But I say to you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done to him whatever they listed, as it is written of him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)As it is written of him.—The words are peculiar to St. Mark, and probably point (1) to the special prediction of the coming of Elijah in Malachi 4, and (2) to the parallelism between the career of the Baptist and that of the Tishbite prophet. What had been written of or for the one, the record of bold rebuke and consequent suffering for the Truth, had received its fulfilment in the other.Matthew 17:10-13.
Mr 9:1-13. Jesus Is Transfigured—Conversation about Elias. ( = Mt 16:28-17:13; Lu 9:27-36).
See on Lu 9:27-36.See Poole on "Mark 9:11"
And they have done unto him whatsoever they listed; See Gill on Matthew 17:12; which words should be read in a parenthesis, as they are in the Vulgate Latin version; for what follows, as
it is written of him, respects not what the Scribes and Pharisees, and the people of the Jews did to John at their pleasure; despising his ministry and message, rejecting the counsel of God delivered by him, and remaining impenitent and unbelieving, notwithstanding his powerful and awakening ministry, with many other things, which are no where written of him; but the words regard his coming, and the prophecies concerning him, and particularly, that under the name of Elijah, in Malachi 4:5 and which had had their accomplishment.But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Mark 9:13 contains Christ’s own view of Elijah’s coming, which differs both from that of the scribes and from that of the disciples, who found it realised in the vision on the hill.—καθὼς γέγραπται ἐπʼ αὐτόν: the reference is to the persecution of Elijah by Jezebel, the obvious intention being to suggest the identification of the expected prophet with the Baptist. All pointing to one conclusion—suffering the appointed lot of the faithful servants of God in this evil world: Elijah, John, Jesus. That, the lesson Jesus wished by all means to inculcate: the δεῖ πολλὰ παθεῖν, now, and henceforth, to the end.13. That Elias is indeed come] that is in the person of John the Baptist, to whom men acted even as it had been written of the persecution of the real Elijah. A few remarks here will not be out of place (i) On the three accounts of the Transfiguration; (ii) On the meaning and significance of the event itself.
(i) The three accounts. (a) All three Evangelists relate the conversation which preceded, and the Miracle which succeeded it. (b) St Matthew alone records the prostration of the disciples through excessive fear, and the Lord’s strengthening touch and cheering words uttered once before on the stormy lake (Matthew 17:6-7; Matthew 14:27), recalling, as the Hebrew Evangelist, the scene in the Exodus when the face of Moses shone, and the children of Israel were afraid to come nigh him (Exodus 34:29-30). (c) St Mark, in describing the effect of the Transfiguration, uses the strongest material imagery, “white as snow,” “so as no fuller on earth can whiten,” and he alone has the sudden vanishing of the heavenly visitors, and the inquiring look around of the disciples, and their questioning amongst themselves what “the rising from the dead could mean.” (d) St Luke alone tells us that our Lord was engaged in prayer at the moment of His glorification (Luke 9:29), and mentions the slumbrous and wakeful condition of the three witnesses, the subject of mysterious converse between the Lord and His visitors from the other world (Luke 9:31), and the fact that the Heavenly Voice succeeded their departure (Luke 9:35). (e) Both St Matthew and St Mark place in immediate connection with the Event the remarkable conversation about Elias, but St Matthew alone applies the Lord’s words concerning that great prophet to John the Baptist (Matthew 17:13).
(ii) The meaning and significance of the Event. This we may believe had respect (a) to the Apostles, and (b) to our Lord Himself.
(a) As regards the Apostles. This one full manifestation of His Divine glory, during the period of the Incarnation, was designed to confirm their faith, to comfort them in prospect of their Master’s approaching sufferings, to prepare them to see in His Passion the fulfilment alike of the Law and the Prophets, to give them a glimpse of the celestial Majesty of Him, whom they had given up all to follow.
(b) As regards our Lord. As regards the Redeemer we may conclude that the transaction marked His consecration as the Divine Victim, Who was to accomplish the great “Decease” at Jerusalem, even as the Baptism inaugurated the commencement of His public ministry; it was the solemn attestation of His perfect oneness with His Father in heaven at the very time when He was about to descend into the valley of the shadow of death. It was, as it has well been called, “the summit-level” of the Life Incarnate. From this time forward there is a perceptible change. (a) Miracles, which hitherto had abounded in prodigal profusion, well-nigh cease. Only five mark the period between the Transfiguration and the Passion. Those, for whom “signs” could avail, were already won. For the rest, no more could be done. They were like those, amongst whom in His earlier ministry, “He could do no mighty work because of their unbelief.” (b) As regards His teaching, public addresses, before the rule, now become few and rare; His special revelations of the future to the chosen Twelve become more frequent, and they uniformly circle, unenshrouded in type or figure or dark saying, round the Cross.Mark 9:13. Ὅτι καὶ) καὶ, even.—αὐτῷ, to him) to Elias. See by all means Matthew 17:12.—καθὼς, even as) Refer this to is come. He intimates, that the coming of Elias rests, not upon the opinion of the Scribes, but on a prophecy of Scripture, which was less known to the disciples. Nor, however, is this not also to be referred to, they have done unto Him whatsoever, etc. For our Lord quickly followed after the forerunner; therefore the forerunner made room for Him, being quickly taken out of the way.
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