Mark 5:35
While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?
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(35) Why troublest thou.—The primary meaning of the verb is “to strip or flay.” (See Note on Matthew 9:36.)

The Master.—Strictly, as almost always, the Teacher.



Mark 5:22 - Mark 5:24
, Mark 5:35 - Mark 5:43.

The scene of this miracle was probably Capernaum; its time, according to Matthew, was the feast at his house after his call. Mark’s date appears to be later, but he may have anticipated the feast in his narrative, in order to keep the whole of the incidents relating to Matthew’s apostleship together. Jairus’s knowledge of Jesus is implied in the story, and perhaps Jesus’ acquaintance with him.

I. We note, first, the agonised appeal and the immediate answer.

Desperation makes men bold. Conventionalities are burned up by the fire of agonised petitioning for help in extremity. Without apology or preliminary, Jairus bursts in, and his urgent need is sufficient excuse. Jesus never complains of scant respect when wrung hearts cry to Him. But this man was not only driven by despair, but drawn by trust. He was sure that, even though his little darling had been all but dead when he ran from his house, and was dead by this time, for all he knew, Jesus could give her life. Perhaps he had not faced the stern possibility that she might already be gone, nor defined precisely what he hoped for in that case. But he was sure of Jesus’ power, and he says nothing to show that he doubted His willingness. A beautiful trust shines through his words, based, no doubt, on what he had known and seen of Jesus’ miracles. We have more pressing and deeper needs, and we have fuller and deeper knowledge of Jesus, wherefore our approach to Him should be at least as earnest and confidential as Jairus’s was. If our Lord was at the feast when this interruption took place, His gracious, immediate answer becomes more lovely, as a sign of His willingness to bring the swiftest help. ‘While they are yet speaking, I will hear.’ Jairus had not finished asking before Jesus was on His feet to go.

The father’s impatience would be satisfied when they were on their way, but how he would chafe, and think every moment an age, while Jesus stayed, as if at entire leisure, to deal with another silent petitioner! But His help to one never interferes with His help to another, and no case is so pressing as that He cannot spare time to stay to bless some one else. The poor, sickly, shamefaced woman shall be healed, and the little girl shall not suffer.

II. We have next the extinction and rekindling of Jairus’s glimmer of hope.

Distances in Capernaum were short, and the messenger would soon find Jesus. There was little sympathy in the harsh, bald announcement of the death, or in the appended suggestion that the Rabbi need not be further troubled. The speaker evidently was thinking more of being polite to Jesus than of the poor father’s stricken heart, Jairus would feel then what most of us have felt in like circumstances,-that he had been more hopeful than he knew. Only when the last glimmer is quenched do we feel, by the blackness, how much light had lingered in our sky, But Jesus knew Jairus’s need before Jairus himself knew it, and His strong word of cheer relit the torch ere the poor father had time to speak. That loving eye reads our hearts and anticipates our dreary hopelessness by His sweet comfortings. Faith is the only victorious antagonist of fear. Jairus had every reason for abandoning hope, and his only reason for clinging to it was faith. So it is with us all. It is vain to bid us not be afraid when real dangers and miseries stare us in the face; but it is not vain to bid us ‘believe,’ and if we do that, faith, cast into the one scale, will outweigh a hundred good reasons for dread and despair cast into the other.

III. We have next the tumult of grief and the word that calms.

The hired mourners had lost no time, and in Eastern fashion were disturbing the solemnity of death with their professional shrieks and wailings. True grief is silent. Woe that weeps aloud is soon consoled.

What a contrast between the noise outside and the still death-chamber and its occupant, and what a contrast between the agitation of the sham comforters and the calmness of the true Helper! Christ’s great word was spoken for us all when our hearts are sore and our dear ones go. It dissolves the dim shape into nothing ness, or, rather, it transfigures it into a gracious, soothing form. Sleep is rest, and bears in itself the pledge of waking. So Christ has changed the ‘shadow feared of man’ into beauty, and in the strength of His great word we can meet the last enemy with ‘Welcome! friend.’ It is strange that any one reading this narrative should have been so blind to its deepest beauty as to suppose that Jesus was here saying that the child had only swooned, and was really alive. He was not denying that she was what men call ‘dead,’ but He was, in the triumphant consciousness of His own power, and in the clear vision of the realities of spiritual being, of which bodily states are but shadows, denying that what men call death deserves the name. ‘Death’ is the state of the soul separated from God, whether united to the body or no,-not the separation of body and soul, which is only a visible symbol of the more dread reality.

