Mark 9:14
And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14-29) And when he came to his disciples.—See Notes on Matthew 17:14-21. The narrative of St. Mark here becomes much the fullest of the three. He alone mentions, e.g., in this verse, the presence of the scribes disputing with the disciples, and in the next, the “running” and the “greeting” with which the multitude received our Lord as He came down from the mountain, and the question in Mark 9:16 as to the cause of the dispute.

Mark 9:14-19. When he came to his disciples he saw a great multitude — Probably this multitude had remained there all night, waiting till Jesus should return from the mountain, and the scribes questioning — Greek, συζητουντας, disputing with them, namely, with the nine who remained on the plain. Doubtless they took the opportunity of their Master’s absence to expose and distress them. And all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed — At his coming so suddenly, so seasonably, so unexpectedly: perhaps, also, at some unusual rays of majesty and glory, which yet remained on his countenance; as, it seems, Moses’s face shone several hours after he had been with God on the mount. And running to him, saluted him — With the greatest marks of respect and affection. The scribes and Pharisees, however, without regarding his return, continued their ill-natured attacks on his disciples. And he asked the scribes — Namely, when the salutations of the multitude were over. What question ye with them? — What is the subject of your dispute with them? What is the point you are debating so warmly? The scribes gave no answer to our Lord’s question. They did not care to repeat what they had said to his disciples: but one of the multitude said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, &c. — From the narrative which this man gives, in answer to what Jesus said to the scribes, it appears that they had been disputing about the cure of this youth, which the disciples had unsuccessfully attempted. And probably their want of success had given the scribes occasion to boast that a devil was found that neither the disciples nor their Master was able to cast out. See notes on Matthew 17:14-21. Which hath a dumb spirit — A spirit that takes his speech from him; and wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him — Or rather convulseth him, and he foameth — At the mouth; and gnasheth with his teeth — In extremity of anguish; and pineth away — Though in the bloom of his age. And I spake to thy disciples — Entreated them to cast him out; and they could not. The Lord Jesus permitted this for wise reasons, chiefly, perhaps, to keep them humble, and sensible of their entire dependance on him for all their power to perform cures, or do any manner of thing that was good.9:14-29 The father of the suffering youth reflected on the want of power in the disciples; but Christ will have him reckon the disappointment to the want of faith. Very much is promised to our believing. If thou canst believe, it is possible that thy hard heart may be softened, thy spiritual diseases may be cured; and, weak as thou art, thou mayest be able to hold out to the end. Those that complain of unbelief, must look up to Christ for grace to help them against it, and his grace will be sufficient for them. Whom Christ cures, he cures effectually. But Satan is unwilling to be driven from those that have been long his slaves, and, when he cannot deceive or destroy the sinner, he will cause him all the terror that he can. The disciples must not think to do their work always with the same ease; some services call for more than ordinary pains.See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 17:14-21.

Mark 9:14

Questioning with them - Debating with the disciples, and attempting to confound them. This he saw as he came down from the mount. In his absence they had taken occasion to attempt to perplex and confound his followers.

Mr 9:14-32. Healing of a Demoniac Boy—Second Explicit Announcement of His Approaching Death and Resurrection. ( = Mt 17:14-23; Lu 9:37-45).

Healing of the Demoniac Boy (Mr 9:14-29).

14. And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them—This was "on the next day, when they were come down from the hill" (Lu 9:37). The Transfiguration appears to have taken place at night. In the morning, as He came down from the hill on which it took place—with Peter, and James, and John—on approaching the other nine, He found them surrounded by a great multitude, and the scribes disputing or discussing with them. No doubt these cavillers were twitting the apostles of Jesus with their inability to cure the demoniac boy of whom we are presently to hear, and insinuating doubts even of their Master's ability to do it; while they, zealous for their Master's honor, would no doubt refer to His past miracles in proof of the contrary.

Ver. 14-16. When Christ came down from the mountain of transfiguration to his disciples, whom he had left at the foot of the mountain, he saw a great multitude got together about them, and discerned some scribes (companions of the Pharisees and teachers of the law) mixing themselves with his disciples, and arguing with them. They had often attempted our Saviour to no purpose but their own shame and confusion; in his absence they fall in with his disciples, who were yet raw in the faith; over them they hope to get a great conquest. The evangelist doth not plainly tell us what the subject matter of their discourse was. Though there be no question but the scribes in this discourse pursued their design to expose and vilify Christ and his disciples, and to that purpose, taking advantage of our Saviour’s absence, discoursed with them about many things, yet Mr. Calvin doth (not improbably) judge that a great part of their discourse was about our Saviour’s casting out of devils, and their power in that thing derived from him, they being at the present nonplussed, and not able to exert that power in the casting out of a devil, with which one was possessed, who in our Saviour’s absence was brought to them. That which maketh this probable is, not only that this act of our Saviour more troubled and galled them than any other, and put them to that miserable refuge, (out of which our Saviour had lately beaten them), to say, That he cast out devils by Beelzebub the prince of devils; but also that when our Saviour, coming in to the timely rescue of his disciples, asked the scribes, What question ye with them? And when he came to his disciples,.... The other nine, who were left at the bottom of the mountain, and were waiting for him:

