Mark 1:34
And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) And suffered not the devils to speak.—St. Luke (Luke 4:41) gives the reason of the prohibition more distinctly. The demoniacs had cried out, “Thou art the Son of God.” They knew that He was the Christ.

1:29-39 Wherever Christ comes, he comes to do good. He cures, that we may minister to him, and to others who are his, and for his sake. Those kept from public ordinances by sickness or other real hinderances, may expect the Saviour's gracious presence; he will soothe their sorrows, and abate their pains. Observe how numerous the patients were. When others speed well with Christ, it should quicken us in seeking after him. Christ departed into a solitary place. Though he was in no danger of distraction, or of temptation to vain-glory, yet he retired. Those who have the most business in public, and of the best kind, must yet sometimes be alone with God.And suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him - They knew that he was the Messiah.

If they had spoken, they would have made that known to the people. Jesus was not desirous at that time that that should be publicly known, or that his name should be blazoned abroad. The time had not come when he wished it to be promulgated that he was the Messiah, and he therefore imposed silence on the evil spirits.

34. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils—In Mt 8:16 it is said, "He cast out the spirits with His word"; or rather, "with a word"—a word of command.

and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him—Evidently they would have spoken, if permitted, proclaiming His Messiahship in such terms as in the synagogue; but once in one day, and that testimony immediately silenced, was enough. See on [1404]Mr 1:24. After this account of His miracles of healing, we have in Mt 8:17 this pregnant quotation, "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying (Isa 53:4), Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses."

See Poole on "Mark 1:32" And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases,.... Not that there were some, who had some sorts of diseases, whom he did not heal; but he healed all that came, or were brought to him, which were many, of every sort of disease, which were divers, with which they were afflicted:

and cast many devils; even as many as were brought to him, or were possessed with any:

and he suffered not the devils to speak; either for him, or against him; which shows his great power over them:

because they knew him, or "that they knew him": he would not suffer them to say a word about him, because he knew that they knew that he was the Christ, the Son of God, or he would not permit them to say who he was; because he had others to bear witness of him, and better testimonies than theirs, and lest his enemies should reproach him with an agreement and familiarity with them.

And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and {f} suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

(s) For it is not proper for the demons to preach the gospel; Ac 16:18

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Mark 1:34. πολλοὺςπολλά] therefore not all, which, nevertheless, does not presuppose attempts that were without result. It was already late, and in various cases, moreover, the conditions of healing might be wanting.

ἤφιε] as in Mark 11:16. Imperfect, from the form ἀφίω, with the augment on the preposition; see Winer, p. 74 [E. T. 97].

λαλεῖνὅτι] He allowed them not to speak, enjoined on them silence, because they knew Him. They would otherwise, had they been allowed to speak, have said that He was the Messiah. Kuinoel, Bleek, and others erroneously take it as if the expression was λέγεινὄτι. The two verbs (comp. on John 8:43; Romans 3:19) are never interchanged in the N. T., not even in such passages as Romans 15:18; 2 Corinthians 11:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; hence “to say that” is never expressed by λαλεῖν, ὅτι.

As to the reason of the prohibition, see on Mark 5:43 and Matthew 8:4.Mark 1:34. πολλοὺς, many; not all? In Matthew many are brought and all are healed.—ἤφιε, allow, imperfect, as if from ἀφίω with augment on preposition, again in Mark 11:16; prorsus barbara (Fritzsche).—ὅτι ᾔδεισαν α., because they knew Him. On the insight of demoniacs cf. at Matthew 8:28 ff.Mark 1:34. Οὐκ ἤφιε, He suffered not) So ch. Mark 11:16. The second aorist of the verb ἀφιέω, as Sylberg shows in his Not. ad Clenard., p. 468.—ὅτι, because) They were attempting to speak.Devils (δαιμόνια)

The Rev., unfortunately, and against the protest of the American committee, retains devils instead of rendering demons. See on Matthew 4:1. The New Testament uses two kindred words to denote the evil spirits which possessed men, and which were so often east out by Christ: διάμων, of which demon is a transcript, and which occurs, according to the best texts, only at Matthew 8:31; and δαιμόνιον, which is not a diminutive, but the neuter of the adjective δαιμόνιος, of, or belonging to a demon. The cognate verb is δαιμονίζομαι to be possessed with a demon, as in Mark 1:32.

