Nazareth to Ca-

Beginning of Jesus*

Call of first dbciples.

Delivering up of John

(mere mention).
Departure into Galilee.

Beginning of Jesus*

Call of first disciples.


Delivering up of John
(account), 3^9. »

Departure into Galilee.

Beginning of teaching.

Rejection at Nazareth.

Coming to Capernaum.

First miracles.

General teaching in syn-
agogues in Galilee.

Call of first disciples.

The general order of events is the same. The evident intention
of all is to connect the beginning of Jesus* ministry with the close

1 Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights (Ex. 24I8, 3428), Elijah was
in the wilderness forty days and forty nights (i K. 198), and the Chnstophanies after
the resurrection covered a period of forty days (Acts i3) .


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of John's work, though this is more evident in Mt. and Mk. than
in Lk. They also mark at the beginning that it is a Gahlean
ministry. Mt. and Mk. tell us that it was the good news of the
kingdom of God which was proclaimed, by Jesus. Lk. also brings
this in incidentally. He also introduces the rejection at Nazareth,
evidently to account for the removal to Capernaum, and inserts
the first miracles and a tour of preaching in Galilee before the call
of the first disciples.

14. Mcra 8c to TrapaSoOrjvaL Toy ^Icmwrjv — And after the deliv-
ering up of John. Mt. and Mk. assume this as a well known fact.
Lk. tells the story of it (3^^) . The others tell it later (Mk. 6^^-2»).
€15 Tr\v VaXikaiav — into Galilee. The connection of events is lost
here in the brevity of the narrative. We are not told whether
Jesus came into GaHlee because of the imprisonment of John,
and being there, began his ministry; or whether he began his
ministry because John's ministry was ended, and chose Galilee as
the scene for it. But, inasmuch as Jesus is represented by the
Synoptics as continuing his work in GaHlee until the end, it is
evidently the latter. It is the demands of his work that take him
to Galilee, and John's imprisonment is the occasion of his begin-
ning his work, and only indirectly of his coming to Galilee. More-
over, they do not tell us why Galilee became the scene of his
ministry. But the reason is evident. It was not the headquar-
ters of Judaism ; and events showed that Jesus* work would have
been impossible in the stronghold of that unsympathetic faith.
The fourth gospel tells of a preliminary work of eight months in
Judaea, but the Synoptics are not only silent about it, but exclude
it by their evident intention to represent this as the beginning of
Jesus' work.

Galilee, Heb. Shx^ circle^ was originally the name of only a small circuit
• in one of the tribes inhabiting the northern section of Palestine. But in
the time of our Lord, it had come to be applied to the Roman province
including the whole territory of the four northern tribes. It was inhabited
by a mixed population of Jews and Gentiles. See Jos. 20^ 21^2 i Yi. 9II
2 K. 1529.

TO €vayy(\jLov tov ®€ov — glad tidings of God.

Omit T^s paffiXelas before tov GcoO Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BL. I, 28, 33,
69, 209, mss. of Lac. Vet Memph.

The glad tidings of God is here the glad tidings from God, who
is the author and sender of the message (subj. gen.). The good
news itself, as the next verse shows, is that of the kingdom.

15. The words, kol Aeycov, and saying, at the beginning of this
verse, are to be omitted.


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Omit Kal \^(av Tisch. WH. (Kal \4y<av) N one ms. of Lat. Vet., Orig.
The insertion of Kal X^tav is caused probably by the interpolation of rijs
^affiKelas in the preceding verse. The two go together.

7r€7rX>;po)Tat 6 icatpos — fhe time has been filled up, or completed.
Fulfilled, EV. is etymologically correct, but misleading, on account
of its technical use to denote the accomplishment of expectation,
promise, or prophecy. What is denoted here is the filling up of
the time appointed for the coming of the Kingdom. This idea
of an appointment of times, as well as of events, is thoroughly
Jewish, referring all things to God. But to Jesus, who read the
signs of the times (Mt. i6^), the language signified not only a
theology, but a philosophy of events. The time revealed itself to
him as ripe for the event.

rjyyLKcv i/ ^ao-tXcta tov ®€ov — The kingdom of God has come
near. This message assumes evidently the existence of the idea
of a kingdom of God among the Jews as a famihar thought. The
announcement is, that this expected kingdom is at hand. Jesus
does not announce a new fact, nor does he enter here upon any
exposition of the nature of the kingdom, such as belonged to his
later teaching, but simply announces the expected kingdom. He
does not enter into the question of the difference between his
spiritual kingdom, and the earthly kingdom of Jewish expectation.
It is enough for his present purpose to announce it as a kingdom
of God, and so to prepare the way for his call to repentance.

