Mark 1:10
And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
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(10) He saw the heavens opened.—Better, as in the margin, rent open, St. Mark’s language here, as elsewhere, being more boldly vivid than that of the other Gospels. (See Notes on Matthew 3:16-17.)

1:9-13 Christ's baptism was his first public appearance, after he had long lived unknown. How much hidden worth is there, which in this world is not known! But sooner or later it shall be known, as Christ was. He took upon himself the likeness of sinful flesh; and thus, for our sakes, he sanctified himself, that we also might be sanctified, and be baptized with him, Joh 17:19. See how honourably God owned him, when he submitted to John's baptism. He saw the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. We may see heaven opened to us, when we perceive the Spirit descending and working upon us. God's good work in us, is sure evidence of his good will towards us, and preparations for us. As to Christ's temptation, Mark notices his being in the wilderness and that he was with the wild beasts. It was an instance of his Father's care of him, which encouraged him the more that his Father would provide for him. Special protections are earnests of seasonable supplies. The serpent tempted the first Adam in the garden, the Second Adam in the wilderness; with different success indeed; and ever since he still tempts the children of both, in all places and conditions. Company and conversation have their temptations; and being alone, even in a wilderness, has its own also. No place or state exempts, no business, not lawful labouring, eating, or drinking, not even fasting and praying; often in these duties there are the most assaults, but in them is the sweetest victory. The ministration of the good angels is matter of great comfort in reference to the malignant designs of the evil angels; but much more does it comfort us, to have the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit in our hearts.See the notes at Matthew 3:13-17. Mr 1:9-11. Baptism of Christ and Descent of the Spirit upon Him Immediately Thereafter. ( = Mt 3:13-17; Lu 3:21, 22).

See on [1397]Mt 3:13-17.

See Poole on "Mark 1:9"

And straightway coming up out of the water,.... Not John, as many think; though it was true of him, that he came up out of the water, as the administrator of the ordinance of baptism to Christ, but Christ himself; who having descended into the water, the river of Jordan, and being baptized by immersion in it by John, came up out of it; not from the river side, and up the declivity to it, but out of the river itself: when

he saw the heavens opened; or "cloven", or "rent"; this may be understood, either of John, who was the spectator of all this, which was done for the manifestation of the Messiah to him, and the confirmation of his faith in him, and that he might bear record of him; and so the Persic version reads, "John saw", &c. see John 1:30, or of Jesus Christ himself, who came up out of the water; and when he did, saw the heavens part,

and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him. The position of these words here, is a little different from that in Matthew 3:16, there it is, "the Spirit of God descending like a dove"; which seems rather to point out the manner of his descent, than the form in which he descended: here it is put, "the Spirit like a dove descending on him"; which seems rather to incline to such a sense, that the Spirit appeared in the form of a dove, as well as descended like one; and both may be designed, and indeed the latter follows upon the former: if it was the form of a dove the Spirit of God descended in, it was a very suitable one: the dove is a very proper emblem of the Spirit of God: "the voice of the turtle", in Sol 2:12, is by the Targum interpreted, the voice of the holy Spirit: he may be likened to a dove, for its simplicity and sincerity; he guides into all truth as it is in Jesus, and teaches to speak the word in all plainness, openness, and sincerity, and preserves the saints in the simplicity of the Gospel; and for its mildness and meekness; one of the fruits of the Spirit of God is meekness, Galatians 5:23. And this it produces in converted persons, making them meek; humble, and gentle: and also for its harmlessness and innocence; and which appears, or at least should, in those who mind the things of the Spirit: hence that advice of Christ, "be harmless as doves", Matthew 10:16. Likewise for its purity and cleanness; the Spirit of God is a Spirit of holiness, he is the author of sanctification; such as are washed, sanctified, and justified, are so in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God, 1 Corinthians 6:11. The dove is a mournful and bemoaning creature; and the Spirit of God makes intercession for the saints, with groanings which cannot be uttered, Romans 8:26. To which may be added, that Noah's dove bringing the olive leaf in its mouth, as a sign, of peace and reconciliation, fitly resembled the holy Spirit, one of whose fruits is peace, Galatians 5:22, and which he produces, by leading to the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ, whereby peace is made, and reconciliation obtained: and his descending upon Christ here, points him out as the peacemaker, through whom was come peace on earth, good will towards men, and glory to God. Christ, on whom he lighted, is comparable to a dove; he is said to have doves' eyes, Sol 5:12, and he has all the fruits and graces of the dove like Spirit of God, which rested on him; like the dove, he is humble, meek, and lowly; in which characters, he is to be followed and imitated by his people: and as that creature is a very loving one to its mate, so is Christ to his church; whom he has so loved, as to give himself for her: and as that is a lovely beautiful creature, so is Christ; he is altogether lovely; and especially his eyes of love, as they are set and fixed upon his church and people. With this descent of the Spirit as a dove on Christ, compare Isaiah 11:2; See Gill on Matthew 3:16.