IV. We have finally the life-giving word and the life-preserving care.

Probably Jesus first freed His progress from the jostling crowd, and then, when arrived, made the further selection of the three apostles,-the first three of the mighty ones-and, as was becoming, of the father and mother.

With what hushed, tense expectation they would enter the chamber! Think of the mother’s eyes watching Him. The very words that He spoke were like a caress. There was infinite tenderness in that ‘Damsel!’ from His lips, and so deep an impression did it make on Peter that he repeated the very words to Mark, and used them, with the change of one letter {‘Tabitha’ for ‘Talitha’}, in raising Dorcas. The same tenderness is expressed by His taking her by the hand, as, no doubt, her mother had done, many a morning, on waking her. The father had asked Him to lay His hand on her, that she might be made whole and live. He did as He was asked,-He always does-and His doing according to our desire brings larger blessings than we had thought of. Neither the touch of His hand nor the words He spoke were the real agents of the child’s returning to life. It was His will which brought her back from whatever vasty dimness she had entered. The forth-putting of Christ’s will is sovereign, and His word runs with power through all regions of the universe. ‘The dull, cold ear of death’ hears, and ‘they that hear shall live,’ whether they are, as men say, dead, or whether they are ‘dead in trespasses and sins.’ The resurrection of a soul is a mightier act-if we can speak of degrees of might in His acts-than that of a body.

It would be calming for the child of such strange experiences to see, for the first thing that met her eyes opening again on the old familiar home as on a strange land, the bending face of Jesus, and His touch would steady her spirit and assure of His love and help. The quiet command to give her food knits the wonder with common life, and teaches precious lessons as to His economy of miraculous power, like His bidding others loosen Lazarus’s wrappings, and as to His devolution on us of duties towards those whom He raises from the death of sin. But it was given, not didactically, but lovingly. The girl was exhausted, and sustenance was necessary, and would be sweet. So He thought upon a small bodily need, and the love that gave life took care to provide what was required to support it. He gives the greatest; He will take care that we shall not lack the least.

5:35-43 We may suppose Jairus hesitating whether he should ask Christ to go on or not, when told that his daughter was dead. But have we not as much occasion for the grace of God, and the comfort of his Spirit, for the prayers of our ministers and Christian friends, when death is in the house, as when sickness is there? Faith is the only remedy against grief and fear at such a time. Believe the resurrection, then fear not. He raised the dead child to life by a word of power. Such is the gospel call to those who are by nature dead in trespasses and sins. It is by the word of Christ that spiritual life is given. All who saw it, and heard of it, admired the miracle, and Him that wrought it. Though we cannot now expect to have our dead children or relatives restored, we may hope to find comfort under our trials.Why troublest thou ... - It seems that the people had not yet confidence that Jesus could raise the dead. He had not yet done it; and as the child was now dead, and as they supposed that his power over her was at an end, they wished no farther to trouble him. Jesus kindly set the fears of the ruler at rest, and assured him that he had equal power over the dead and the living, and could as easily raise those who had expired as those who were expiring.35. Thy daughter is dead; why troublest thou the Master any further?—the Teacher.Ver. 35-43. There is nothing in this history needeth further notes for explication, than what we gave in the notes on Matthew, to which I here refer the reader; See Poole on "Matthew 9:18", See Poole on "Matthew 9:19", See Poole on "Matthew 9:23", and following verses to Matthew 9:31.

There is nothing more unaccountable in all the passages of our Saviour’s life recorded by the evangelists, than the charges that he gave to several persons healed by him,

that no man should know it. Especially if we consider:

1. That he did not charge all so; he bid the person possesses with the devil, Luke 5:19, go home to his friends, and tell them how great things the Lord had done for him.

2. That he could not expect to be concealed had they yielded obedience, for his miracles were done openly, and it was not likely that all would keep silence, nay, he commanded the leper to go and show himself to the priests.

3. Few of those thus charged did keep silence; nor do we ever find that Christ reflected blame on them, from which yet we cannot acquit them.

But we must not think to understand the reasons of all Christ’s actions and speeches; he had doubtless wise ends in doing it, though we do not understand them.

