Mark viii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 8. After the multitude had eaten and were filled, they did not take the remains; but these the disciples collected, as in the former miracle of the multiplication of the loaves. By this circumstance we are taught to be content with what is sufficient, and to seek no unnecessary supplies. We may likewise learn from this stupendous miracle the providence of God and his goodness, who sends us not away fasting, but wishes all to be nourished and enriched with his grace. (Theophylactus) — Thus does our Lord verify in his works what he has promised in his instructions; that if we will seek in the first instance the kingdom of God and his justice, that all necessary things shall be added unto us. By the gathering up of the fragments that remained, he not only made the miracle more striking to the multitude and to the apostles, but has also left us a practical lesson, how, in the midst of plenty, which proceeds from the munificence of heaven, we must suffer no waste. (Haydock)

Ver. 9. St. Matthew (xv. 38.) adds, without counting either the women or the children.

Ver. 10. Dalmanutha. St. Matthew (xv. 39.) has, to the borders of Magedan; in Greek, Magdala, or Magedan. These were two towns beyond the sea of Galilee, situated near to each other; it is of little consequence which of these names the Evangelists mention; perhaps our Saviour visited both. (Tirinus) — The major part of commentators, if we can believe the Bible of Vence, take Magedan, or Magdala, to be the the town of that name situated to the east of the lake of Tiberias, in the vicinity of Gerasa, and Dalmanutha to be the name of that part of the country in which these two towns were situated. (Bible de Vence) — Polus in his Synopsis Criticorum, (vol. iv. p. 410.) gives three explanations for the discrepance of the names in Sts. Matthew and Mark: 1. Idem locus erat binominis, the same place might have two names. 2. Propiqua erant loca, the places were near. 3. Alterum erat regio, alterum vicus, the one was the name of the territory, the other of the town or village; and concludes with asserting from Jewish authorities, that it was the same territory in which the two villages Magedan and Dalmanutha were situated; so that it might be known by either name, as we find the territory of Gadara and of Gergesę is one and the same. (Polus)

Ver. 11. Jesus Christ did not consent to the petition they made him, because there will be another time for signs and wonders, viz. his second coming, when the powers of heaven shall be moved, and the moon refuse her light. This his first coming is not to terrify man, but to instruct and store his mind with lessons of humility, and every other virtue. (Theophylactus)

Ver. 12. Jesus Christ fetches a deep sigh on account of their obduracy, and says; why do these ask for a miracle to confirm their belief, when they resist the authority of so many miracles, which are daily performed under their eyes? (Bible de Vence) — A sign shall not be given. But by a Hebrew form of speech, if divers times is put for a negative. (Witham)

Ver. 15. Of the leaven of Herod. In St. Matthew chap. xvi. ver. 6, we read of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees: we may conclude that Christ named all of them. (Witham)

Ver. 23. It may be asked, why our Lord led the man from the multitude before he cured him? — It may be answered, that he did it not to seem to perform his prodigies through vain glory; and thence to teach us to shun the empty praises of men: 2dly, to facilitate recollection, and to give himself to prayer, before he cured the blind man; and lastly, he went out of the city because the inhabitants of Bethsaida had already rendered themselves unworthy of the miracles of Christ. For among them our Saviour had wrought many miracles, yet they would not believe. (St. Matthew xi. 21.) (Tirinus) (Theophylactus) — Dionysius says, that Jesus led him from the multitude to shew that if a sinner, figured by the blind man, wishes to be converted from his evil ways, he must first leave all immediate occasions and inducements to sin. (Dionysius)

Ver. 24. Men[1] as trees walking. In the Latin text, walking may agree either with men, or with trees, but the Greek shews that walking must be referred to men. Perhaps Christ restored sight in this manner to the man by degrees, to make him more sensible of the benefit; or to teach us how difficult is a sinner’s conversion; of which this was a figure. (Witham)

Ver. 25. Our Saviour made use of exterior signs in the performance of his miracles to command attention, and to signify the inward effects of the favours grants: these the Catholic Church, after the example of her Founder and Model, also uses in the celebration of her sacraments, and for the same purposes. Nor ought any supercilious and superficial reasoner to undervalue and contemn the corporal and external application of holy things, under the hollow plea, that we are exclusively to attend to the spirit and faith.

