Καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς, Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἰσίν τινες ὧδε τῶν ἑστηκότων, οἵτινες οὐ μὴ γεύσωνται θανάτου, ἕως ἂν ἴδωσιν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐληλυθυῖαν ἐν δυνάμει.
Καὶ μετὰ ἡμέρας ἓξ παραλαμβάνει ὁ Ἰησοῦς, τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τὸν Ἰάκωβον καὶ [τὸν] Ἰωάννην, καὶ ἀναφέρει αὐτοὺς εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν κατ’ ἰδίαν μόνους. καὶ μετεμορφώθη ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν,
καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο στίλβοντα λευκὰ λίαν, οἷα γναφεὺς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς οὐ δύναται οὕτως λευκᾶναι.
καὶ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς Ἠλίας σὺν Μωϋσεῖ, καὶ ἦσαν συλλαλοῦντες* τῷ Ἰησοῦ.
Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς, ὁ Πέτρος λέγει τῷ Ἰησοῦ, Ῥαββί, καλόν ἐστιν ἡμᾶς ὧδε εἶναι. καὶ ποιήσωμεν τρεῖς σκηνάς· σοὶ μίαν, καὶ Μωϋσεῖ μίαν, καὶ Ἠλίᾳ μίαν.
οὐ γὰρ ᾔδει τί ἀποκριθῇ· ἔκφοβοι γὰρ ἐγένοντο.
Καὶ ἐγένετο νεφέλη ἐπισκιάζουσα αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἐγένετο φωνὴ ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης· Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου, ὁ ἀγαπητός· ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ.
Mark 9:8 καὶ ἐξάπινα, περιβλεψάμενοι, οὐκέτι οὐδένα εἶδον ἀλλὰ τὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν.
Mark 9:9 Καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν ἐκ τοῦ ὄρους, διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς ἵνα μηδενὶ ἃ εἶδον διηγήσωνται, εἰ μὴ ὅταν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ.
Mark 9:10 καὶ τὸν λόγον ἐκράτησαν πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς, συζητοῦντες τί ἐστιν τὸ ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῆναι.
Mark 9:11 καὶ ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν, λέγοντες Ὅτι, Λέγουσιν οἱ γραμματεῖς ὅτι Ἠλίαν δεῖ ἐλθεῖν πρῶτον;
Mark 9:12 Ὁ δὲ ἔφη αὐτοῖς, Ἠλίας μὲν ἐλθὼν πρῶτον, ἀποκαθιστάνει πάντα· καὶ πῶς γέγραπται ἐπὶ τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ἵνα πολλὰ πάθῃ καὶ ἐξουδενηθῇ;
Mark 9:13 ἀλλὰ λέγω ὑμῖν, ὅτι καὶ Ἠλίας ἐλήλυθεν, καὶ ἐποίησαν αὐτῷ ὅσα ἤθελον, καθὼς γέγραπται ἐπ’ αὐτόν.
Faith & Impossibility
Καὶ ἐλθόντες πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς, εἶδον ὄχλον πολὺν περὶ αὐτοὺς, καὶ γραμματεῖς συζητοῦντας πρὸς αὐτούς.
And coming with the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the scribes, questioning them.
Paraphrase: Now when Jesus, Peter, James, and John had come down from the mountain and rejoined the other disciples, they found a larger crowd of people gathered. They were all agitated about something and were arguing back and forth. They had even gotten some of the Scribes involved and were putting the question to them.
συζητοῦντας is accusative plural and therefore must be modifying either αὐτοὺς or γραμματεῖς; cf principle 7.
Farrar supposes that the Scribes were taunting the disciples for their failure to heal the boy. source
καὶ εὐθὺς πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος, ἰδόντες αὐτὸν, ἐξεθαμβήθησαν, καὶ προστρέχοντες, ἠσπάζοντο αὐτόν.
And immediately, all the crowd, seeing Him, were amazed and running to Him, they greeted Him.
Paraphrase: Now when this group saw Jesus coming, they were surprised to see Him and ran to greet Him.
Καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτούς, Τί συζητεῖτε πρὸς αὑτούς;
And He asked them, “Why are you discussing with them?”
Paraphrase: Jesus, seeing how agitated they were, asked them what they were all so upset about.
Who is the antecedent of αὐτούς here? The TR has “καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν τοῦς γραμματεῖς.” In the context, it is the entire crowd that is running to Jesus so that would seem to be the most obvious choice. It’s impossible to tell for sure.
Καὶ ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ εἷς ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου, Διδάσκαλε, ἤνεγκα τὸν υἱόν μου πρὸς σέ, ἔχοντα πνεῦμα ἄλαλον·
And one man in the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, having a dumb spirit.”
Paraphrase: Then one of the men from the crowd stepped forward and said, “Teacher, I have brought my son to you; he is not able to speak.
καὶ ὅπου ἐὰν αὐτὸν καταλάβῃ, ῥήσσει αὐτόν· καὶ ἀφρίζει, καὶ τρίζει τοὺς ὀδόντας, καὶ ξηραίνεται. καὶ εἶπα τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου, ἵνα αὐτὸ ἐκβάλωσιν, καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν.
And wherever it seizes him, it slams him down and he foams and grinds his teeth and he stiffens up. I even told your disciples in order that they might cast him out and they were not able.
Paraphrase: Furthermore, whenever this demon takes hold of him, he slams my son to the ground. Then my son becomes rigid; he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth together. I am at my wits end; so far, nothing has worked for my dear boy. In my desperation, I brought him to your disciples hoping they could do something for him, but they have proven to be as helpless as I.
Blass writes that εαν is found very frequently after relatives (as ὅπου here) in the New Testament. source
Ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτοῖς, λέγει, Ὦ γενεὰ ἄπιστος! ἕως πότε πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἔσομαι; ἕως πότε ἀνέξομαι ὑμῶν; φέρετε αὐτὸν πρός με.
Then answering them, He said, “Oh unbelieving generation! Until what time, shall I be with you? Until what time shall I endure you? Bring him to Me.”
Paraphrase: Then Jesus exclaimed, “What is wrong with you people? How many miracles do I need to do before you come to understand that all power in heaven and earth has been given to Me by My Father? How much longer do I need to be with you before you will realize who I am? (John 14:9) How much longer do I need to tolerate your unbelief? Why didn’t you immediately bring this child to Me for healing? Do you think that I am the same as these Scribes or even as these helpless disciples? Please, be quick, bring this child to Me!”
Καὶ ἤνεγκαν αὐτὸν πρὸς αὐτόν. καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν, τὸ πνεῦμα εὐθὺς συνεσπάραξεν αὐτόν, καὶ πεσὼν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, ἐκυλίετο, ἀφρίζων.
And they brought him to Him, and seeing him, the spirit immediately threw him down and falling on the ground, he rolled about, foaming.
Paraphrase: Then they brought the little boy to Jesus. When the demon recognized Jesus, he immediately put the boy into a terrible seizure, slamming him to the ground where the boy thrashed about helplessly, foaming at the mouth.
Καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ, Πόσος χρόνος ἐστὶν ὡς τοῦτο γέγονεν αὐτῷ; Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν, Ἐκ παιδιόθεν.
And He asked his father, “How long a time is it when this has been to him? and he said, “from childhood.
Paraphrase: As the boy continued to suffer from this seizure, Jesus asked the father, “How long has it been since this demon took control of your son?” The man replied, “Ever since he was a child.
καὶ πολλάκις καὶ εἰς πῦρ αὐτὸν ἔβαλεν, καὶ εἰς ὕδατα, ἵνα ἀπολέσῃ αὐτόν. ἀλλ’ εἴ τι δύνῃ, βοήθησον ἡμῖν, σπλαγχνισθεὶς ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς.
And frequently even in the fire it threw him and into water in order that he might destroy him, but if anything you might be able [to do], help us, taking pity on us.
Paraphrase: I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this demon trying to destroy my son. He has thrown him into the fire; and at other times, he has tried to drown him by throwing him into the water. Please, if you think that there is anything you might be able to do… Oh please, I beg you to take pity on us and to help us. I have nowhere else to turn.”
