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Barnes' Notes on the New Testament

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MARK CHAPTER 8

Verses 1-9. See this passage explained in Matthew 15:32-39.

Verse 1. In those days. While in the wilderness, where he had cured the deaf and dumb man.

Having nothing to eat. Having come unprovided, or having consumed what they had brought.

{m} "In those days" Matthew 15:32

Verse 2. I have compassion. I pity their condition. I am disposed to relieve them.

{n} "compassion" Psalms 145:8,15; Hebrews 5:2

Verse 3. No notes from Barnes on this verse.

Verse 4. No notes from Barnes on this verse.

{o} "From whence" Mark 6:36,37

Verse 5. No notes from Barnes on this verse.

Verse 6. No notes from Barnes on this verse.

Verse 7. No notes from Barnes on this verse.

{p} "he blessed" Matthew 14:19

Verse 8. No notes from Barnes on this verse.

{q} "and were filled" Psalms 107:5,6; 145:16
{r} "and they took" 1 Kings 17:14-16

Verse 9. Four thousand. Four thousand men, besides women and children. See Matthew 15:38.

Verse 10. Dalmanutha. In Matthew 15:39, it is said that he came into the coasts of Magdala. See Barnes "Matthew 15:39".

{s} "straightway" Matthew 15:39

Verses 11-21. See this passage explained in Matthew 16:1-12.

Verse 12. Sighed deeply in his spirit. His soul, his heart, was deeply affected at their wickedness and hypocrisy. The word spirit, here, means human soul. 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 16:1. But this was not what they asked, nor would it be given because they asked it.

Verse 13. No Barnes text on this verse.

Verse 14. No Barnes text on this verse.

Verse 15. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. See Matthew 16:6. Of the Herodians--of Herod and his followers. Matthew, instead of "Herod," has "the Sadducees." It is not improbable that he cautioned them against them all. The Pharisees sought his life, and were exceedingly corrupt in their doctrine and practice; the Sadducees denied some of the essential doctrines of religion; and the Herodians, it is supposed, maintained the opinion that it was lawful for the Jews to acknowledge a foreign prince, and join equally with the Pharisees and Sadducees in opposing the claims of Jesus. Matthew has recorded his caution to avoid the Pharisees and Sadducees, and Mark has added, what Matthew had omitted, the caution likewise to beware of the Herodians. Thus the evangelists speak the same thing.

{u} "beware of the" Proverbs 19:27; Luke 12:1
{v} "leaven of the" Exodus 12:20; Leviticus 2:11; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

Verse 16. No Barnes text on this verse.

Verse 17. No Barnes text on this verse.

{w} "perceive" Mark 6:52
{x} "ye your heart" Mark 3:5; 16:14

Verse 18. No Barnes text on this verse.

{y} "Having ears" Isaiah 44:18

Verse 19. No Barnes text on this verse.

{a} "five loaves" Mark 6:38,44; Matthew 14:17-21; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:5-13

Verse 20. No Barnes text on this verse.

{b} "seven among" Mark 8:1-9; Matthew 15:34-38

Verse 21. No Barnes text on this verse.

Verse 22. To Bethsaida. See Barnes "Matthew 11:21".

Besought him to touch him. That is, to heal him; for they believed that his touch would restore his sight.

{c} "to touch him" Isaiah 35:5,6; Matthew 11:5

Verse 23. Led him out of the town. Why this was done the sacred writers have not told us. It might have been to avoid the collecting of a multitude, and thus to have escaped the designs of the Pharisees who were attempting to take his life, and chiefly on a charge of sedition, and of exciting the people. On this account Jesus chose to perform the miracle alone; thus showing, that while he did good he desired to do it in such a way as to avoid the appearance of evil, and to prevent, at the same time, ostentation, and the malice of his enemies.

Spit on his eyes. Why this was done is not known. It was evidently not intended to perform the cure by any natural effect of the spittle. It was to the man a sign, an evidence, that it was the power of Jesus. The eyes were probably closed. They were perhaps "gummed," or united together by a secretion that had become hard. To apply spittle to them-- to wet them would be a sign, a natural expression of removing the obstruction and opening them. The power was not in the spittle, but it attended the application of it.

Saw ought. Saw anything.

