Mark 1:21-28

Mark 1:21-28
Ordinary B10


21 They went to Capernaum;A and whenB the sabbathC came, he entered the synagogueD and taught.E 

Notes on verse 21

A “Capernaum” = Kapernaoum. 16x in NT. From Hebrew kaphar (village with walls); {from the same as kephir (a young lion, village); from kaphar (to appease, cover, pacify, cancel)} + Nachum (Nahum, “comfortable”); {from nacham (a strong breath or sigh; to be sorry, to pity, console, comfort, or repent; also to comfort oneself with thoughts of vengeance)}. This is Capernaum, meaning “Nahum’s village.”
B “when” = eutheos. From euthus (immediately, upright, straight and not crooked). This is directly, soon, at once.
C “sabbath” = sabbaton. From Hebrew shabbath (sabbath); from shabath (to rest, stop, repose, cease working; by implication, to celebrate). This is the sabbath. It can also be used as shorthand for a week i.e. the time between two sabbaths.
D “synagogue” = sunagoge. From sun (with, together with, closely associated) + ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, go, drive). Literally, this is a bringing together, a place of assembly. The term can be used for the people or for the place where they assemble. It is also sometimes used of Christian churches in the New Testament. So, this is synagogue, assembly, congregation, or church. This is where the word “synagogue” comes from.
E “taught” = didasko. From dao (learn). This is to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge. In the New Testament, this is almost always used for teaching scripture.

22 They were astoundedF at his teaching,G for he taught them as one having authority,H and not as the scribes.I 

Notes on verse 22

F “astounded” = ekplesso. 13x in NT. From ek (out, out of) + plesso (to pound, strike, flatten; figuratively, cause a calamity). This is to strike with panic, astonish shock. It is a moment that shakes someone from their senses and leaves them dumbfounded or at a loss.
G “teaching” = didache. Related to “taught” in v21. From didasko (see note E above). This is teaching or doctrine.
H “authority” = exousia. From exesti (to be permitted or lawful); {from ek (out, out of) + eimi (to be, exist)}. This is power to act or weight. It especially denotes moral authority or influence. It can mean domain, liberty, freedom, capacity, mastery, right, force, or strength.
I “scribes” = grammateus. From gramma (what is drawn or written so a letter of the alphabet, correspondence, literature, learning); from grapho (to write). This is a writer, scribe, or secretary. Within Judaism, it was someone learned in the Law, a teacher. Also used in the Bible of the town-clerk of Ephesus. See Sirach 38:24-39:11 for a lengthier, positive passage about who scribes were and what they meant in society.

23 Just thenJ there was in their synagogue a manK with an uncleanL spirit,M 

Notes on verse 23

J “just then” = eutheos. Same as “when” in v21. See note B above.
K “man” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
L “unclean” = akathartos. From a (not, without) + kathairo (to cleanse or purify by purging out unwanted elements); {from katharos (clean, clear, pure, unstained; clean in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense; so, also guiltless, innocent or upright; something that is pure because it has been separated from the negative substance or aspect; spiritually clean because of God’s act of purifying)}. This is unclean or impure, whether a thing or a person. It is something that is not mixed with something that would taint. This is unclean in a ritual or moral sense. It can also mean demonic or foul.
M “spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.

24 and he cried out,N “What have you to do with us, JesusO of Nazareth?P

Notes on verse 24a

N “cried out” = anakrazo. 5x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, anew) + krazo (to cry out, scream, shriek; onomatopoeia for the sound of a raven’s call; figuratively, this is means crying out urgently without intelligible words to express something that is deeply felt). This is to cry or shout out loudly. It can be excited or as a scream.
O “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
P “Nazareth” = Nazarenos. 6x in NT. Probably from Nazara (Nazareth); perhaps from netser (branch) OR from natsar (to watch, guard, protect). This is Nazarene. See

Have you come to destroyQ us? I knowR who you are, the HolyS One of God.”T 

Notes on verse 24b

Q “destroy” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.
R “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
S “Holy” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
T “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

25 But Jesus rebukedU him, saying, “Be silent,V and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsingW him and cryingX with a loudY voice,Z came out of him. 

Notes on verses 25-26

U “rebuked” = epitimao. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + timao (properly, this is setting a value or price on something, to estimate. Figuratively, it speaks to what level of honor we afford someone or something depending on our personal feeling toward it. By implication, this can mean to revere or honor); {from time (worth or perceived value; literally, price, but figuratively, the honor or value one sees in someone or something; can be esteem or dignity; can also mean precious or valuables); from tino (to pay, be punished, pay a penalty or fine because of a crime); from tio (to pay respect, value)}. This is to render what is due – to assign the value that is appropriate for the situation. So, it could mean to honor or to warn, to rebuke or to charge. Generally, it is a warning meant to guide someone away from doing something wrong or taking the wrong path. It can imply to forbid.
V “be silent” = phimoo. 8x in NT. From phimos (a muzzle). This is to muzzle so speechless, silence, quiet.
W “convulsing” = sparasso. 3x in NT – all 3 in the Gospels of a spirit convulsing a person. Akin to spairo (to gasp). This is to shake, convulse, mangle, tear.
X “crying” = phoneo. From phone (voice, sound, tone or noise; also a language or dialect); probably from phemi to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is to call out, summon, shout, address. It is making a sound whether of an animal, a person, or an instrument.
Y “loud” = megas. This is big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.
Z “voice” = phone. Related to “crying” in v26. See note X above.

27 They were all amazed,AA and they kept on askingBB one another, “What is this? A newCC teaching—with authority! He commandsDD even the unclean spirits, and they obeyEE him.” 

Notes on verse 27

AA “amazed” = thambeo. 3x in NT. From thambos (amazement, wonder, being stunned or dumbfounded because something unusual happened; it can be positive or negative); akin to tapho (dumbfounded). This is astonish, amaze, be terrified or dumbfounded. It can denote wonder or terror – either way, as a surprise.
BB “kept on asking” = suzeteo. 10x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + zeteo (to seek, search for, desire. searching for something by inquiring or investigation; to seek in a literal or figurative sense; to worship God). This is to seek together so a joint investigation, to argue, discuss, or debate.
CC “new” = kainos.  This is not new as in new versus old. This is new in the sense of novel, innovative, or fresh.
DD “commands” = epitasso. 10x in NT. From epi (on, upon, to, against, what is fitting) + tasso (to arrange, appoint, determine). This is to arrange, command, charge, order. It is a command that brings things into their proper order – so that they fit together.
EE “obey” = hupakouo. From hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + akouo (listen, hear, understand through hearing). This is to listen, to attend to, or obey. It is acting subordinate to one who speaks – heeding a command or authority.

28 At onceFF his fameGG began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.HH

Notes on verse 28

FF “at once” = eutheos. Same as “when” in v21. See note B above.
GG “fame” = akoe. Related to “obey” in v27. From akouo (see note EE above). This is hearing, ear, audience, fame, report, rumor.
HH “Galilee” = Galilaia. From Hebrew galil (cylinder, circuit, district); from galal (to roll in a literal or figurative sense, roll away, roll down, wallow, remove, trust). This is Galilee, meaning perhaps region or cylinder.

Image credit: “Romanesque fresco in the former bell house of Lambach Abbey: Christ heals a man possessed in the synagogue of Capernaum” from the 11th century.

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