Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mark 7:31-37, A Deaf and Dumb Man Healed (The Study of Mark)

     31 And going out from the region of Tyre again, he went through Sidon onto the Sea of Galilee up the middle of the region of the Decapolis1. 32 And they bring2 to him a deaf man who could not speak well3 and they implore him that he may lay his hand on him. 33 And taking him aside, away from the crown privately4, he put5 his fingers into his ears and after spitting onto his fingers6, he touched his tongue. 34 And looking up into heaven, he groaned7 and says to him, “Ephphatha!” That is “Be opened!” 35 And [immediately]8, his ears9 were opened, and the bond of his tongue was loosed and he was speaking clearly10. 36 And he ordered them that they should speak to no one about the matter, but as much as he was ordering them, they were proclaiming it all the more. 37 And they were completely astounded11 saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf to hear and the dumb12 to speak.”


Jesus makes an "out of the way" journey to the Decapolis.  As always, Jesus' reputation precedes him.

1 Δεκαπόλεως (of the Decapolis) 

Ten Cities.

2 φέρουσιν (bring) 

or “carry”.

3 μογιλάλον (who could hardly speak) 

Not quite mute, but certainly not able to speak well.

4 κατ ̓ ἰδίαν (privately) 

Greek: “according to one’s own”. An idiom for “private”.

5 ἔβαλεν (put) 

Greek: “threw”. A very odd verb to use when placing fingers in one’s ears.

6 It is very unlikely that Jesus would spit into someone’s mouth. He probably spit into his own hand before touching the man’s tongue. I’ve added “onto his fingers” to clarify this.

7 ἐστέναξεν (he groaned) 

To express oneself involuntarily in the face of undesirable circumstance.  Jesus was upset with the situation and had pity on the man’s situation.

8 ”Immediately” is in brackets as it may not be original to the text.

9 αἱ ἀκοαί (ears)

Greek: “hearings”, as in “his hearings were opened”. Mark wants to make sure that the readers understand that the deaf man was hearing again.

10 ὀρθῶς (clearly)

or “correctly”. To act in conformity with a norm or standard. In other words, the man was speaking just like everyone else was.

11 ὑπερπερισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο (completely astounded) 

or “astounded beyond all measure”.

12 ἀλάλους (dumb) 

or “people who can’t speak”.

The Greek

Μάρκον 7·31 Καὶ πάλιν ἐξελθὼν ἐκ τῶν ὁρίων Τύρου ἦλθεν διὰ Σιδῶνος εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν ὁρίων Δεκαπόλεως. 32 Καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτῷ κωφὸν καὶ μογιλάλον καὶ παρακαλοῦσιν αὐτὸν ἵνα ἐπιθῇ αὐτῷ τὴν χεῖρα. 33 καὶ ἀπολαβόμενος αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου κατ ̓ ἰδίαν ἔβαλεν τοὺς δακτύλους αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὦτα αὐτοῦ καὶ πτύσας ἥψατο τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ, 34 καὶ ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἐστέναξεν καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· εφφαθα, ὅ ἐστιν διανοίχθητι. 35 καὶ [εὐθέως] ἠνοίγησαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἀκοαί, καὶ ἐλύθη ὁ δεσμὸς τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐλάλει ὀρθῶς. 36 καὶ διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς ἵνα μηδενὶ λέγωσιν· ὅσον δὲ αὐτοῖς διεστέλλετο, αὐτοὶ μᾶλλον περισσότερον ἐκήρυσσον. 37 καὶ ὑπερπερισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο λέγοντες· καλῶς πάντα πεποίηκεν, καὶ τοὺς κωφοὺς ποιεῖ ἀκούειν καὶ [τοὺς] ἀλάλους λαλεῖν.

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