While he yet spake,.... The above things to the poor woman, in commendation of her faith, and for her future encouragement, peace, and comfort in soul and body:

there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain that said. The Vulgate Latin renders it, "from the ruler of the synagogue", and which is indeed the literal version of the phrase; but they could not come from him in person, for he was with Jesus: hence some versions, as the Arabic and Ethiopic, read, "there came to the ruler of the synagogue"; but the sense is easy, by supplying the word house, as we do, and as the Syriac and Persic versions also do. Luke speaks but of "one" that came, Luke 8:49 whereas this evangelist suggests there were more, which is no contradiction; for Luke does not say there was but one; there might be more that came with the news, though but one related it as the mouth of the rest; or they might come one after another with it.

Which said, thy daughter is dead, why troublest thou the master any further? these brought him the account that his daughter was actually dead, which he himself feared before; and therefore they thought it was in vain to give Christ any further trouble to drag along through a crowd of people pressing him; whom they looked upon as a very worthy person, an eminent doctor and prophet, a master in Israel, and one that had done great cures on living persons in distress; yet imagined it was wholly out of his power to raise one from the dead, of which, as yet, they had had no instance, unless the raising of the widow of Nain's son was before this, as indeed it seems to be; but perhaps persons, who were some of the relations, or domestics of the ruler, had heard nothing of it; for if they had, they might have hoped he would have exerted his power in raising the ruler's daughter, as well as the widow's son.

While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?
Mark 5:35-43. See on Matthew 9:23-25. Comp. Luke 8:49-56. The former greatly abridges and compresses more than Luke, who, however, does not come up to the vivid originality of the representation of Mark.

ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀρχισυν.] τουτέστιν ἀπὸ τῆς οἰκείας τοῦ ἀρχισυν., Euthymius Zigabenus.

ἔτι] since now there is no longer room for help.

Mark 5:36. According to the reading παρακούσας, this (comp. Matthew 18:17) is to be taken as the opposite of ὑπακούειν, namely: immediately He left this speech unnoticed; He did not heed it for one moment, but let it remain as it was, and said, etc. In this way is set forth the decided certainty.[92] He has heard the announcement (Mark 5:35), but at once let it pass unattended to. Ewald is incorrect in saying that He acted as if he had failed to hear it. That He did not fail to hear it, and, moreover, did not act as if He had, is in fact shown just by the μὴ φοβοῦ κ.τ.λ. which he addresses to Jairus. The Itala in the Cod. Pal. (e. in Tisch.) correctly has neglexit.

μὴ φοβοῦ κ.τ.λ.] as though now all were lost, all deliverance cut off.

Mark 5:37. According to Mark, Jesus sends back the rest (disciples and others who were following Him) before the house; according to Luke 8:51, in the house.

Mark 5:38. θόρυβον καὶ κλαίοντας κ. ἀλαλ.] an uproar and (especially) people weeping and wailing. The first καί attaches to the general term θόρυβον the special elements that belong to it, as in Mark 1:5, and frequently. ἀλαλάζω not merely used of the cry of conflict and rejoicing, but also, although rarely, of the cry of anguish and lamentation. See Plutarch, Luc. 28; Eur. El. 843.

Mark 5:39. εἰσελθών] into the house. A later point of time than at Mark 5:38.

Mark 5:40. ἐκβαλών] irritated, commanding; He ejected them. Among the πάντας, those who are named immediately afterwards (παραλαμβ. κ.τ.λ.) are not included, and so not the three disciples (in opposition to Baur).

Mark 5:41. ταλιθὰ κοῦμι] טָלִיתָא קוּמִי, puella, surge. It is a feature of Mark’s vivid concrete way of description to give significant words in Hebrew, with their interpretation, Mark 3:18, Mark 7:12; Mark 7:34, Mark 14:36. On the Aramaean טליתא, see Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. p. 875.

ΤῸ ΚΟΡΆΣΙΟΝ] nominative with the article in the imperative address, Bernhardy, p. 67; Kühner, II. 155.

ΣΟῚ ΛΈΓΩ] a free addition of Mark, “ut sensum vocantis atque imperantis exprimeret” (Jerome).

ἜΓΕΙΡΕ] out of the sleep, Mark 5:39.

Mark 5:42. ἮΝ ΓᾺΡ ἘΤῶΝ ΔΏΔΕΚΑ] not as giving a reason for the word ΚΟΡΆΣΙΟΝ (Euthymius Zigabenus, Fritzsche), but in explanation of the previous remark, that the maiden arose and walked about; she was no longer a little child. Bengel appropriately observes: “rediit ad statum aetati congruentem.” The circumstance that she was just in the period of development (Paulus) is certainly in keeping with the thought of an apparent death, but is alien to the connection.

