Mark, Jewish New Testament and comment David H. Stern

chapter 1
1. The beginning of the Good News of Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of God:
Good News. See Mt 4:23N. Yeshua the Messiah. See Mt 1:1N. Son of God. See Mt 4:3N.

2. It is written in the prophet Yesha‘yahu, "See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare the way before you.” (Malachi 3:1)
3. The voice of someone crying out: ‘In the desert prepare the way for Adonai! Make straight paths for' (Isaiah 40:3)
It is written in the prophet Yesha'yahu. Only the last two lines quoted are from Isaiah; the first two are from Malachi. The scroll of the Prophets begins with Isaiah, and it was common to refer to a scroll by its first book; but see Mt 27:9N. Adonai. See Mt l:20N.

4. So it was that Yochanan the Immerser appeared in the desert, proclaiming an immersion involving turning to God from sin in order to be forgiven.
Yochanan the Immerser. See Mt 3:1N.
An immersion involving turning to God from sin in order to be forgiven, literally, "baptism of repentance," a term to which I gave an expanded translation for better apprehension by modern readers. Traditional Judaism recognizes immersion for purification and for conversion to the Jewish religion, but Yochanan's immersion was neither of these. See Mt 3:1-2&NN.

5. People went out to him from all over Y’hudah, as did all the inhabitants of Yerushalayim. Confessing their sins, they were immersed by him in the Yarden River.
6. Yochanan wore clothes of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; he ate locusts and wild honey.
7. He proclaimed: “After me is coming someone who is more powerful than I — I’m not worthy even to bend down and untie his sandals.
8. I have immersed you in water, but he will immerse you in the Ruach HaKodesh.”
Ruach HaKodesh ("the Holy Spirit"). See Mt 3:11-12N.

9. Shortly thereafter, Yeshua came from Natzeret in the Galil and was immersed in the Yarden by Yochanan.
10. Immediately upon coming up out of the water, he saw heaven torn open and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove;
11. then a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, whom I love; I am well pleased with you.”
Voice. See Mt 3:17N.

12. Immediately the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness,
13. and he was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by the Adversary. He was with the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.
The Adversary, Satan, the Devil. See Mt 4:1N.

14. After Yochanan had been arrested, Yeshua came into the Galil proclaiming the Good News from God:
15. "The time has come, God’s Kingdom is near! Turn to God from your sins and believe the Good News!"
Kingdom of God. See Mt 3:2N on "Kingdom of Heaven."

16. As he walked beside Lake Kinneret, he saw Shim‘on and Andrew, Shim‘on’s brother, casting a net into the lake; for they were fishermen.
Lake Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee. See Mt 4:18N.

17. Yeshua said to them, “Come, follow me, and I will make you into fishers for men!”
18. At once they left their nets and followed him.
19. Going on a little farther, he saw Ya‘akov Ben-Zavdai and Yochanan, his brother, in their boat, repairing their nets.
Ya'akov Ben-Zavdai and Yochanan. See Mt 4:21N.

20. Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zavdai in the boat with the hired men and went after Yeshua.
21. They entered K’far-Nachum, and on Shabbat Yeshua went into the synagogue and began teaching.
K'far-Nachum, Capernaum. See Mt 4:13N.
Shabbat, Sabbath. See Mt 12:1N.

22. They were amazed at the way he taught, for he did not instruct them like the Torah-teachers but as one who had authority himself.
ГогаЛ-teachers (scribes) did not have s'mikhah (were not ordained as rabbis; see Mt 21:23N) and therefore could not bring chiddushim (introduce new interpretations) от posek halakhah (make legal judgments; see Mt 2:4N). This is why the people were amazed (one could say "were in shock," Hebrew hishtomemu): Yeshua taught like a rabbi and not like a scribe. This was one level of amazement. The second level of amazement was that he taught as one who had authority himself. No rabbi taught (or judged, pasak) against the halakhah of his own rabbi. But Yeshua, who had no rabbi of his own, appeared to have authority beyond that of any of the rabbis (vv. 23-27&N). By Yeshua's own testimony throughout Yochanan 5-9, and summarized finally at Yn 12:44-50, his authority came directly from his Father, God; see also Daniel 7:14, Mt 28:18).

Finally, at 2:10 below Yeshua claims, uniquely, that he has authority to forgive sins. This is the highest "authority given to human beings" (Mt 9:8), and people "were amazed" at this too (2:12).

23. In their synagogue just then was a man with an unclean spirit in him, who shouted,
24. “What do you want with us, Yeshua from Natzeret? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God!”
25. But Yeshua rebuked the unclean spirit, “Be quiet and come out of him!”
26. Throwing the man into a convulsion, it gave a loud shriek and came out of him.
27. They were all so astounded that they began asking each other, “What is this? A new teaching, one with authority behind it! He gives orders even to the unclean spirits, and they obey him!”
The Talmud says that Rabbi Yochanan Ben-Zakkai, convener of the Yavneh Council which around 90 C.E. developed the structure of post-Temple rabbinic Judaism, studied the speech of the shedim (demonic spirits; Sukkah 28a), but not that the shedim obeyed him. But Yeshua, unlike the rabbis, gives orders even to the unclean spirits, and they obey him! This is why his hearers were astounded at his new teaching.

28. And the news about him spread quickly through the whole region of the Galil.
29. They left the synagogue and went with Ya‘akov and Yochanan to the home of Shim‘on and Andrew.
30. Shim‘on’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever, and they told Yeshua about her.
31. He came, took her by the hand and lifted her onto her feet. The fever left her, and she began helping them.
32. That evening after sundown, they brought to Yeshua all who were ill or held in the power of demons,
Influenced by the P'rushim (see Mt 3:7N), the people regarded healing on Shabbat as a violation of the Shabbat work laws (see Mt 12:1-15&NN). Therefore they waited until that evening, after sundown. According to halakhah, Shabbat (v. 21) officially ends when three medium-sized stars become visible.

33. and the whole town came crowding around the door.
34. He healed many who were ill with various diseases and expelled many demons, but he did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who he was.
Because they knew who he was. See Mt 8:4N on why Yeshua wanted his Messiahship kept a secret.

35. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Yeshua got up, left, went away to a lonely spot and stayed there praying.
36. But Shim‘on and those with him went after him;
37. and when they found him, they said, “Everybody is looking for you.”
38. He answered, “Let’s go somewhere else — to the other villages around here. I have to proclaim the message there too — in fact this is why I came out.”
39. So he traveled all through the Galil, preaching in their synagogues and expelling demons.
40. A man afflicted with tzara‘at came to Yeshua and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Serious skin disease. Usually translated "leprosy," but see Mt 8:2N on "clean."

41. Moved with pity, Yeshua reached out his hand, touched him and said to him, “I am willing! Be cleansed!”
42. Instantly the tzara‘at left him, and he was cleansed.
43. Yeshua sent him away with this stern warning:
44. “See to it that you tell no one; instead, as a testimony to the people, go and let the cohen examine you, and offer for your cleansing what Moshe commanded.”
Tell no one. See Mt 8:4N. Go and let the cohen examine you. See Mt 2:4N, 8:4N.

45. But he went out and began spreading the news, talking freely about it; so that Yeshua could no longer enter a town openly but stayed out in the country, where people continued coming to him from all around.

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