he saw a great multitude about them: there was a multitude that followed him from Bethsaida hither; and which, very likely, was greatly increased upon Christ's arrival in those parts, and the people hearing of it;

and the Scribes questioning with them; disputing and contending with them about their master, his doctrines and miracles, and their mission and authority from him; insulting them, on account of their inability to dispossess a dumb spirit, hereafter related.

{4} And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.

(4) Christ shows by a miracle, even to the unworthy, that he has come to restrain the wrath of Satan.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Mark 9:14-29. See on Matthew 17:14-21. Comp. Luke 9:37-43. The narrative of Mark is more original, characteristic, fresher, and, for the most part, more detailed than the other two.

συζητ.] according to Mark 9:16-18, on occasion of the circumstance that the disciples had not been able to perform the cure, and so concerning their power of miracles which was now so doubtful.

ἐξεθαμβ.] they were very much amazed (Orph. Arg. 1217; Sir 30:9; Polyb. xx. 10. 9 : ἔκθαμβοι γεγονότες; in the N. T., used by Mark only). But at what? Euthymius Zigabenus leaves the open choice between two explanations: either at the approach of Jesus so exactly opportune, or at the brightness of His countenance (καὶ γὰρ εἰκὸς ἐφέλκεσθαί τινα χάριν ἐκ τῆς μεταμορφώσεως, comp. Bengel, de Wette, Bisping). But the latter must have been expressed; moreover, this cause of astonishment would rather have been followed by a remaining at a distance than a προστρέχειν and ἀσπάζειν. Hence (comp. also Bleek) the first explanation of Euthymius Zigabenus (comp. Theophylact and Victor Antiochenus) is, in accordance with the connection, to be preferred. It was the amazement of joyously startled surprise, that, whilst the disciples, who had not been able to help, were in so critical a situation, as was also the father with his unfortunate son, just at that moment the mighty miracle-worker Himself came to their aid. According to Fritzsche, there is denoted generally: “quanta fuerit Jesu … et admiratio in plebe et veneratio.” Much too general and aloof from the context. According to Lange, what is meant is, “the starting back of a multitude, that had become somewhat profanely disposed, at the sudden emergence of a manifestation of punishment”. But Mark has nothing of these psychological presuppositions, and προστρέχοντες κ.τ.λ. is not in keeping therewith. According to Baur, Markusev. p. 70, Mark has only attributed to the people the impression, “with which he himself accompanied the Lord, as He descended from the mount of transfiguration.” With such modes of dealing all exegesis is at an end.

Mark 9:16. ἐπηρώτ. αὐτούς] This αὐτούς cannot without arbitrariness be referred to any but those mentioned immediately before—therefore to the people,[124] who are accordingly to be conceived, Mark 9:14, as likewise taking part in the ΣΥΖΗΤΕῖΝ, so that there ΣΥΖΗΤΟῦΝΤΑς also applies jointly to the ὌΧΛΟΝ ΠΟΛΎΝ. So also Bleek; comp. Ewald. The usual reference to the ΓΡΑΜΜΑΤΕῖς is consequently to be rejected (although Fritzsche adopts this, and Lange, who, however, assumes a sympathetic participation of the people); and so, too, is the reference to the disciples and scribes (Griesbach, Paulus, Kuinoel), or merely to the disciples (Mill, Bengel). From the above reference it is plain at the same time that in what follows there must be written, not πρὸς αὑτούς (so usually; hence also the readings πρὸς ἑαυτούς, A א*, and ἘΝ ὙΜῖΝ, D, Vulg.), but ΠΡῸς ΑὐΤΟΎς (with Bengel, Fritzsche, Lachmann, Tischendorf), since ΑὐΤΟΎς, like ΑὐΤΟῖς in Mark 9:14, applies to the disciples.

Mark 9:17. The father, included among this ὌΧΛΟς, begins to speak in the natural impulse of the paternal heart, not as if no other would have ventured to do so (Euthymius Zigabenus, Bengel, de Wette). He is designated, in apt delineation of what occurred, as ΕἿς ἘΚ Τ. ὌΧΛΟΥ, since it is by his utterance that he first shows himself as father.

ΠΡΌς ΣΕ] that is, thither, where I might presume Thy presence, because Thy disciples were there.

ἌΛΑΛΟΝ] according to the point of view, that the condition of the sick man is the effect of the same condition in the demon. Comp. Luke 11:14; Wetstein in loc.