The verb δυναμαι is always followed by a complementary infinitive but evidently this is an exception. Perhaps the missing infinitive is a sign of the father’s distress as he fails to finish the sentence.(?) Lyttelton suggests that the father does break off here as a sign of his extreme desperation. source
βοήθησον is clearly an imperative of entreaty; §181.
Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Τὸ Εἰ δύνῃ; πάντα δυνατὰ τῷ πιστεύοντι.
Then Jesus said to him, “This [statement] ‘if you might be able’? all things are possible to the believer.
Paraphrase: Then Jesus motioned for the man to stop. “Back up a minute,” He said. “Did I hear you say, ‘If you can?‘ Is that all the confidence you have in My ability to heal your son? Let me explain to you how things work in My kingdom. In My kingdom, there is no question about My power to save. You are foolish to doubt that. The only question in My kingdom, is whether you are willing to place complete confidence in Me alone.”
Τὸ is an anaphoric article and refers to something which had gone before. Robertson says this use of the article is very frequent. source Here, the article is referring back to the statement of the father “εἴ τι δύνῃ.”
- Swete: “The Lord repeats the father’s words and places them in contrast with the spiritual facts which he had yet to learn.” source
- Morison: “It is as if He had said, “The phrase If Thou canst is a phrase which “should not have been used by thee in relation to Me. It is in truth applicable only to thyself; for all things are possible to him who believeth.” source
- Vos: “Jesus here remonstrates with the suggestion of the father, ‘if thou canst do anything’, with the reply, ‘what! if thou canst!’, thereby declaring that, since it is a question of divine omnipotence, all mention of adequacy of power ought to be eliminated from the outset. Before God there exists no ‘if thou canst’. Biblical Theology 388
- Spurgeon: “The father of the lunatic child had said to our Lord, “If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us;” and our divine Master virtually replies, “The ‘if thou canst’ lies not with me, but with thee. It is not if I can, but if thou canst.” Thus you see the word “believe” is implied if not actually expressed. Jesus would certainly go as far as ever the man’s faith could go; but as the rule of the kingdom is, “According to thy faith, so be it unto thee,” the man’s unbelief would hamper the Lord in his working. If the suppliant could be rid of unbelief, Jesus would get rid of the devil from his child. The difficulty of casting out the demon lay mainly in the want of faith in the father. Let it, then, be understood as the teaching of this text, that the difficulties in the way of souls that would be saved do not lie with Jesus Christ, but with themselves. They need never ask the question, “Can Jesus forgive?” or “Can he renew?” there is a prior question—Canst thou believe that he can forgive, and that he can renew? If God’s grace enables thee to say, “I can and do believe that Jesus can work in me according to the full measure of my need,” then all difficulty has vanished. Thy faith is the shadow of the coming blessing, the token of the Lord’s favour towards thee. When thy faith believes in Christ’s omnipotence, he is omnipotent to thee, for “all things are possible to him that believeth.” source
- Manton: “So Mark 9:22, 23 the father cometh for a possessed child: ‘Master, if thou canst do anything, help us.’ Christ answereth, ‘If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.’ The distressed father saith, ‘If thou canst do anything;’ our holy Lord saith, ‘If thou canst believe:’ as if he had said, Do not doubt of My power, but look to thy own faith; I can, if thou canst. If we were disposed to receive as God is fitted to give, we should not be long without an answer.” source
- Burns: “And now, having the case fully before him, and having heard the earnest and tender appeal of the father, he rolls it back with all its responsibility on the father’s faith. Jesus said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth,”—verse 23. As if he had said, 1. In me there is an efficiency of power. But thy faith must elicit its operation—canst thou lay hold of my strength? If so, it can do all thou needest. 2. In me there is amplitude of efficacy. Canst thou draw out the virtue and apply it to thy suffering son? There is virtue enough in me to heal the maladies of a wretched world. Extract it by thy faith, and thy son is healed. 3. In me there is graciousness of disposition. Canst thou honor my office, and mission, and work? If so, I will have compassion on thee, and restore thy child. I came to seek and to save that which is lost, and if thou canst but believe, all thou seekest and desiredst is fully possible. For all that can be done, faith can do it. source
Εὐθὺς κράξας, ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ παιδίου ἔλεγεν, Πιστεύω· βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ!