This announcement has to be located first, in the life and teaching of
Jesus; secondly, in its relation to John's message; and thirdly, in current
Jewish thought. In Jesus* own thought it is central; the kingdom of God
is the subject of his teaching, and his object is to revolutionize the current
idea; but that necessary change comes later. And moreover, in its con-
nection with his later activity, it constitutes the announcement that the
object of that was the establishment of the kingdom of God, and not
merely the instruction of the people as to its nature. He was in his earthly
work prophet, but also king. In its relation to John's message, this
announcement of Jesus was the continuation and development of that,
repeating his call to repentance, but substituting for his announcement of
the coming One, that of the coming Kingdom. This is in accordance with
Jesus' impersonal manner of treating his work. In its relation to current
Jewish thought, this announcement fulfilled national expectations. This is
evident from the reception given to Jesus by the nation, and from the
uncanonical Jewish literature. This literature shows that the idea of
Jewish deliverance and greatness, started in the prophetic books of the
O.T., had not been allowed to lapse, but had gradually taken shape in the
idea of a universal kingdom ruled by God himself, with the Messiah as his
earthly vice-gerent, having Palestine as its centre and Jerusalem as its
capital, and including in itself the righteous dead, who had been raised to


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share its glories. And the attitude of the people during the life of Jesus
shows that this had become at this time a subject of fervid popular hope
and expectation.

ftcravoctTc — repent This is a continuation of John's message.
Kat TTixrredtTt kv tw cvayycAxo) — and believe in the good news, is,
however, a distinct addition to that message. The cvayycXtov,
good news, is that the expected kingdom is at hand. Our word
gospeiy with its acquired meaning, is again singularly out of place
here, as it inevitably obscures this obvious reference to the cvayyc-
Aiov Tov ©cov just mentioned. Trto-Tcikrc, believe, is another word
that has to be evacuated of its theological sense. It is purely and
simply belief of the message brought by Jesus, that the kingdom
of God is at hand. If a crisis is coming, and men are to be pre-
pared for it, the first requisite is, that they believe in its coming.^

16. Koi 7rapdy(ov Trapa — And going along by?

KaZ irapd'yoiv, instead of TepurarCop Si, is the reading of Tisch. Treg.
WH. RV. N BDL 13, 33, 69, 124, 346, Latt. Memph. Hard. marg. etc.

T^v OdXaa-a-av t^s roXiAxitas — sea of Galilee, This lake was
the scene of Jesus' ministry. On its NW. shore were the towns
of Capernaum, Magdala, Chorazin, and Bethsaida, referred to by
Jesus himself as the district in which his mighty works were done.
And its eastern shore, being uninhabited, was the place to which
he used to retire to escape the multitudes. It was a lake 12
miles long, and 6 miles wide at the place of greatest width. The
Jordan river enters it about 20 miles from its source. The use of
^oXoo-o-a in its name is uncommon in Greek.

In Lk., it is called commonly ^ \lfxprj the lake; once, Lk. 5I, the lake
of Gennesaretkj from the district on its W. shore. J. 21^, calls it the sea of
Tiberias^ from the principal city on its shore. The Heb. name is n^-iD D>
or iTi-^iD sea of Chinnereth, or Chinneroth. See Nu. 34^1 Jos. 13^7 li^,

St/Acova #cat 'AvSpcav rov aheKf^iov roiv '^LfX(M)vo^, df(.<^t^aAAovras
iv rrj 6aXa(Torj — Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting
a net in the sea,

(tov) ^ifiutvos instead of odroO, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. H BAE^LM i,
69, 102, Lat. Vet. (a) Memph. A number of other texts read airoO rov
^tfuavos. dfuf)ipd\\ovTas without dfKt>lp\rjffTpov, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. H

The repetition of the noun Si/awvos in a case like this is charac-
teristic of Mk. afi<l>c^\rj(rTpov is a thing thrown round another,

1 The regular construction after irioTeu'etv is the simple dat In the N.T. we find
this, but also ei$ with ace. and eirl with ace. or dat. This construction with iv is
found only here, and in John 3I*.

2 The common construction after irapdyuv is the simple dat. This repetition of
wapa is not found elsewhere.



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as a net about fish, clothes about a person. Hence &fjLffH,pdXXovTa^,
used absolutely here, and suggesting the dfi<l>ipx,rfaTpov, the net, as
it certainly does, means to throw the net about the fish.^

17. h^^ oTTLo-ta fwv — Come after me? Following is in the
N.T. a figurative expression for discipleship, especially for that
which involved personal attendance upon Jesus. This use of
follow belongs to a general use by which it is applied to any per-
sonal attendance, as of a soldier. oAtcts dv^/odwrcov — fishers of
men; cf. Jer. i6^*. This is the first instance of the use of para-
bolic language, so common in the discourse of Jesus. The para-
ble is not necessarily drawn out into a story, or a stated comparison ;
it may be expressed in a word as here. In it, Jesus simply brings
together things of the outer and inner world, expressing the
unfamiliar in the terms of the common and familiar. The effec-
tiveness of it depends on the general likeness of the two worlds.

