Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Now the disciples.—Better, and the disciples, in close connection with the preceding verse, and not as the beginning of a new section.
More than one loaf.—Another detail peculiar to St. Mark.Mark 8:14-21. The disciples had forgotten to take bread, &c. — For an explanation of this paragraph, see note on Matthew 16:5-12. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod — By the leaven of Herod the doctrine of the Sadducees is intended, which was, in almost every point, in direct opposition to that of the Pharisees. Of the two sects, see the note on Matthew 3:7. And they reasoned among themselves — They talked privately among themselves about the meaning of their Master’s exhortation, and agreed that it was a reproof for their neglecting to take bread along with them. When Jesus knew it — Which he did immediately, for the thoughts of their minds, as well as the words of their tongues, were all observed by him; he saith, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Why should your neglecting to take bread with you make you put such an interpretation upon my words? Perceive ye not yet, &c. — After having been so long with me, are ye still ignorant of my power and goodness? Have ye your heart yet hardened? Is no abiding impression made yet upon your minds by the many and great miracles I have performed, and the many discourses which you have heard me deliver? Having eyes, see ye not, &c. — As if he had said, My miracles being all the objects of your senses, no extraordinary degree of capacity was requisite to enable you to judge of them. How came it then, that, having the senses of sight and hearing entire, you were not struck with the two miracles of the loaves and fishes, so as to remember them, and derive instruction from them? Our Lord here, it must be observed, affirms of all the apostles, (for the question is equivalent to an affirmation,) that their hearts were hardened: that, having eyes they saw not, having ears they heard not; that they did not consider, neither understand; the very same expressions that occur in the xiiith of Matthew. And yet it is certain that they were not judicially hardened. Therefore all these strong expressions do not necessarily import any thing more than the present want of spiritual understanding.
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.Matthew 16:5-12;
See Poole on "Matthew 16:5", and following verses to Matthew 16:12. It teacheth us both a lesson of human frailty, and what is our Christian duty: of our frailty, in not considering the works of the Lord for us, so as to make any use of them for the time to come. God doth his great works of providence to he had in remembrance, and that not only with respect to himself, that he might be glorified by us upon the remembrance of them, and this not only by our rejoicing in him, but also by our trusting in him, and not desponding under such like difficulties as God by any of them hath delivered us from. And also with respect to our duty, that we might in present exigences relieve ourselves from former experiences: and if we do not thus conceive of God’s dispensations, we do not perceive, nor understand, the meaning and will of God in them; though we have eyes we see not, though we have ears we hear not, and in remembering we remember not, our remembrance is of no benefit, no advantage at all unto us. Our Saviour, indeed, did not at all speak here of bodily bread; though he did bid them beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod, he spake to them about the doctrine of the Pharisees, and so Matthew tells us they (after this reproof) considered, though he (after his accustomed manner) spake to them under a parabolical expression. Saith he: What though you have forgotten to bring bread, do not you know, have not I, by two miraculous operations, taught you that I am able to furnish you with bread, though you have none, or such a quantity as is very insufficient? God expects of us that we should so keep in mind his former dispensations of providence to us, under straits and difficulties, as to trust in him when his providence brings us again into the like difficulties, yet not declining the use of any reasonable and just means for providing for ourselves. Thus David knew, and understood, that God had delivered him from the lion and the bear, while going against Goliath, 1 Samuel 17:31-58; he made it a ground of his confidence: so also Psalm 116:8: and Paul, when he concluded God would deliver because he had delivered. God, when he brake the heads of leviathan in pieces, gave him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness, Psalm 74:14: he intends former mercies to be food for his people in following straits and exigences.
Neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf; for thirteen passengers of them. The Persic version reads the whole thus: "and they forgot to take bread with them, not indeed one loaf, and there was no bread with them in the ship"; See Gill on Matthew 16:5.Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Mark 8:14-21. See on Matthew 16:5-11, whose narrative is less concise and more explanatory.
ἐπελάθοντο] quite as in Matthew 16:6, and therefore not: viderunt se oblitos esse (Fritzsche, Kuinoel). The disciples (Mark 8:15) form the subject, as is evident of itself; for they ought to have taken care as to the provision of bread, but forgot it.
