Mark 8:12
And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, Why does this generation seek after a sign? truly I say to you, There shall no sign be given to this generation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) There shall no sign be given.—We note the omission of “the sign of the prophet Jonas,” as given in Matthew 16:4.

8:11-21 Obstinate unbelief will have something to say, though ever so unreasonable. Christ refused to answer their demand. If they will not be convinced, they shall not. Alas! what cause we have to lament for those around us, who destroy themselves and others by their perverse and obstinate unbelief, and enmity to the gospel! When we forget the works of God, and distrust him, we should chide ourselves severely, as Christ here reproves his disciples. How is it that we so often mistake his meaning, disregard his warnings, and distrust his providence?Sighed deeply in his spirit - His heart was deeply affected at their wickedness and hypocrisy. The word "spirit" here is taken as the seat of the emotions, passions, affections. He drew groans deeply from his breast.

No sign be given - That is, no such sign as they asked, to wit, a sign "from heaven." He said a sign should be given, the same as was furnished by Jonas, Matthew 16:4. But this was not what they "asked," nor would it be given "because" they asked it.

12. And he sighed deeply in his spirit—The language is very strong. These glimpses into the interior of the Redeemer's heart, in which our Evangelist abounds, are more precious than rubies. The state of the Pharisaic heart, which prompted this desire for a fresh sign, went to His very soul.

and saith, Why doth this generation—"this wicked and adulterous generation" (Mt 16:4).

seek after a sign?—when they have had such abundant evidence already.

There shall no sign be given unto this generation—literally, "If there shall be given to this generation a sign"; a Jewish way of expressing a solemn and peremptory determination to the contrary (compare Heb 4:5; Ps 95:11, Margin). "A generation incapable of appreciating such demonstrations shall not be gratified with them." In Mt 16:4 He added, "but the sign of the prophet Jonas." (See on [1455]Mt 12:39, 40.)

See Poole on "Mark 8:10" And he sighed deeply in his Spirit,.... In his human soul; and which shows that he had one, and was subject to grief and sorrow, and all passions and infirmities, excepting sin. This deep sigh was on account of the hardness of their hearts, the malignity of their minds, and insincerity of their intentions; who had no view to come at truth by this inquiry, but to ensnare him:

and saith, why doth this generation seek after a sign? when so many have been shown among them, and they will not believe:

verily I say unto you, there shall no sign be given to this generation: such as they desired; namely, one from heaven. The Evangelist Matthew adds, "but the sign of the Prophet Jonas"; See Gill on Matthew 16:4, Matthew 12:40.

And he {c} sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, {d} There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

(c) These sighs came from the centre of his heart for the Lord was very much moved with the great unbelief of these men.

(d) Literally, If a sign be given. It is an abbreviated kind of speech very common among the Hebrews; it is the same as when we say, Let me be taken for a liar, or something similar. And when they speak out the whole, they say, The Lord do such and such by me.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Mark 8:12. ἀναστενάξας, fetching a deep sigh, here only in N. T.; in Sept[68], Lament. Mark 1:4, Sir 25:18, etc.—τῷ πνεύματι α., in His spirit. The sigh physical, its cause spiritual—a sense of irreconcilable enmity, invincible unbelief, and coming doom.—εἰ δοθήσεται, if there shall be given = there shall not (οὐ) be given a Hebraistic form of emphatic negative assertion. The suppressed apodosis is: may I die, or God punish me. Other instances in Hebrews 3:11; Hebrews 4:3; Hebrews 4:5. In Mark there is an absolute refusal of a sign. In Matthew the refusal is qualified by offer of Jonah. But that was an absolute refusal of signs in their sense.

[68]Septuagint.12. he sighed deeply in his spirit] Not merely, we may conclude, at their hardened disbelief, but also with the feeling that the decisive crisis of the severance from the ruling powers had come. “For the demand for a sign from heaven was a demand that He should, as the Messiah of their expectation, accredit Himself by a great overmastering miracle; thus it was fundamentally similar to the temptation in the wilderness, which He had repelled and overcome.” Lange.

There shall no sign be given] Literally, If a sign shall be given to this generation, a Hebrew form of strong abjuration. Comp. Hebrews 3:11, where see the margin; Mark 4:3; Mark 4:5; Genesis 14:23; Numbers 14:30. St Mark does not mention the sign of “Jonah the prophet” mentioned by St Matthew (Matthew 16:4).Mark 8:12. Ἀναστενάξας) When He has betaken Himself to [having commenced] sighing. The word is inchoative or inceptive, as ἀναβοάω, etc. And yet to begin to groan or sigh remains a πάθος, or mental emotion.[56]

[56] Not a premeditated act of the mind: though to begin to groan might seem to imply it was the latter.—ED. and TRANSL.Verse 12. - He sighed deeply in his spirit (ἀναστενάξας) Another graphic touch of this evangelist; such as he had learnt in all probability from St. Peter. The word occurs nowhere but here. It is the outcome of grief and indignation, in which, however, grief predominates. There shall no sign be given unto this generation (εἰ δοθήσεται σημεῖον). This is a Hebrew idiom, based upon a form of taking an oath which prevailed amongst the Jews. The full form would be, "God do so and so to me, if so and so." Hence the hypothetical part of the clause came to be used alone, expressing a very strong form of denial or refusal. Sighed deeply in his spirit

Peculiar to Mark.

There shall no sign be given (εἰ δοθήσεται σημεῖον)

Lit., if a sign shall be given. The expression is elliptical. It is a Hebrew idiom, and is really, at bottom, a form of imprecation. If I do not thus or so, may some judgment overtake me. Compare Hebrews 3:11.

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