Mark 9:18. καὶ ὅπου ἂν κ.τ.λ.] and wherever he has taken hold of him. The possession (Mark 9:17) is not conceived as constant, but as such that the demon leaves the sick man (epileptic) at times, and then again returns into him (Matthew 12:44), and lays hold of him, etc. Hence Mark 9:35 : ΜΗΚΈΤΙ ΕἸΣΈΛΘῌς ΕἸς ΑὐΤΌΝ. The ἜΧΟΝΤΑ of Mark 9:17 is not opposed to this (de Wette), for the son had the demon—even although at intervals the latter left him—so long as the μηκέτι εἰσέλθῃς was not yet realized.

ῥήσσει] he tears him, which convulsive effect is not more precisely to be defined (Euthymius Zigabenus and many others: ΚΑΤΑΒΆΛΛΕΙ ΕἸς ΓῆΝ). See on the word, Ruhnken, ep. crit. I. p. 26; Duncan, Lex., ed. Rost, p. 1016. Comp. ῬΆΣΣΕΙΝ (of the gladiators); Salmasius, ad Ach. Tat. p. 657; and Jacobs, p. 821.

ἀφρίζει] change of the subject; Winer, p. 556 [E. T. 787]. The permanent effect of these paroxysms is: ξηραίνεται, becomes withered, wasted away. Comp. Mark 3:1. See generally the description of the morbus comitialis in Celsus, III. 23.

εἶπονἵνα] I told it … that they.

Mark 9:19. ΑὐΤΟῖς] the disciples, Mark 9:18. See, moreover, on Matthew 17:17.

Mark 9:20. ἸΔῺΝ ΑὐΤῸΝ Κ.Τ.Λ.] when the demoniac (not: the demon, Bleek) had looked upon Jesus, the demon tore him (the patient). On the anacoluthic use of the nominative participle, see Matthiae, ad Eurip. Phoen. 283; Bernhardy, p. 479; Winer, p. 501 [E. T. 711]. Comp. also Nägelsbach, Anm. z. Ilias, ed. 3, p. 385 f.

ἐπὶ τ. γῆς] belongs to ΠΕΣΏΝ (comp. Mark 14:35; Xen. Cyr. iv. 5. 54).

Mark 9:21-24. It is only the specially graphic Mark that has this dialogue.

Mark 9:21. ὡς] Particle of time: how long ago is it, when this fell upon him?

Mark 9:22. ΚΑῚ ΕἸς ΠῦΡ] even into fire. In John 15:6 also the article is not necessary (in opposition to Fritzsche), although critically attested.

εἴ τι δύνῃ] Euthymius Zigabenus rightly says: ὁρᾶς, πῶς οὐκ εἶχε πίστιν ἀδίστακτον. Hence the answer of Jesus at Mark 9:23; hence also the utterance of the father at Mark 9:24, who felt his faith not to be sufficiently strong. On the form δύνῃ instead of δύνασαι, see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 359.

ἩΜῖΝ] the father of the family speaks.

Mark 9:23. After deletion of πιστεῦσαι (see the critical remarks), τὸ εἰ δύνῃ is to be regarded (Winer, p. 163, 506 [E. T. 225, 718]) as nominative absolute: The “if thou canst” … “Everything is possible to him, that believeth,” i.e. as far as concerns thy just expressed “if thou canst,” the matter depends on the faith; the believer is able to attain everything. The article embracing the ΕἸ ΔΎΝῌ substantivally (Kühner, § 492) takes up the word just spoken by the father, and puts it with lively emphasis without connecting it with the further construction, in order to link its fulfilment to the petitioner’s own faith. Griesbach, Tischendorf, Ewald take ΤῸ ΕἸ ΔΎΝῌ interrogatively, and πάντα δύν. τ. πιστ. as answering it: “Tune dubitans si potes aiebas? Nihil non in ejus, qui confidat, gratiam fieri potest,” Griesbach. Comp. Ewald: Askest thou, that: if thou canst? etc. But the assumption of a question is not indicated by the non-interrogative address of the father (whence we should have expected ΤΊ ΤῸ ΕἸ ΔΎΝῌ, or the like), and so we are not warranted in mentally supplying an aiebas or askest thou? Comp. Bornemann in the Stud. u. Krit. 1843, p. 122. With the Recepta πιστεῦσαι or δύνῃ the explanation is: if thou canst believe (I will help thee); everything is possible, etc., in which interpretation, however, the τό is without warrant disregarded, as if it were of no significance (but comp. Matthew 19:18; Luke 22:37), and taken only “as a sign of quotation of the direct discourse” (de Wette). So also Linder in the Stud. u. Krit. 1862, p. 559. Lachmann[125] places no point at all after πιστεῦσαι, and we might accordingly explain it thus: if thou art in a position to believe that everything is possible to him that believeth (so in my second edition). But even thus the τό causes difficulty, and the thought and the expression would be too diffuse, not in keeping with the concise representation of Mark, especially in so impassioned a connection. Lange takes it thus: “the if thou canst means: canst believe.” How enigmatically would Jesus have so spoken! Bleek takes εἰ interrogatively. But neither the deliberative character of this question (see on Matthew 12:10) nor the τό would be appropriate. Bengel’s interpretation also is impossible: ‘Hoc, si potes credere, res est; hoc agitur.” But he well observes on the state of the case: “Omnipotentiae divinae se fides hominis quasi organon accommodat ad recipiendum, vel etiam ad agendum.” Fritzsche has conjectured either: εἶπεν αὐτῷ· εἰ δύνασαι; πίστευε· πάντα δυνατὰ κ.τ.λ., or: εἶπεν αὐτῷ· τί ἐστι τὸ εἰ δύνασαι; πίστευε· πάντα κ.τ.λ., and Bornemann, l.c. p. 123: εἶπεν αὐτῷ τὸ πάντα δυνατὰ τῷ πιστ.

