Mark 1:12
And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
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(12) Immediately the spirit driveth him.—See Notes on Matthew 4:1; but note also St. Mark’s characteristic “immediately,” and the stronger word “driveth him.”

Mark 1:12-13. Immediately the Spirit driveth him — Gr. εκβαλλει, thrusteth him out, or, sends him away, as the same word signifies, Mark 1:43. Luke says, ηγετο, he was moved, or led; Matthew, ανηχθη, he was led up, namely, from the plain of Jordan. He was forty days tempted of Satan — Invisibly. After this followed the temptation by him in a visible shape, related by Matthew. These forty days, says Dr. Lightfoot, the holy angels ministered to Christ visibly, and Satan tempted him invisibly; at the end of them, Satan puts on the appearance of an angel of light, and pretends to wait on him as they did. See on Matthew 4:2-11. And was with the wild beasts — Though they had no power to hurt him. Mark, we may observe, not only gives us a compendium of Matthew’s gospel, but likewise several valuable particulars, which he and the other evangelists have omitted; especially such particulars as might enable the Romans, or Gentiles in general, better to understand him. Thus, as a Roman might not know how wild and uninhabited the deserts of Arabia were, in which Christ was tempted, he adds here, that he was with the wild beasts.

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.Here Mark relates concisely what Matthew has recorded more at length in Mark 4.

The Spirit driveth - The word "driveth" does not mean that he was compelled forcibly against his will to go there, but that he was inclined to go there by the Spirit, or was led there. The Spirit of God, for important purposes, caused him to go. Compare Matthew 9:25, where the same word is used in the original: "And when they were all put forth" in Greek, "all driven out."

And was with the wild beasts - This is added to show the desolation and danger of his dwelling there. In this place, surrounded by such dangers, the temptations offered by Satan were the stronger. Amid want and perils, Satan might suppose that he would be more easily seduced from God. But he trusted in his Father, and was alike delivered from dangers, from the wild beasts, and from the power of temptation, thus teaching us what to do in the day of danger and trial.

And the angels ministered unto him - From Luke 4:2 we learn that in those days he did eat nothing. When Mark says, therefore, that the angels ministered to him, it means after the days of temptation had expired, as is said by Matthew 4:11.

Mr 1:12, 13. Temptation of Christ. ( = Mt 4:1-11; Lu 4:1-13).

See on [1398]Mt 4:1-11.

Ver. 12,13. Both Matthew and Luke relate the history of our Saviour’s temptations by the devil more fully. See Poole on "Matthew 4:1". See Poole on "Matthew 4:2". Mark saith immediately, but it is not to be taken strictly for the next moment, but after a day or two, as it should seem.

And immediately,.... As soon as he was baptized, and this testimony had been given of his divine sonship, the very selfsame day,

the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness: into a more remote and desolate part of it; for it was in the wilderness John was baptizing and preaching, when Christ came to him, and had the ordinance of baptism administered by him; and it was the same Spirit that descended on him at his baptism, which remained with him; by whose impulse he was moved, though not against his will, to go into, this desert and forlorn place. For this was not the evil spirit Satan, by whom he was tempted; for Matthew expressly says, that he was "led up of the Spirit--to be tempted by the devil", Matthew 4:1, where the devil that tempted him, is manifestly distinguished from the Spirit by whom he was led, and the same Spirit is meant here, as there. Moreover, in one of Beza's copies, and in his most ancient one, and in one of Stephens's, it is read, "the Holy Spirit driveth him"; See Gill on Matthew 4:1.

{6} And immediately the Spirit {i} driveth him into the wilderness.

(6) Christ being tempted overcomes.

(i) Driveth here does not refer to something violent and forcible: but the divine power clothes Christ (who had lived until this time as a private man) with a new person, and prepares him for the battle that was at hand, and for his ministry.

Mark 1:12-13. See on Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1 ff.

ἐκβάλλει] He drives, urges Him forth; more graphic than the ἀνήχθη of Matthew and the ἤγετο of Luke 4:1. The sense of force and urgency is implied also in Matthew 9:38. Observe the frequent use of the vividly realizing praesens historicus.

And He was there (ἐκεῖ, see the critical remarks) in the desert (whither the Spirit had driven Him), i.e. in that region of the desert, during forty days, being tempted by Satan,—a manifest difference of Mark (comp. also Luke) from Matthew, with whom it is not till after forty days that the temptations begin. Evasive interpretations are to be found in Krabbe, Ebrard, and others.

