Mark 6:45
And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before to Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(45) Unto Bethsaida.—There is nothing in the text to warrant the marginal reading, “over against Beth-saida.” It was probably suggested by some one who did not know that there were two Bethsaidas, in order to avoid the seeming difficulty which presented itself from the statement in St. Luke, that the Five Thousand were fed at or near Bethsaida.

Mark 6:45-56. For an explanation of these verses, see the notes on Matthew 14:22-36. 6:45-56 The church is often like a ship at sea, tossed with tempests, and not comforted: we may have Christ for us, yet wind and tide against us; but it is a comfort to Christ's disciples in a storm, that their Master is in the heavenly mount, interceding for them. And no difficulties can hinder Christ's appearance for his people, when the set time is come. He silenced their fears, by making himself known to them. Our fears are soon satisfied, if our mistakes are set right, especially our mistakes as to Christ. Let the disciples have their Master with them, and all is well. It is for want of rightly understanding Christ's former works, that we view his present works as if there never were the like before. If Christ's ministers now could cure people's bodily diseases, what multitudes would flock after them! It is sad to think how much more most care about their bodies than about their souls.See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 14:22-36.45. And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before—Him.

unto Bethsaida—Bethsaida of Galilee (Joh 12:21). John (Joh 6:17) says they "went over the sea towards Capernaum"—the wind, probably, occasioning this slight deviation from the direction of Bethsaida.

while he sent away the people—"the multitude." His object in this was to put an end to the misdirected excitement in His favor (Joh 6:15), into which the disciples themselves may have been somewhat drawn. The word "constrained" implies reluctance on their part, perhaps from unwillingness to part with their Master and embark at night, leaving Him alone on the mountain.

Ver. 45,46. If this desert where Christ was were, as Luke saith, Luke 9:10, a desert belonging to Bethsaida, those words, eiv to peran prov bhysaidan, are ill translated

unto Bethsaida, and the marginal note in our larger Bibles is better, over against Bethsaida. Our Saviour here first sends away his disciples by water, then he dismisses the multitude to go to their own homes. Then he goeth up into a mountain to pray. We find Christ very often in the duty of secret prayer, very often choosing a mountain, as a place of solitude, for the performance of it, and very often making use of the night for it, which is also a time of quietness and solitude: which lets us know that secret prayer is necessary, not only for the bewailing, and confessing, and begging pardon for our secret sins, (for Christ had no such), but for our more free and more near communion with God; for although God filleth all places, yet we shall observe that God, in his more than ordinary communion with his people, hath not admitted of company, of which Abraham, and Moses, and Jacob, and all the prophets are sufficient instances. And straightway he constrained his disciples,.... The reasons of this is See Gill on Matthew 14:22,

to get into the ship; in which they came to this place, and which was waiting for them:

and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida; or rather "to go to the other side over against Bethsaida"; for they were now in a desert belonging to that city, wherefore they were ordered to go, and did go to the other side of the sea of Tiberias, or Galilee, even to Capernaum, as appears from John 6:17;

while he sent away the people; See Gill on Matthew 14:22.

{7} And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.

(7) The faithful servants of God after their little labour are subject to a great tempest which Christ, being present in power although absent in body, moderates in such a way that he brings them to a happy haven, at such time and by such means as they did not expect: A graphic image of the Church tossed to and fro in this world.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Mark 6:45-56. Comp. on Matthew 14:22-26. The latter abridges indeed, but adds, probably from a tradition[101] not known to Mark, the intervening scene Mark 14:28-31. The conclusion has remained peculiar to Mark.

ἠνάγκασε κ.τ.λ.] remaining behind alone, He could the more easily withdraw Himself unobserved from the people.

τὸ πλοῖον] the ship, in which they had come.

Βηθσαϊδάν] The place on the western coast of the lake, in Galilee, is meant, Matthew 11:21. See Mark 6:53; Mark 8:22; John 6:17. In opposition to Wieseler and Lange, who understand the eastern Bethsaida, see on Matthew 14:22, Remark. As to the relation of this statement to Luke 9:10, see in loc.

ἀπολύει (see the critical remarks) is to be explained from the peculiarity of the Greek in introducing in the direct mode of expression in oblique discourse, by which means the representation gains in liveliness. See Kühner, II. p. 594 f., and ad Xen. Anab. i. 3. 14; Bernhardy, p. 389.