The derivation of the word is uncertain. Perhaps δαίω, to distribute, since the deities allot the fates of men. Plato derives it from δαήμων, knowing or wise. In Hesiod, as in Pythagoras, Thales, and Plutarch, the word δαίμων is used of men of the golden age, acting as tutelary deities, and forming the link between gods and men. Socrates, in Plato's "Cratylus," quotes Hesiod as follows: "Socrates: You know how Hesiod uses the word? Hermogenes: Indeed I do not. Soc.: Do you not remember that he speaks of a golden race of men who came first? Her.: Yes, I know that. Soc.: He says of them,

But now that fate has closed over this race,

They are holy demons upon earth,

Beneficent, averters of ills, guardians of mortal men.'"

After some further conversation, Socrates goes on: "And therefore I have the most entire conviction that he called them demons, because they were δαήμονες (knowing or wise). Now, he and other poets say truly that, when a good man dies, he has honor and a mighty portion among the dead, and becomes a demon, which is a name given to him signifying wisdom. And I say, too, that every wise man who happens to be a good man is more than human (δαιμόνιον) both in life and death, and is rightly called a demon." Mr. Grote ("History of Greece") observes that in Hesiod demons are "invisible tenants of the earth, remnants of the once happy golden race whom the Olympic gods first made - the unseen police of the gods, for the purpose of repressing wicked behavior in the world." In later Greek the word came to be used of any departed soul.

In Homer δαίμων is used synonymously with θεός and θεά, god and goddess, and the moral quality of the divinity is determined by the context: but most commonly of the divine power or agency, like the Latin numen, the deity considered as a power rather than as a person. Homer does not use δαιμόνιον substantively, but as an adjective, always in the vocative case, and with a sorrowful or reproachful sense, indicating that the person addressed is in some astonishing or strange condition. Therefore, as a term of reproach - wretch! sirrah! madman! ("Iliad," 2:190, 200; 4:31; ix., 40). Occasionally in an admiring or respectful sense ("Odyssey," xiv., 443; xxiii., 174); Excellent stranger! noble sir! Homer also uses δαίμων of one's genius or attendant spirit, and thence of one's lot or fortune. So in the beautiful simile of the sick father ("Odyssey," 5:396), "Some malignant genius has assailed him." Compare "Odyssey," x., 64; xi., 61. Hence, later, the phrase κατὰ δαίμονα is nearly equivalent to by chance.

We have seen that, in Homer, the bad sense of δαιμόνοις is the prevailing one. In the tragedians, also, δαίμων, though used both of good and bad fortune, occurs more frequently in the latter sense, and toward this sense the word gravitates more and more. The undertone of Greek thought, which tended to regard no man happy until he had escaped from life (see on Matthew 5:3, blessed), naturally imparted a gloomy and forbidding character to those who were supposed to allot the destinies of life.

In classical Greek it is noticeable that the abstract τὸ δαιμόνιον fell into the background behind δαίμων, with the development in the latter of the notion of a fate or genius connected with each individual, as the demon of Socrates; while in biblical Greek the process is the reverse, this doctrine being rejected for that of an overruling personal providence, and the strange gods, "obscure to human knowledge and alien to human life," taking the abstract term uniformly in an evil sense.

Empedocles, a Greek philosopher, of Sicily, developed Hesiod's distinction; making the demons of a mixed nature between gods and men, not only the link between the two, but having an agency and disposition of their own; not immortal, but long-lived, and subject to the passions and propensities of men. While in Hesiod the demons are all good, according to Empedocles they are both bad and good. This conception relieved the gods of the responsibility for proceedings unbecoming the divine nature. The enormities which the older myths ascribed directly to the gods - thefts, rapes, abductions - were the doings of bad demons. It also saved the credit of the old legends, obviating the necessity of pronouncing either that the gods were unworthy or the legends untrue. "Yet, though devised for the purpose of satisfying a more scrupulous religious sensibility, it was found inconvenient afterward when assailants arose against paganism generally. For while it abandoned as indefensible a large portion of what had once been genuine faith, it still retained the same word demons with an entirely altered signification. The Christian writers in their controversies found ample warrant among the earlier pagan authors for treating all the gods as demons; and not less ample warrant among the later pagans for denouncing the demons generally as evil beings" (Grote, "History of Greece").

This evil sense the words always bear in the New Testament as well as in the Septuagint. Demons are synonymous with unclean spirits (Mark 5:12, Mark 5:15; Mark 3:22, Mark 3:30; Luke 4:33). They appear in connection with Satan (Luke 10:17, Luke 10:18; Luke 11:18, Luke 11:19); they are put in opposition to the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:20, 1 Corinthians 10:21); to the faith (1 Timothy 4:1). They are connected with idolatry (Revelation 9:20; Revelation 16:13, Revelation 16:14). They are special powers of evil, influencing and disturbing the physical, mental, and moral being (Luke 13:11, Luke 13:16; Mark 5:2-5; Mark 7:25; Matthew 12:45).

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