Mark 9:24. βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ] help me unbelieving; refuse me not Thy help, notwithstanding my unbelief. Calovius, Bengel,[126] and many others render: assist my unbelief, strengthen my weak faith, which, however, is at variance with the contextual meaning of βοήθει (Mark 9:22). Moreover, the answer of the father, who has just said πιστεύω, but immediately afterwards, in consideration of the greatness of the issue made to depend on his faith, designates this faith in respect of its degree as ἀπιστία, is quite in keeping with the alternation of vehemently excited feeling. Victor Antiochenus rightly says: διάφορός ἐστιν ἡ πίστις· ἡ μὲν εἰσαγωγικὴ, ἡ δὲ τελεία.

The substantive τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ brings more strongly into prominence the condition than would have been done by an adjective. See Winer, p. 211 [E. T. 296]. And the prefixed μου represents at the same time the mihi of interest (Mark 5:30; Romans 11:14, and frequently Stallbaum, ad Plat. Phaed. p. 117 A): render for me to my unbelief Thy help.

Mark 9:25. ὅτι ἐπισυντρέχει ὄχλος] that people were thereupon running together. He wished to avoid still greater publicity.

ἐγώ] emphatically, in contrast to the disciples.

μηκέτι] no more, as hitherto. See on Mark 9:18.

Mark 9:26. κράξαςσπαράξας] κράξας: crying out, not speaking. The masculines belong to the constructio κατὰ σύνεσιν; Mark has conceived to himself the πνεῦμα as a person (as δαίμων), and has used the attributive participles accordingly, not therefore by mistake (Fritzsche, de Wette). Comp. Xen. Cyr. vii. 3. 8 : φεῦ, ὦ ἀγαθὴ καὶ πιστὴ ψυχὴ, οἴχῃ δὴ ἀπολιπὼν ἡμᾶς; see in general, Matthiae, p. 975; Bornemann in the Sächs. Stud. 1846, p. 40.

τοὺς πολλούς] the multitude. The entire description is true and lifelike, and does not aim, as Hilgenfeld thinks, at attaining a very great miracle.

Mark 9:28 f. εἰς οἶκον] as Mark 7:17Mark 9:14-29. The epileptic boy (Matthew 17:14-21, Luke 9:37-43). The story is told in Mark with much greater fulness than in the parallels.14–29. The Healing of the Lunatic Child

14. And when he came to his disciples] The great picture of Raphael has enshrined for ever the contrast between the scene on the Mount of Glorification and that which awaited the Saviour and the three Apostles on the plain below, between the harmonies of heaven and the harsh discords of earth.

scribes] Thus far north had they penetrated in their active hostility to the Lord. Many of them would be found in the tetrarchy of Philip.Mark 9:14. Περὶ αὐτοὺς, about them) They were still labouring, though alone.Verse 14. - And when he earns to his disciples, he saw a great crowd around them. High authorities support the reading adopted by the Revisers, when they came to the disciples, they saw a great multitude about them. "They" would thus mean our Lord and the three chosen disciples who had been with him on the Mount of Transfiguration. "They" came to the other disciples who had been left below. St. Luke (Luke 9:37) adds "On the next day, when they were come down from the mountain." This would seem to confirm the supposition that the transfiguration took place in the night. All the synoptists agree in placing the following immediately after the transfiguration. Scribes were questioning with the disciples who had bee left behind. As they had assembled in the neigh-where Jesus was, for the purpose of watching him. Their object in questioning with the disciples was doubtless to throw discredit upon Jesus, because they, disciples, had failed to work the miracle. The scribes

The particularizing of the scribes as the questioners, and Mark 9:15, Mark 9:16, are peculiar to Mark.

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