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Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, [1886], at

Mark Chapter 6

Mark 6:2

mar 6:2


See on Mat 7:28.

Mighty works (δυνάμεις)

Lit., powers. See on Mat 11:20. Tynd., virtues. Outcomings of God's power: "powers of the world to come" (Heb 6:5), at work upon the earth.

Mark 6:3

mar 6:3

The carpenter

This word "throws the only flash which falls on the continuous tenor of the first thirty years, from infancy to manhood, of the life of Christ" (Farrar, "Messages of the Books").

They were offended

See on Mat 5:29. Tynd., hurt.

Mark 6:5

mar 6:5

Sick (ἀῤῥώστοις)

From ἀ, not, and ῥώννυμι, to strengthen. Sickness regarded as constitutional weakness.

Mark 6:7

mar 6:7

By two and two

To help and encourage each other, and also for fulness of testimony.

Mark 6:14

mar 6:14

Was spread abroad

"But for the rumor, Herod would not have known of him. A palace is late in hearing spiritual news" (Bengel).

Mighty works do show forth themselves in him (ἐνεργοῦσιν αἱ δυνάμεις ἐν αὐτῷ)

Rev., these powers work in him. As Dr. Morison observes, "A snatch of Herod's theology and philosophy." He knew that John wrought no miracles when alive, but he thought that death had put him into connection with the unseen world, and enabled him to wield its powers.

Mark 6:16

mar 6:16

He is risen

The he, οὗτος, is emphatic. This one. This very John.

Mark 6:19

mar 6:19

Had a quarrel against him (ἐνεῖχεν αὐτῷ)

There is some dispute about the rendering. The Rev. renders Set herself against him, with no alternative translation in the margin; and in Luk 11:53, Press upon him vehemently, with set themselves against him in the margin. I see no objection to rendering was angry at him, taking ἐνεῖχεν αὐτῷ with an ellipsis of χόλον, anger. Very literally, had within herself (ἐν) anger against him. So Herodotus, 1:118. Astyages concealing the anger (τόν χόλον) which he felt toward him (οἱ ἐνεῖχε). 6:119, ἐνεῖχε σφῖ δεινὸν χόλον, nourished a fierce anger against them. So Moulton, Grimm, and De Wette.

Desired (ἤθελεν)

Imperfect tense, was desiring all along. Her demand for John's murder was the result of a long-cherished wish.

Mark 6:20

mar 6:20

Observed him (συνετήρει)

A mistranslation. Rev., kept him safe. Peculiar to Mark. Compare Mat 9:17, are preserved; Luk 2:19, kept ; σύν, closely; τηρεῖν, to preserve or keep, as the result of guarding. See on Joh 17:12, and reserved, Pe1 1:4.

Did many things (πολλὰ ἐποίει)

The proper reading, however ἠπόρει; from ἀ, not, and πόρος, a passage. Hence, strictly, to be in circumstances where one cannot find a way out. So Rev., rightly, he was much perplexed. The other reading is meaningless.

Mark 6:21

mar 6:21

Convenient (εὐκαίρον)

Mark only. Convenient for Herodias' purpose. "Opportune for the insidious woman, who hoped, through wine, lust, and the concurrence of sycophants, to be able easily to overcome the wavering mind of her husband" (Grotius in Meyer).


See on Mat 14:6. The notice of the banquet and of the rank of the guests is peculiar to Mark.

Lords (μεγιστᾶσιν)

Only here, and Rev 6:15; Rev 18:23. A late word, from μέγας, great.

High captains (χιλιάρχοις)

Lit., commanders of a thousand men. Answering to a Roman military tribune. Both civil and military dignitaries were present, with other distinguished men of the district (chief men).

Mark 6:22

mar 6:22

The said Herodias (αὐτῆς τῆς Ἡρωδιάδος)

The A. V. misses the point of αὐτῆς, by the translation the said: the object being not to particularize the Herodias just referred to, but to emphasize the fact that Herodias' own daughter was put forward instead of a professional dancer. Hence Rev., correctly, "the daughter of Herodias herself."

Damsel (κορασίῳ)

See on Mar 5:41.

Mark 6:25

mar 6:25

Mark's narrative emphasizes the eager haste with which the murder was pushed. She came in straightway and demanded the boon forthwith.

By and by (ἐξαυτῆς)

Obsolete in the old sense of immediately. The A. V. translates αὐθὺς, straightway, in Mat 13:21, by and by: εὐθέως, Mar 4:17, immediately: and the same word in Luk 21:9, by and by. Ἐξαυτῆς is rendered immediately, Act 10:33; Act 11:11 : straightway, Act 23:30 : presently, Phi 2:23. Rev., forthwith. The expression by and by in older English was sometimes used of place. Thus Chaucer.

"Right in the same chamber by and by" (close by).


"Two young knights lying by and by" (near together).

Edward IV. is reported to have said on his death-bed: "I wote (know) not whether any preacher's words ought more to move you than I that is going by and by to the place that they all preach of."


See on Mat 14:8.

Mark 6:26

mar 6:26

Exceeding sorry

Where Matthew has sorry.

Mark 6:27

mar 6:27

Mark's favorite straightway. The king is prompt in his response.

Executioner (σπεκουλάτορα)

One of Mark's Latin words, speculator. A speculator was a guardsman, whose business it was to watch or spy out (speculari). It came gradually to denote one of the armed body-guard of the Roman emperor. Thus Suetonius says of Claudius that he did not dare to attend banquets unless his speculatores with their lances surrounded him. Seneca uses the word in the sense of executioner. "He met the executioners (speculatoribus), declared that he had nothing to say against the execution of the sentence, and then stretched out his neck." Herod imitated the manners of the Roman court, and was attended by a company of speculatores, though it was not their distinctive office to act as executioners. Wyc. renders man-killer, and Tynd. hangman.

Mark 6:29

mar 6:29


See on Mat 24:28.

Stier ("Words of Jesus") says of Herod' "This man, whose inner life was burnt out; who was made up of contradictions, speaking of his kingdom like Ahasuerus, and yet the slave of his Jezebel; willingly hearing the prophet, and unwillingly killing him; who will be a Sadducee, and yet thinks of a resurrection; who has a superstitious fear of the Lord Jesus, and yet a curiosity to see him."

Mark 6:31

mar 6:31

Come apart

See on Mar 3:7.

Mark 6:37

mar 6:37

Shall we go and buy, etc

This question and Christ's answer are peculiar to Mark.

Mark 6:39

mar 6:39

By companies (συμπόσια συμπόσια)

Peculiar to Mark. The Jewish dining-room was arranged like the Roman: three tables forming three sides of a square, and with divans or couches following the outside line of the tables. The open end of the square admitted the servants who waited at table. This explains the arrangement of the multitude here described by Mark. The people sat down, literally, in table-companies, arranged like guests at table; some companies of a hundred and some of fifty, in squares or oblongs open at one end, so that the disciples could pass along the inside and distribute the loaves


Mark only.

Mark 6:40

mar 6:40

In ranks (πρασιαὶ πρασιαὶ)

Lit., like beds in a garden. The former adverb, by companies, describes the arrangement; this the color. The red, blue, and yellow clothing of the poorest orientals makes an Eastern crowd full of color; a fact which would appeal to Peter's eye, suggesting the appearance of flower-beds in a garden.

Mark 6:41

mar 6:41

Brake and gave (κατέκλασεν, ἐδίδου)

The verbs are in different tenses; the former in the aorist, the latter in the imperfect. The aorist implies the instantaneous, the imperfect the continuous act. He brake, and kept giving out. Farrar remarks that the multiplication evidently took place in Christ's hands, between the acts of breaking and distributing.


Peculiar to Mark.

Were filled

See on Mat 5:6.

Mark 6:43

mar 6:43

Baskets full (κοφίνων πληρώματα)

Lit., fillings of baskets. See on Mat 14:20. Mark alone adds, and of the fishes.

Mark 6:44

mar 6:44

Men (ἄνδρες)

Not generic, including men and women; but literally men. Compare Mat 14:21, beside women and children; a detail which we should have expected from Mark.

Mark 6:46

mar 6:46

When he had sent them away (ἀποτάξαμενος)

Rev., more correctly, after he had taken leave. Unclassical, and used in this sense only in later Greek. So in Luk 9:61; Act 18:18; Co2 2:13.

Mark 6:48

mar 6:48

He saw (ἰδὼν)

Participle. Rev., seeing. Better, however, the literal having seen. It was this which induced him to go to them.

Toiling (βασανιζομένους)

Lit., tormented. Rev., distressed See on Mat 4:24. Wyc., travailing. Tynd., troubles

Fourth watch

Between 3 and 6 a.m.

Would have passed by them.

Peculiar to Mark.

Mark 6:50

mar 6:50

They all saw him

Peculiar to Mark.

Spake with them (ἐλάλησεν μετ' αὐτῶν)

Both Matthew and John give the simple dative, αὐτοῖς, to them. Mark's with them is more familiar, and gives the idea of a more friendly and encouraging address. It is significant, in view of Peter's relation to this gospel, that Mark omits the incident of Peter's walk on the waves (Mat 14:28-31).

Mark 6:51

mar 6:51


See on Mar 4:39.

Sore amazed (λίαν ἐκ περισσοῦ ἐξίσταντο)

Lit., exceedingly beyond measure. A strong expression peculiar to Mark. Ἐξίσταντο, were amazed. Compare the cognate noun ἔκστασις, and see on Mar 5:42.

Mark 6:52

mar 6:52

Peculiar to Mark.

The miracle of the loaves (ἐπὶ τοῖς ἄρτοις)

Rev., concerning the loaves. Lit., upon ; in the matter of. They did not reason from the multiplying of the loaves to the stilling of the sea.

Mark 6:53

mar 6:53

Drew to the shore (προσωρμίσθησαν)

Peculiar to Mark. Rev., moored to the shore, though the meaning may be near the shore. Ἀνέβη, he went up (Mar 6:51), seems to indicate a vessel of considerable size, standing quite high out of the water. They may have anchored off shore.

Mark 6:55

mar 6:55

Ran round

From place to place where the sick were, to bring them to Jesus. Matthew has they sent.

Carry about (περιφέρειν)

περί, about; one hither and another thither, wherever Christ might be at the time.

Beds (κραβάττοις)

Condemned as bad Greek, but used by both Luke and John. See on Mar 2:4.

Mark 6:56

mar 6:56

Peculiar to Mark.

In the streets (ἀγοραῖς)

Rightly, Rev., market-places. See on Mat 11:16.


See on Mat 9:20.

Next: Mark Chapter 7