εἰ μὴ ἕνα κ.τ.λ.] a statement, which is quite in keeping with the peculiarity of Mark, and perhaps proceeds from Peter (in opposition to Hilgenfeld).
Mark 8:15. ὁρᾶτε is absolute; and ἀπὸ τῆς ζ. κ.τ.λ. belongs only to βλέπετε, the construction of which with ἀπό (comp. Mark 12:33) is not, with Tittmann, Synon. p. 114, and Kuinoel, to be analysed: avertere oculos, but: take heed on account of, etc. Comp. προσέχειν ἀπό (Matthew 16:6); φόβος ἀπὸ τῶν πολεμίων (Xen. Cyr. iii. 3. 53), al.
τῆς ζύμης τῶν Φαρισαίων] According to Matthew (see on Mark 16:6), ζύμη is a figure for pernicious doctrine, and there appears no reason for assuming any other reference here, such as to the mali mores, the character (Bleek, Holtzmann), the mental tendency (Schenkel), and the like. See on Matthew 16:6. Jesus warns against the soul-perilling doctrines, which at that time proceeded as well from the leaders of the hierarchy (the Pharisees) as from the political head (Herod Antipas). Herod was a frivolous, voluptuous, unprincipled man (see Ewald, Gesch. Chr. p. 47 f.); and the morally vile principles and maxims, given forth by him, and propagated by the Jews who adhered to him (the Herodians, iii. 6; see on Matthew 22:16), are the ζύμη Ἡρώδου. A wrong attempt at harmonizing will have it that Herod is mentioned (Heupel) as a Sadducee (which, however, he never was; see on Matthew 14:2), because Matthew 16:6 has καὶ Σαδδουκαίων.
Mark 8:16. According to the correct reading (see the critical remarks): and they considered with one another, that they would have no bread. With respect to the indicative present ἔχουσι, comp. on Mark 6:45, and Dissen, ad Dem. de Cor. p. 203.
Mark 8:19-20. This dialogue form is characteristic of Mark’s vivid mode of representation.
πόσων σπυρίδ. πληρώματα κλασμάτων] See on Mark 6:43. Observe here, also, as well as in Matthew, the alternation of κοφίνους and σπυρίδων, in accordance with Mark 6:43 and Mark 8:8.
By the fact that, after those two miraculous feedings, they still could take thought one with another about want of bread, they show how much they still lack discernment. The reproach of Mark 8:17-18 refers to this. But in ΟὔΠΩ ΣΥΝΊΕΤΕ, Mark 8:21 (see the critical remarks), the ΟὔΠΩ applies to the instruction that has just been catechetically conveyed Mark 8:19-20, and is therefore a later οὔπω than that in Mark 8:17, standing related thereto by way of climax. Schenkel regards as incorrect all that is said of this reference to the miraculous feedings, in consistency with his view that these did not happen at all in the manner narrated.
 On the thought of ver. 18, comp., besides Isaiah 6:9 f., Xen. Cyr. iii. 1. 27: ὦ θαυμασιώτατε ἄνθρωπε, σὺ δέ γε οὐδὲ ὁρῶν γινώσκεις, οὐδὲ ἀκούων μέμνησαι, Dem. 797. 3 : οὕτως ὁρῶντες … ὥστε τὸ τῆς παροιμίας ὁρῶντας μὴ ὁρᾶν καὶ ἀκούοντας μὴ ἀκούειν.Mark 8:14. εἰ μὴ ἕνα ἄρτον: a curiously exact reminiscence where so much else that seems to us more important is left vague. But it shows that we have to do with reality, for the suggestion of the Tübingen critics that it is a mere bit of word painting is not credible. The one loaf seems to witness to a Christ-like easymindedness as to food in the disciple-circle. Let to-morrow look after itself!14. had forgotten] In the hurry of their unexpected re-embarkation they had altogether omitted to make provision for their own personal wants.Verse 14. - And they had forgotten (ἐπελάθοντο) - literally, they forgot - to take bread (ἄρτους); loaves. The conversation which follows took place on the boat while they were crossing. The passage would take perhaps six hours. And it was during that time that they would want food; for when they reached the port, they would find it in abundance.
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