And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came to him? And he said, Of a child.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And he asked his father.—The question, asked as if to bring into strong relief the chronic, and therefore seemingly hopeless, character of the possession, is peculiar to this Gospel, as is the circumstantial account of the falling oft-times “into the fire and into the waters.”
He teareth him - He rends, distracts, or throws him into convulsions.
He foameth - At the mouth, like a mad animal. Among us these would all be considered as marks of violent derangement or madness.See Poole on "Mark 9:17"
how long is it ago since this came unto him? since this evil spirit entered into him, and these disorders have attended him?
and he said of a child; or "from his infancy"; so that it was not for any actual sin that he had committed, that this sore affiction came upon him; and yet he could not be without sin, since it was not agreeable to the justice, mercy, and goodness of God, to afflict, or suffer to be afflicted, one that is innocent; and therefore must be tainted with original sin, which is the source and spring of all afflictions, calamities and judgments.And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Mark 9:21. ὡς: a particle of time, here as frequently in Luke and John = since, or when.—ἐκ παιδιόθεν, ἐκ redundant, similar to ἀπὸ μακρόθεν (Mark 5:6).21. And he asked] This conversation with the father is parallel to another conversation with an actual sufferer (Mark 5:9).Mark 9:21. Καὶ, and) Jesus acted wisely, in interposing a delay.Verses 21, 22. - Our Lord asks the father, not the sufferer, which in this case would have been useless - he was but a lad, and he was dumb. Our Lord's question, How long time is it since this hath come unto him? was intended, not of course for his own information, but to inspire the father with hope and confidence. The father briefly answers, From a child; and then turns to a description of the perils to which his child was continually exposed through these paroxysms. And then, half doubting, half in despair, he says, If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us. It is as though he said, "Thy disciples have failed, perhaps thy power may be greater."
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