Immediately, crying out, the father of the child was saying, “I believe; help my unbelief!“
Paraphrase: Upon hearing this, the father cried out in agony, “I do have confidence in you, Jesus! I do believe! I know you can do anything! I do have faith! My faith is not perfect, but please don’t let my weak faith stand in the way of my child’s healing! Please heal my child and please help me to have a stronger faith and to overcome my unbelief.”
Note ἔλεγεν is an imperfect.
Other refuge have I none;
hangs my helpless soul on thee;
leave, ah! leave me not alone,
still support and comfort me.
All my trust on thee is stayed,
all my help from thee I bring;
cover my defenseless head
with the shadow of thy wing. Charles Wesley
Ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἐπισυντρέχει ὄχλος, ἐπετίμησεν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ, λέγων αὐτῷ, Τὸ ἄλαλον καὶ κωφὸν πνεῦμα, ἐγὼ ἐπιτάσσω σοι, ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ, καὶ μηκέτι εἰσέλθῃς εἰς αὐτόν.
Then Jesus, seeing that a crowd was forming, rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to him, “Dumb and deaf spirit! I command you, depart from him and no longer enter into him.”
Paraphrase: Then Jesus stepped up to the boy who was still convulsing in a terrible seizure and was a pitiful sight. Jesus addressed the demon directly, “Fiend from the pit of hell! You who have crippled this boy’s hearing and speaking! I command you to leave him immediately and never to enter into him again!”
It’s not clear why the crowd is mentioned here. Now that a crowd was gathered, Jesus was in a better place to show His power? or would the crowd have distracted or hindered him in some way?
Καὶ κράξας, καὶ πολλὰ σπαράξας, ἐξῆλθεν· καὶ ἐγένετο ὡσεὶ νεκρὸς, ὥστε τοὺς πολλοὺς λέγειν ὅτι ἀπέθανεν.
And crying out and convulsing him greatly, it departed and he became nearly dead so that the many said, “He’s dead.”
Paraphrase: At this command, the demon caused the boy to scream terribly and to shake violently. Then, it was over. The demon left, and the boy collapsed to the ground exhausted. Most of the onlookers concluded that it was too late; the boy was laying there looking for all intents and purposes as if he were dead. Several even made the comment, “He’s dead.”
ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς, κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτοῦ, ἤγειρεν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀνέστη.
But Jesus, holding his hand, raised him, and he got up.
Paraphrase: But Jesus dismissed these comments, took the boys hand and helped him to his feet. The boy stood up and went to his father.
Καὶ εἰσελθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς οἶκον, οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ κατ’ ἰδίαν ἐπηρώτων αὐτόν, Ὅτι ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτό;
And after He entered into a house, his disciples asked Him, “We were not able to cast it out.”
Paraphrase: Now Jesus’ disciples had been embarrassed by this whole affair since previously they had cast out demons with no trouble. (Mark 3:14, 15) Thinking that perhaps they had lost this ability, they waited until Jesus was alone and then privately asked Him why they had not had any success in casting out the demon themselves.
κατ’ ἰδίαν = privately
Καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Τοῦτο τὸ γένος ἐν οὐδενὶ δύναται ἐξελθεῖν, εἰ μὴ ἐν προσευχῇ.
And He said to them, “This kind, by nothing is able to depart except by prayer.
Paraphrase: Jesus gave them this answer. “Demons like this,” He said, “will not depart by any other means except by earnest prayer.”
Κἀκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντες, παρεπορεύοντο διὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας· καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἵνα τις γνοῖ·
Leaving from there, they went through Galilee, and He did not desire that anyone should know it.
Paraphrase: Then they left that place and travelled through Galilee. They did it quietly, however, because Jesus wanted to keep to Himself.