ἀποταξάμ. αὐτοῖς] after He had taken leave of them (of the people), an expression of later Greek. See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 24; Wetstein in loc.

Mark 6:48. A point is to be placed, with Lachmann and Tischendorf, after θαλάσσης, and then a colon after ΑὐΤΟΎς; but ἮΝ ΓᾺΡ Ὁ ἌΝΕΜ. ἘΝΑΝΤ. ΑὐΤ. is a parenthesis. When He had seen them in distress (ἰδών, see the critical remarks), this induced Him about the fourth watch of the night to come to them walking on the sea (not upon its shore). His purpose therein was to help them (Mark 6:51); but the initiative in this matter was to come from the side of the disciples; therefore He wished to pass by before the ship, in order to be observed by them (Mark 6:49).

περὶ τετάρτ. φυλακ.] The difficulties suggested by the lateness of the time at which they were still sailing, after having already ὈΨΊΑς ΓΕΝΟΜΈΝΗς reached the middle of the lake (Strauss, B. Bauer), are quite explained by the violence of the contrary wind. Comp. Ebrard, p. 392; Robinson, Pal. III. p. 527, 572.

παρελθεῖν αὐτούς] The Vulgate rightly has: praeterire eos (Hom. Il. viii. 239; Plat. Alc. i. 123 B), not: “to come over (the lake) to them,” Ewald (yet comp. his Gesch. Chr. p. 365). This is at variance with the New Testament usage, although poets (as Eur. Med. 1137, 1275) join παρέρχεσθαι, to come to any one, with the accusative; moreover, after ἜΡΧΕΤΑΙ ΠΡῸς ΑὐΤΟΎς the remark would be superfluous. It, might mean: He wished to overtake them (antevertere, see Hom. Od. viii. 230; Sturz, Lex. Xen. III. p. 453; Ameis and Nägelsbach on Hom. II. i. 132), but the primary and most usual meaning is quite appropriate.

Mark 6:51. ἐκ περισσοῦ] is further strengthened by ΛΊΑΝ: very much above all measure. Comp. λίαν ἄγαν (Meineke, Menand. p. 152), and similar expressions (Lobeck, Paralip. p. 62), also λίαν βέλτιστα, Plat. Eryx. p. 393 E.

ἐν ἑαυτοῖς] in their own hearts, without giving vent to their feelings in utterances, as at Mark 4:14.

ἐθαύμαζον] The imperfect denotes (comp. Acts 2:7) the continuance of the feeling after the first amazement.

Mark 6:52. ΓΆΡ] for they attained not to understanding in the matter of the loaves (on occasion of that marvellous feeding with bread; Mark 6:41 ff.); otherwise they would, by virtue of the insight acquired on occasion of that work of Christ, have known how to judge correctly of the present new miracle, in which the same divine power had operated through Him,[102] and they would not have fallen into such boundless surprise and astonishment. Bengel says correctly: “Debuerant a pane ad mare concludere.” De Wette unjustly describes it as “an observation belonging to the craving for miracles;” and Hilgenfeld arbitrarily, as “a foil” to glorify the confession of Peter.

ἦν γὰρ κ.τ.λ.] informs us of the internal reason of their not attaining insight in the matter of the loaves; their heart, i.e. the seat of their internal vital activity (Beck, Seelenlehre, p. 67; Delitzsch, Psych, p. 248 ff.), was withal in a state of hardening, wherein they were as to mind and disposition obtuse and inaccessible to the higher knowledge and its practically determining influence. Comp. Mark 8:7.

Mark 6:53. διαπεράσ] points back to Mark 6:45.

ἘΠῚ Τ. ΓῆΝ ΓΕΝΝΗΣ.] not: into the country, but unto the country of Gennesareth; for the landing (προσωρμίσθ.) and disembarking does not follow till afterwards.

Mark 6:55. περιδραμόντες] in order to fetch the sick.

ἬΡΞΑΤΟ] belongs to the description of the quick result. Immediately they knew Him, they ran round about and began, etc.

περιφέρειν] is not inappropriate (Fritzsche), which would only be the case, if it were necessary to suppose that the individual sick man had been carried about. But it is to be understood summarily of the sick; these were carried about—one hither, another thither, wherever Jesus was at the time (comp. Mark 6:56).