18. Kai cv^u? oj^kvTVi ra. hUrva. — And immediately having left
their nets.

e^eifs, instead of eW^ws, Tisch. WH. K L 33. Omit a&rup after tA dlicrva
Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. k BCL, some mss, of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph.

This immediate following is due probably to a previous ac-
quaintance with Jesus and his teaching. They had been attracted
to him before, and so were prepared to heed this apparently abrupt
call to become his personal followers. John i*^^ tells us that they
became disciples a year before this, during the miijistry of John
the Baptist.

19. Kal irpoPas oXCyov — And having gone forward a little.

Omit iKcteev thence, Tisch, Tx^g, WH. RV. BDL I, 28, 118, 124, 131,
209, Lat. Vet. (some mss,) Memph. Pesh. etc.

loKw^ov — James — the O.T. Jacob, He is named commonly
before John, implying that he was the older brother. ZepeSaiov —
Zebedee. Known oi3y as the father of his two sons, and men-
tioned only in connection with the present event (Mt. 4^^). The
mother was Salome.* kwL avrovs — who also, EV., gives the sense
of these words. They express the identity of the occupation of
these two with that of Peter and Andrew. They were also in
their fishermen's boat, though they were mending their nets, in-
stead of casting them. Kara/oTtifovras — mending,^

1 Thay.-Grm. Lex, explains the word as meaning to throw about^ first in one
place, and then in another.

2 Aevre is a plural imperative, formed from the adv. ieOpo. The use of the adv.
as a prep., oirto-w /mov, is a sign of the Hellenistic Greek of the N.T. (Win. 54, 6).

8 Cf. Mt. 2766 with Mk. 1540.

4 Karapri^eiv means in general to put in complete order, and may be applied
either to the original fitting out, or to repairs.


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20. Kat evOv^ ckoXco-cv avrovs — And immediately he called them.
The immediateness here attaches to the call itself, in the former
case to the response. He called them immediately, />., without
any preliminary or preparatory act on his part.

cidifs is here again substituted for e^^^ws. In brief it is so substituted in
most of the cases where it is used in Mk. It is unnecessary to cite the
authorities in each case.

airrjXdov ottio-q) fiov — they went away after him. This is a very
good illustration of the way in which this act of following acquires
its figurative meaning, and in which also the original and figurative
meanings may be combined. Here the outward act was going
away after Jesus, but the meaning of it was following in the sense
of discipleship.

The accounts of this call in the Sjmoptics furnish a good example of the
varying relations of these gospels. Between Mt. 4I8-22 and Mk., there is
the close verbal resemblance which can be explained only by their interde-
pendence. Lk., on the other hand, presents a different version, evidently
from an independent source, and it differs from the others just as we should
expect independent accounts of the same event to differ. The points of
difference in Lk.'s account are : (a) he found the boats empty; (J>) the
fishermen belonging to both were washing their nets; {c) the different
occasion of the promise about catching men, which is in this case addressed
to Peter alone; (</) the introduction of the discourse to the multitude
from the boat, and of the miraculous draught of fishes, which can be
brought into the account of Mt. and Mk., but not in the connection given
by Lk.; {i) he makes the whole a single event in which all four men
participated, while Mt. and Mk. give two calls addressed successively and
independently to the men in each boat.


21-28. Healing of a demoniac in the synagogue at

Jesus comes to Capernaum, and teaches in the Synagogue in
such a way as to impress the people with the authority of his
utterance, and with the marked difference in this respect between
himself and the Scribes. The impression is deepened by his
authority over demons displayed in healing a demoniac in the
synagogue, and his fame travels over the surrounding country.

This is the first miracle recorded in Mk. and Lk. And it is
significant that the miracle selected, the casting out of demons.


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is the representative miracle in Mk.^ The scene is in the Syna-
gogue at Capernaum. This is another beginning, the synagogue
being the chosen place for Jesus' teaching in the early part of his
ministry. The journey through Galilee, which immediately fol-
lowed this event, is described as a preaching tour in the syna-
gogues. The synagogue is again the scene in 3^ and in 6*. After
that it drops out, and probably this means that the freedom of the
synagogue was allowed him only at first. The effect of the mira-
cle on the people, and Jesus' refusal to follow up this effect, his
evident desire to avoid the notoriety accompanying it, are begin-
nings of a more important character. They show us at the very
outset the kind of success which he had, and the estimate which
he placed upon it. And we also get the impression which Jesus'
teaching made upon the people from the very start, in which it is
expressly contrasted with that of the Scribes. He was without
outward authority, while they were the acknowledged teachers of

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