καὶ ἦν μετὰ τῶν θηρίων] and He was with the wild beasts. This is usually[51] taken as merely a graphic picture (according to de Wette: “a marvellous contrast” to the angels) of the awful solitude (Virg. Aen. iii. 646, and see Wetstein in loc.); but how remote would such a poetic representation be from the simple narrative! No, according to Mark, Jesus is to be conceived as really surrounded by the wild beasts of the desert. He is threatened in a twofold manner; Satan tempts Him, and the wild beasts encompass Him. The typical reference, according to which Christ is held to appear as the renewer of Paradise (Genesis 1:26; Usteri in the Stud. u. Krit. 1834, p. 789; Gfrörer, Olshausen, comp. Bengel, and also Baur, Evang. pp. 540, 564; Hilgenfeld, Evang. p. 126; Schenkel, Holtzmann), is not indicated by anything in the text, and is foreign to it. The desert and the forty days remind us of Moses (Exodus 24:18; Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9; Deuteronomy 9:18), not of Adam.

οἱ ἄγγελοι] The article denotes the category.

ΔΙΗΚΌΝΟΥΝ ΑὐΤῷ] There is no occasion at all, from the connection in Mark, to understand this of the ministering with food, as in Matthew; nor does the expression presuppose the representation of Matthew (Weiss). On the contrary, we must simply abide by the view that, according to Mark, is meant the help which gives protection against Satan and the wild beasts. There is in this respect also a difference from Matthew, that in the latter Gospel the angels do not appear until after the termination of the temptations.

The narrative of Christ’s temptation (regarding it, see on Matthew 4:11, Remark) appears in Mark in its oldest, almost still germinal, form. It is remarkable, indeed, that in the further development of the evangelic history (in Matthew and Luke) the wonderful element ἦν μετὰ τῶν θηρίων (which, according to Hilgenfeld, merely serves to colour and embellish the meagre extract), should have remained unnoticed. But the entire interest attached itself to Satan and to his anti-Messianic agency. The brevity[52] with which Mark relates the temptation, and which quite corresponds[53] to the still undeveloped summary beginning of the tradition, is alleged by Baur to proceed from the circumstance that with Mark the matter still lay outside of the historical sphere. Against this we may decisively urge the very fact that he narrates it at all, and places the ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγ. earlier. Comp. Köstlin, p. 322.

[51] So also von Engelhardt (de Jesu Christi tentatione, Dorp. 1858, p. 5).

[52] For the idea that κ. οἱ ἀγγ. διηκ. αὐτῷ. is only the closing sentence of an originally longer narration (Weisse, Evangelienfr. p. 163) is fanciful. Only the short, compact account is in harmony with all that surrounds it. Weisse supposes that something has dropped out also after ver. 5 or 6, and after ver. 8.

[53] How awkwardly Mark would here have epitomized, if he had worked as an epitomizer! How, in particular, would he have left unnoticed the rich moral contents of the narrative in Matthew and Luke! Schleiermacher and de Wette reproach him with doing so. Comp. also Bleek.

Mark 1:12-13. The temptation (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).

12. immediately] See above, Mark 1:10. The object of the Saviour’s first Advent was “to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). His very first work, therefore, was to enter on a conflict with the great Enemy of mankind.

driveth him] This is a stronger word than that employed by St Matthew, who says He was led up (Matthew 4:1), or by St Luke, who says He was led by the Spirit (Luke 4:1). The same word is here used as in Matthew 9:38, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth labourers into His harvest;” in John 10:4, “when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them.” The word denotes the Divine impulse of the Holy Ghost, which constrained Him to go forth to the encounter, and hints at a rapid translation, such as that by which Prophets and Evangelists were caught up and carried to a distance (1 Kings 18:12; 2 Kings 2:16; Acts 8:39).

Mark 1:12. Εὐθέως, immediately) So, in the case of the sons of God, temptation is wont speedily to follow after great and striking testimonies as to their state [their standing as accepted of God].—ἐκβάλλει, driveth out) The present.

Verse 12. - Driveth him (ἐκβάλλει); literally, driveth him forth. That Holy Spirit, which not long before he had received at his baptism, impelled him with great energy; so that of his own accord he went forth, armed with Divine power, into the desert, that there, as in a wrestling-place, he might contend alone with Satan. There Christ and antichrist met, and entered upon the conflict upon the issue of which our salvation depended. Mark 1:12Driveth him (ἐκβάλλει)

Stronger than Matthew's ἀνήχθη, was led up, and Luke's ἤγετο, was led. See on Matthew 9:38. It is the word used of our Lord's expulsion of demons, Mark 1:34, Mark 1:39.

The Wilderness

The place is unknown. Tradition fixes it near Jericho, in the neighborhood of the Quarantania, the precipitous face of which is pierced with ancient cells and chapels, and a ruined church is on its topmost peak. Dr. Tristram says that every spring a few devout Abyssinian Christians are in the habit of coming and remaining here for forty days, to keep their Lent on the spot where they suppose that our Lord fasted and was tempted.

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