Ver. 28. As one of the prophets. In the Greek it is, one of the prophets.

Ver. 31. After our Redeemer had heard the confession of his first apostle, who spoke in the name of all, as the head, he opens out to them the grand mystery of his passion.


[1] Ver. 24. Video homines velut arbores ambulantes, blepo taus anthropous os dendra peripatountas.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Christ feeds four thousand. He gives sight to a blind man. He foretells his passion.

1 In *those days again, when there was a great multitude, and they had nothing to eat; calling his disciples together, he saith to them:

2 I have compassion on the multitude: for behold they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

3 And if I shall send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint in the way; for some of them came from afar off.

4 And his disciples answered him: From whence can any one satisfy them here with bread in the wilderness?

5 And he asked them: How many loaves have ye? and they said: Seven.

6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and taking the seven loaves, giving thanks, he broke, and gave to his disciples to set before them, and they set them before the people.

7 And they had a few little fishes: and he blessed them, and commanded them to be set before them.

8 And they did eat and were filled, and they took up that which was left of the fragments, seven baskets.

9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

10 And immediately going up into a ship with his disciples, he came into the parts of Dalmanutha.

11 *And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.

12 And sighing deeply in spirit, he saith: Why doth this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, a sign shall not be given to this generation.

13 And leaving them, he went up again into the ship, and passed to the other side of the water.

14 And they forgot to take bread: and they had but one loaf with them in the ship.

15 And he charged them, saying: Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying: Because we have no bread.

17 Which Jesus knowing, saith to them: Why do you reason, because you have no bread? do you not yet know nor understand? have you still your heart blinded?

18 Having eyes, see you not? and having ears, hear you not? *Neither do you remember.

19 When I broke the five loaves among five thousand: how many baskets full of fragments took you up? They say to him: Twelve.

20 And when the seven loaves among four thousand, how many baskets of fragments took you up? And they say to him: Seven.

21 And he said to them: How do you not yet understand?

22 And they came to Bethsaida: and they bring to him a blind man, and they besought him to touch him.

23 And taking the blind man by the hand, he led him out of the town: and spitting upon his eyes, laying his hands on him, he asked him if he saw any thing.

24 And looking up, he said: I see men, as trees, walking.

25 After that he laid his hands again upon his eyes, and he began to see, and was restored, so that he saw all things clearly.

26 And he sent him to his house; saying: Go into thy house, and if thou enter into the town, tell nobody.

27 *And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Cęsarea Philippi; and in the way he asked his disciples, saying to them: **Whom do men say that I am?

28 And they answered him, saying: John the Baptist; but some Elias, and others as one of the prophets.

29 Then he saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? Peter answering, said to him: Thou art the Christ.

30 And he strictly charged them that they should not tell any man of him.

31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the ancients, and by the high priests, and the Scribes, and be killed: and after three days rise again.

32 And he spoke the word openly: *And Peter taking him, began to rebuke him.

33 But he turning about and seeing his disciples, threatened Peter, saying: Go after me, Satan, because thou dost not relish the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.

34 And calling together the multitude with his disciples, he said to them: *If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

35 *For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, and for the gospel, shall save it.

36 For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

38 *For whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man also shall be ashamed of him, when he shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy Angels.

39 And he said to them: *Amen, I say to you, that there are some of them that stand here, who shall not taste death, till they see the kingdom of God coming in power.



1: about the year A.D. 32.; Matthew xv. 32.

11: Matthew xvi. 1.; Luke xi. 54.

18: Mark vi. 41.; John vi. 11.

27: Matthew xvi. 13. — ** Luke ix. 18.

32: Matthew xvi. 22.

34: Matthew x. 38. and xvi. 24.

35: Luke ix. 23. and xiv. 27.

38: Matthew x. 33.; Luke ix. 26. and xii. 9.

39: Matthew xvi. 28.; Luke ix. 27.