Mark 7:33 Commentary - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
33. Took him aside In performing his miracles our Lord used various modes of manifesting his putting forth his divine efficiency, representing to our external senses that secret act of power which the sense cannot see. Of course some external sign was needed to show to others that the result really proceeded from his will, and that the causation really went out from his person, to accomplish the thing. Sometimes he spoke a word directing the thing to take place. Sometimes he put forth his hand. He anointed a blind man’s eye with moistened clay, and sent him to Siloam. These variations of methods, all possessing no virtue in themselves, served to show the absoluteness of the dependence upon his simple will.
From a great variety of miracles Mark seems to select this one on account of the number of significant signs used. Our Lord took him apart from the rest to signalize him out as the object of miracle; he put his fingers into his ears to mark the tympanum that was to be quickened; he spit and touched his tongue to show that its stiffened muscles must be lubricated into limberness; he looked up to heaven to indicate that the source of power was God; he spoke the word to mark that the effect was instant in time upon the command. Mark details the whole with great minuteness, and the word Ephphatha is no doubt the very Syro-Chaldaic word used by our Lord. See on Mar 5:41.
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Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Daniel D. Whedon (1808-1885) was a prominent university professor, theologian, and author. He served as Professor of Ancient Languages at Wesleyan University in Connecticut; as Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Michigan; and as editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review from 1856 to1884. He authored numerous books including Commentary on the New Testament (New York: Carlton & Porter, 1860); Commentary on the Old Testament (New York: Nelson & Phillips, 1873); What is Arminianism? (Toronto: W. Briggs, 1879); and Essays, Reviews, and Discourses (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1887).