Hence ὅπου ἤκουον, ὅτι ἐκεῖ ἐστι cannot mean: from all the places, at which (ὅπου) they heard that He was there (in the region of Gennesareth), but both ὅπου and ἘΚΕῖ, although we may not blend them after the analogy of the Hebrew אֲשֶׁר־שָׁם into the simple ubi (Beza, Grotius, Wetstein, and many others), must denote the (changing, see Mark 6:56) abode of Jesus. They brought the sick round about to the places, at which they were told that He was to be found there. We may conceive that the people before going forth with their sick first make inquiry in the surrounding places, whether Jesus is there. Wherever on this inquiry they hear that He is present, thither they bring the sick.

Mark 6:56. ΕἸς ΚΏΜ. Ἢ ΠΌΛΕΙς] therefore not merely limiting Himself to the small district of Gennesareth, where He had landed. The following ἘΝ ΤΑῖς ἈΓΟΡΑῖς, however, is not in keeping with ἈΓΡΌς (country-places). A want of precision, which has suggested the reading ἘΝ ΤΑῖς ΠΛΑΤΕΙΑῖς in D, Vulg. It. The expression is zeugmatic.

ΚἊΝ ΤΟῦ ΚΡΑΣΠ. Κ.Τ.Λ.] comp. Mark 5:28. As to the mode of expression, see Acts 5:15; 2 Corinthians 11:16.

ὍΣΟΙ ἊΝ ἭΠΤΟΝΤΟ] all whosoever, in the several cases. Comp. above: ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο. See Hermann, de part. ἌΝ, p. 26 ff.; Klotz, ad Devar. p. 145; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 186 f. [E. T. 216].

ἐσώζοντο] analogously to the case of the woman with an issue of blood, Mark 5:29-30, yet not independent of the knowledge and will of Jesus. And αὐτοῦ refers to Jesus, no matter where they touched Him.

[101] According to Hilgenfeld, Mark purposely suppressed the incident under the influence of a Petrine tendency, because Peter had shown weakness of faith. In this case he would have been inconsistent enough in narratives such as at Mark 8:33. Weizsäcker rightly recognises in Matt. l.c. the later representation, which, however, is merely a further embellishment not belonging to history.

[102] Mark therefore regarded the walking on the sea quite differently from Lange, L. J. II. p. 287 f., for this latter finds the pith of the miracle in the complete divine equanimity of the mind of Jesus, and in respect of that even says: “the dog falls into the water and swims, but the man falls into it and is drowned,” namely, by his alarm, instead of poising himself amidst the waves in the triumphant equanimity of his mind. This is an extravagance of naturalizing.Mark 6:45-52. Another sea-anecdote (Matthew 14:22-33). Luke drops out here and does not join his brother evangelists till we come to Mark 8:27.45–52. The Walking on the Lake

45. And straightway] The impression made upon the people by the miracle just narrated was profound. It was the popular expectation that the Messiah would repeat the miracles of Moses, and this “bread of wonder,” of which they had just partaken, recalled to the minds of the multitudes the manna, which the Great Lawgiver had given to their forefathers. They were convinced, therefore, that the Saviour was none other than “the Prophet,” of whom Moses had spoken, and in this conviction they would have taken Him by force and made Him a king (John 6:14-15). To defeat this intention the Saviour bade His Apostles take ship and cross over to the other side of the Lake.

unto Bethsaida] i. e. the western Bethsaida, the town of Philip, Andrew, and Peter, in the neighbourhood of Capernaum (John 6:17).Mark 6:45. Πρὸς Βηθσαϊδὰν, to Bethsaida) This was the terminus, not of their whole voyage, but in part, until Jesus was about to come to them.Verse 45. - The other side. It would seem, as has already been stated, that there were two Bethsaidas (or "places of fish" - fish-villages) - one to the north-east of the Sea of Galilee, not far from where the Jordan enters it, called Bethsaida Julias; and the other on the western side of the sea itself, near to Capernaum. Again and again our Lord crossed this sea to escape the crowds who followed him about, and now wished "to take him by force and make him a king." He desired for a time to be in retirement, in order that he might pray with the greater earnestness, and freedom from interruption. He also wished to make occasion for the miracle which was to follow, namely, the stilling of the tempest.
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