{d} "spit" Mark 7:33

Verse 24. I see men as trees, walking. I see men walking; but see them so indistinctly, that but for their motion I could not distinguish them from trees. I cannot distinctly see their shapes and features. Probably our Lord did not at once restore him fully to sight, that he might strengthen his faith. Seeing that Jesus had partially restored him, it was evidence that he could wholly, and it led him to exercise faith anew in him, and to feel more strikingly his dependence on him.

{e} "and said" Judges 9:36; Isaiah 29:18; 1 Corinthians 13:11,12

Verse 25. Every man clearly. Could see their form and features. His sight was completely restored. Though our Lord did not by this, probably, intend to teach any lesson in regard to the way in which the mind of a sinner is enlightened, yet it affords a striking illustration of it. Sinners are by nature blind, 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 2:11; John 9:39. The effect of religion, or of the influence of the Holy Spirit, is to open the eyes, to show the sinner his condition and his danger, and to lead him to look on him whom he has pierced. Yet at first he sees indistinctly. He does not soon learn to distinguish objects. When converted, he is in a new world. Light is shed on every object, and he sees the Scriptures, the Saviour, and the works of creation, the sun, and stars, and hills, and vales, in a new light. He sees the beauty of the plan of salvation, and wonders that he has not seen it before. Yet he sees at first indistinctly. It is only by repeated applications to the Source of Light that he sees all things clearly. At first, religion may appear full of mysteries. Doctrines and facts appear on every hand that he cannot fully comprehend. His mind is still perplexed, and he may doubt whether he has ever seen aught, or has been ever renewed. Yet let him not despair. Light, in due time, will be shed on these obscure and mysterious truths. Faithful and repeated application to the Father of Lights in prayer, and in searching the Scriptures, and in the ordinances of religion, will dissipate all these doubts, and he will see all things clearly, and the universe will appear to be filled with one broad flood of light.

{f} "saw every man" Proverbs 4:18; Isaiah 32:3; 1 Peter 2:9

Verse 26. The town. The town of Bethsaida.

Nor tell it, etc. Lest it excite the jealousy of the Pharisees, and produce commotion and danger.

Verses 27-38. See this passage illustrated in Matthew 16:13-28.

{f} "And Jesus" Matthew 16:13; Luke 9:18

Verse 28. No Barnes text on this verse.

{g} "John" Matthew 14:2

Verse 29. No Barnes text on this verse.

{h} "Thou art" John 1:41-49; 6:69; 11:27; Acts 8:37; 1 John 5:1

Verse 30. No Barnes text on this verse.

Verse 31. No Barnes text on this verse.

Verse 32. He spake that saying openly; With boldness or confidence, or without parables or figures; so that there could be no possibility, of misunderstanding him.

Verse 33. No Barnes text on this verse.

{i} "rebuked Peter" Revelation 3:19
{k} "Satan" 1 Corinthians 5:5

Verse 34. No Barnes text on this verse.

{l} "Whosoever" Matthew 10:38; 16:24; Luke 9:23; 14:27; Titus 2:12

Verse 35. No Barnes text on this verse.

{m} "For whosoever" Esther 4:14; Matthew 10:39; 16:25; Luke 9:24; 17:33
John 12:25; 2 Timothy 2:11; 4:6,8; Revelation 2:10; 7:14-17

Verse 36. No Barnes text on this verse.

Verse 37. No Barnes text on this verse.

Verse 38. Ashamed of me. Ashamed to own attachment to me on account of my lowly appearance, and my poverty, contempt, and sufferings.

And of my words. My doctrines, my instructions.

This adulterous and sinful generation. This age given to wickedness, particularly to adultery.

In the glory of his Father. In the day of judgment. See Barnes "Matthew 25:31". The meaning of this verse is, whosoever shall refuse, through pride or wickedness, to acknowledge and serve Christ here, shall be excluded from his kingdom hereafter. He was lowly, meek, and despised. Yet there was an inimitable beauty in his character even then. But he will come again in awful grandeur;--not as the babe of Bethlehem; not as the Man of Nazareth; but as the Son of God, in majesty and glory. They that would not acknowledge him here must be rejected by him there; they that would not serve him always, will never enjoy him; they that would cast him out and despise him, must be cast out by him, and consigned to eternal, hopeless sorrows.

{n} "Whosoever" Luke 12:9; 2 Timothy 1:8


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Mark 8". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/bnn/view.cgi?book=mr&chapter=008>.  

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