Mark 5:43. ΔΙΕΣΤΕΊΛΑΤΟ] He gave them urgently (ΠΟΛΛΆ) injunction, command. See on Matthew 16:20.

ΑὐΤΟῖς] those brought in at Mark 5:40.

ἽΝΑ] the purpose of the ΔΙΕΣΤΕΊΛ. ΠΟΛΛΆ. Comp. Matthew 16:20; Mark 7:36; Mark 9:9.

ΓΝῷ[93]] ΤΟῦΤΟ: namely, this course of the matter. The prohibition itself, as only the three disciples and the child’s parents were present (Mark 5:40), has in it nothing unsuitable, any more than at Mark 1:44, Mark 7:36, Mark 8:26. When Jesus heals publicly in presence of the multitude there is not found even in Mark, except in the cases of the expulsion of demons, Mark 1:34, Mark 3:12, any prohibition of the kind (Mark 2:11 f., Mark 3:5, Mark 5:34, Mark 9:27, Mark 10:52). Mark therefore ought not to have been subjected to the imputation of a tendency to make the sensation produced by the healings of Jesus “appear altogether great and important” (Köstlin, p. 317; comp. Baur, Markusevang. p. 54) by His design of wishing to hinder it; or of the endeavour to leave out of view the unsusceptible mass of the people, and to bestow His attention solely on the susceptible circle of the disciples (Hilgenfeld, Evang. p. 135). In our history the quickening to life again in itself could not, of course, be kept secret (see, on the contrary, Matthew 9:26), but probably the more detailed circumstances of the way of its accomplishment might. Jesus, although He was from the outset certain of being the promised Messiah (in opposition to Schenkel), by such prohibitions did as much as on His part He could to oppose the kindling of precipitate Messianic fanaticism and popular commotion. He could not prevent their want of success in individual cases (Mark 1:45, Mark 7:36); but it is just the frequent occurrence of those prohibitions that gives so sure attestation of their historical character in general. Comp. Ewald, Jahrb. I. p. 117 f. It is quite as historical and characteristic, that Jesus never forbade the propagation of His teachings. With His Messiahship He was afraid of arousing a premature sensation (Mark 8:30, Mark 9:9; Mark 5:35-43. The story of Jairus’ daughter resumed.

35–43. The Raising of the Daughter of Jairus

35. why troublest thou the Master?] Or as, literally rendered, it is in St Luke’s Gospel (Luke 8:49), “trouble not the Master any further.” The word, here translated “trouble,” one which is used here and here alone by St Mark and St Luke (except Luke 7:6), denotes properly (1) to flay: then (2) to fatigue or to worry, often with a more particular allusion to fatiguing with the length of a journey.

Mark 5:35. Ἀπὸ, from) The house of the ruler of the synagogue.—τὶ ἔτι, why any further) This is a strong affirmation of the fact of the daughter being dead. They suppose the ruler’s efforts to be vain and out of place.—σκὺλλεις, thou troublest) This verb is properly used of the trouble attending a journey; Luke 7:6; Luke 8:49. Herodian employs it of the difficult [severe] conveyance of captives, and of the setting out of an army. The walkings about of Jesus were then a perpetual σκυλμὸς, trouble [harass].—τὸν διδάσκαλον, the Master) There were therefore disciples of Jesus in the family of Jairus, and Jesus was the Teacher of the ruler of the synagogue.

Verse 35. - Our Lord had lingered on the way to the house of Jairus, perhaps, as has already been suggested, that the crisis might first come, and that so there might be full evidence of his resurrection power. The ruler must have been agonized with the thought that, while our Lord lingered, the life of his dying child was fast ebbing away. And now comes the fatal message to him. Thy daughter is dead (ἀπέθανε); the aorist expresses that her death was now a past event. Why troublest thou the Master any further? (τί ἔτι σκύλλεις τὸν διδάσκαλον). The Greek word here is very strong. It is to vex or weary; literally, to flay. The messengers from the ruler's house had evidently abandoned all hope, and so probably would Jairus, but for the cheering words of our Lord, "Fear not, only believe." Mark 5:35From the ruler of the synagogue

From his house; for the ruler himself is addressed.

Troublest (σκύλλεις)

See on Matthew 9:36. Compare Luke 11:22, where occurs the cognate word σκῦλα, spoils, things torn or stripped from an enemy. Wyc., travailest. Tynd., diseasest.

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