{5} And straightway {g} coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

(5) The vocation of Christ from heaven, as head of the Church.

(g) John, who went down into the water with Christ.

Mark 1:10. εὐθὺς, straightway, a favourite word of Mk.’s, to be taken with εἶδε = as soon as He had ascended, etc., He saw. For similar usage in reference to εἶτα vide Hermann, Viger, p. 772.—σχιζομένους, being rent asunder, a sudden event; a stronger word than that used in Mt. and Lk. (ἀνεῴχθησανῆναι). The subject of εἶδε is Jesus.—εἰς αὐτόν: this reading suggests the idea of a descent not merely upon (ἐπὶ) but into Him, as if to take up its abode; henceforth the immanent spirit of Jesus.

10. straightway] This is St Mark’s favourite connecting word, and constantly recurs; comp. Mark 1:12; Mark 1:28, Mark 4:5; Mark 4:15, Mark 8:10. Mark 9:15, Mark 11:3, and other places.

he saw] i. e. Jesus, while engaged, as we learn from St Luke 3:21, in solemn, prayer. We find solemn prayer preceding (i) our Lord’s Baptism, (ii) His choice of the Twelve (Luke 6:12), (iii) His Transfiguration (Luke 9:29), (iv) His Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:39).

opened] Lit rent, or rending asunder, one of St Mark’s graphic touches: see the Introduction. The same word in the original Greek is applied to “the old garment rending the new piece” (Luke 5:36); to the veil of the Temple rent in twain at the Crucifixion (Luke 23:45); to the rending of the rocks at the same time (Matthew 27:51); and of the net in the Lake after the Resurrection (John 21:11).

Mark 1:10. Εἶδε, He saw) i.e. Jesus saw: although John also saw it, John 1:32.—σχιζομένους, rent open) σχίζεται, is rent open, is said of that, which had not previously been open. Christ was the first who opened heaven.—ἀνοίγειν, to open, Matthew 3:16, is used in the general sense; whereas in the special sense it is used in antithesis to [as distinguished from] to rend, Acts 7:56. See on the difference of these words, Matthew 27:51-52.[7]—τὸ Πνεῦμα, the Spirit) with which Jesus was about to baptize.

[7] ἐσχίσθη is said of the rending in two of the veil: whereas ἀνεῴχθησαν is said of the opening of the tombs.—ED.

Verse 10. - Straightway (εὐθέως) coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened (σχιζομένους); literally, rent asunder. The word εὐθέως occurs more than forty times in this Gospel, and is so characteristic of St. Mark that, in the Revised Version, it is uniformly rendered by the same English synonym, "straightway." He saw. Elsewhere we are told (John 1:32) that St. John the Baptist saw this descent. The earliest heretics took advantage of this statement to represent this event as the descent of the eternal Christ upon the man Jesus for personal indwelling. Later critics have adopted this view. But it need hardly be said here that such an opinion is altogether inconsistent with all that we read elsewhere of the circumstances of the Incarnation, and of the intimate and indissoluble union of the Divine and human natures in the person of the one Christ, from the time of the "overshadowing of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Highest." The Spirit descending upon him at his baptism was not the descent of the eternal Christ upon the man Jesus. It was rather the conveyance to one who was already prepared for it as God and man, of office and authority as the great Prophet that should come into the world. St. Luke says particularly (Luke 3:21) that it was when Jesus had been baptized and was praying, that the Holy Spirit descended upon him; plainly showing us that it was not through the baptism of John, but through the meritorious obedience and the prayer of the Son of God, that the heavens were "rent asunder," and the Holy Spirit descended upon him. Mark 1:10Straightway

A favorite word with Mark. See Introduction.

Opened (σχιζομένους)

Lit., as Rev., rent asunder: much stronger than Matthew's and Luke's ἀνεῴχθησαν, were opened.

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