ἐδίδασκεν γὰρ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὅτι, Ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται εἰς χεῖρας ἀνθρώπων, καὶ ἀποκτενοῦσιν αὐτόν· καὶ ἀποκτανθεὶς, μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας ἀναστήσεται.
οἱ δὲ ἠγνόουν τὸ ῥῆμα, καὶ ἐφοβοῦντο αὐτὸν ἐπερωτῆσαι.
Mark 9:33 Καὶ ἦλθον εἰς Καφαρναούμ. Καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ γενόμενος, ἐπηρώτα αὐτούς, Τί ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ διελογίζεσθε;
Mark 9:34 οἱ δὲ ἐσιώπων, πρὸς ἀλλήλους γὰρ διελέχθησαν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ τίς μείζων.
Mark 9:35 Καὶ καθίσας, ἐφώνησεν τοὺς δώδεκα, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς, Εἴ τις θέλει πρῶτος εἶναι, ἔσται πάντων ἔσχατος καὶ πάντων διάκονος.
Mark 9:36 Καὶ λαβὼν παιδίον, ἔστησεν αὐτὸ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν· καὶ ἐναγκαλισάμενος αὐτὸ, εἶπεν αὐτοῖς,
Mark 9:37 Ὃς ἂν ἓν τῶν τοιούτων παιδίων δέξηται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐμὲ δέχεται· καὶ ὃς ἂν ἐμὲ δέχηται, οὐκ ἐμὲ δέχεται, ἀλλὰ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με.
Mark 9:38 Ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰωάννης, Διδάσκαλε, εἴδομέν τινα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια, 〈ὃς οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ ἡμῖν〉, καὶ ἐκωλύομεν αὐτόν, ὅτι οὐκ ἠκολούθει ἡμῖν.
Mark 9:39 Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν, Μὴ κωλύετε αὐτόν. οὐδεὶς γάρ ἐστιν ὃς ποιήσει δύναμιν ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου, καὶ δυνήσεται ταχὺ κακολογῆσαί με.
Mark 9:40 ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν καθ’ ἡμῶν, ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐστιν.
Mark 9:41 Ὃς γὰρ ἂν ποτίσῃ ὑμᾶς ποτήριον ὕδατος, ἐν ὀνόματι ὅτι Χριστοῦ ἐστε, ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὅτι οὐ μὴ ἀπολέσῃ τὸν μισθὸν αὐτοῦ.
Mark 9:42 Καὶ ὃς ἂν σκανδαλίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων τῶν πιστευόντων ‹εἰς ἐμέ›, καλόν ἐστιν αὐτῷ μᾶλλον εἰ περίκειται μύλος ὀνικὸς περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ καὶ βέβληται εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν.
Mark 9:43 Καὶ ἐὰν σκανδαλίζῃ* σε ἡ χείρ σου, ἀπόκοψον αὐτήν· καλόν ἐστίν σε κυλλὸν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν, ἢ τὰς δύο χεῖρας ἔχοντα, ἀπελθεῖν εἰς τὴν γέενναν, εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ ἄσβεστον.
Mark 9:44 —
Mark 9:45 καὶ ἐὰν ὁ πούς σου σκανδαλίζῃ σε, ἀπόκοψον αὐτόν· καλόν ἐστίν σε εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν χωλὸν, ἢ τοὺς δύο πόδας ἔχοντα, βληθῆναι εἰς τὴν γέενναν.
Mark 9:46 —
Mark 9:47 καὶ ἐὰν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου σκανδαλίζῃ σε, ἔκβαλε αὐτόν· καλόν σέ ἐστιν μονόφθαλμον εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἢ δύο ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς τὴν γέενναν,
Mark 9:48 ὅπου Ὁ σκώληξ αὐτῶν οὐ τελευτᾷ, καὶ τὸ πῦρ οὐ σβέννυται.
Πᾶς γὰρ πυρὶ ἁλισθήσεται.
Mark 9:50 καλὸν τὸ ἅλας· ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας ἄναλον γένηται, ἐν τίνι αὐτὸ ἀρτύσετε; ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα, καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις.