King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Mark 6

Christ despised in his own country. (1-6) The apostles sent forth. (7-13) John the Baptist put to death. (14-29) The apostles return, Five thousand fed by a miracle. (30-44) Christ walks on the sea, He heals those that touch him. (45-56)

Mark 6 Audio:

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Christ despised in his own country

1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.

2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.

6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

The apostles sent forth

7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;

8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:

9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.

10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.

11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

John the Baptist put to death

14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.

15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.

16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.

17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.

18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.

19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:

20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;

22 And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.

23 And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.

24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

25 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.

26 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.

27 And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,

28 And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.

29 And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.

The apostles return, Five thousand fed by a miracle

30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.

31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.

33 And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.

34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:

36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.

37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?

38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.

39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.

40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.

41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.

42 And they did all eat, and were filled.

43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.

44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

Christ walks on the sea, He heals those that touch him

45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.

46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.

48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:

50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

53 And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore.

54 And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,

55 And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.

56 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. After the miracles that Christ had performed, though he was not ignorant how much they despised him, yet that there might be no excuse for their disbelief, he condescended to return to them. Theophylactus.

Ver. 3. S. Matt. relates that they asked: Is not this the son of the carpenter? It is not improbable that both questions were asked; it was certainly very natural to take him for a carpenter, who was the son of one. S. Austin. — They were scandalized at his lowly birth and humble parentage. Hence Jesus Christ takes occasion to expose the malice and envy of the Jews, in refusing him, and to shew that the Gentiles would more esteem him. See Luke iv. 25, and John i.

Ver. 13. It was usual for the Jews to prescribe oil as a proper thing to anoint the sick; but its virtue in the present instance, when used by the apostles, was not natural but supernatural, and was derived from him who sent them; because this unction always produced a certain and constant cure in those who were anointed. This miraculous gift of healing the sick with oil, which Christ conferred on his apostles, was a prelude or gradual preparation to the dignity to which he raised this unction, when he established it a perpetual rite in his holy Church. Rutter. — With oil, &c. This anointing the sick, was at least a figure of the sacrament, which Christ was pleased to institute for the spiritual relief of persons in danger of death: and which is fully expressed by S. James, in his Catholic Epistle. C. vi. The Council of Trent says this sacrament was insinuated in S. Mark, and published in the Epistle of S. James. Trid. sess. xiv. c. 1. Wi.

Ver. 14. The Herod here mentioned was the son of Herod, from whom S. Joseph fled with Jesus and Mary into Egypt. S. Chrys. hom. xlix. in Matt. — How great was the envy of the Jews, is easily to be conceived from this passage. They can believe that John is risen from the dead, and appeared in public again, although no one gave testimony that this was the case: but that Jesus, so much favoured by God, who worked so many and so great miracles, should be risen again is incredible, although attested by angels, by apostles, by men, women, and persons of every denomination. They still assert that the body of Jesus was stolen. V. Bede.

Ver. 20. Herod,[2] &c. The sense both of the Latin and Greek text seems to be, that Herod entertained and shewed a particular respect and value for John the Baptist: yet some expound it, that he had a watchful eye over him, and sought only for an occasion to take him off. Wi.

Ver. 26. It is customary, in Scripture, to give the generally prevailing sentiment at the time; thus Joseph is called by the blessed Virgin , the father of Jesus; so now Herod is said to be stricken with sadness, because he appeared to be so to the company at table, though within his own breast, he secretly rejoiced that he had an opportunity of destroying an importuning monitor, with an exterior shew of piety and honour. Ven. Bede.

Ver. 29. Church history informs us, that the Christians were accustomed to frequent this tomb with great piety and respect, till the reign of Julian the apostate, at which time the pagans, through hatred for Christianity, broke open his tomb, and dispersed his bones; but immediately after, thinking it better to burn them, they endeavoured to collect them again. But some religious of a neighbouring convent, joining themselves to the pagans, under pretence of collecting the bones to burn, secreted the greater part of them, and sent them to Philip, at Jerusalem, who sent them to Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria; and in the reign of Theodosius, the temple of Serapis was converted into a Christian church, and dedicated to the honour of S. John the Baptist, where his relics were deposited. Gloss. Ordina.

Ver. 37. For two hundred pence. See Matt. xviii. 28. The apostles seem to speak these words ironically, to signify that they had not so much money as could procure a mouthful for each of them. Wi.

Ver. 45. The apostles were in a desert place belonging to Bethsaida, which probably was divided from it by some bay or creek, that ran into the land; and Christ only ordered them to pass over this to the city, where he might afterwards have joined them, when he had sent away the people. But in their passage a great storm arose, and they were driven by an adverse wind to the open sea, towards Capharnaum; or, probably, when they found the wind so violent, afraid of shipwreck if they neared the shore, they rowed out to sea. This reconciles the seeming discrepance of S. Mark and S. John, when notwithstanding the directions Christ had given his disciples to go before him to Bethsaida, we find them going to Capharnaum. Rutter.

Ver. 48. Thus the divine mercy often seems to desert the faithful in the height of tribulation, but God only acts thus, that he may try their patience, and reward them more abundantly. Nic. de Lyra.

Ver. 52. They understood not concerning the loaves;[3] i.e. they did not reflect how great a miracle that was which Christ had lately wrought, otherwise they would not have been so much surprised at his walking upon the sea. Wi.


[1] V. 5. Non posse in Scripture, is divers times the same as nolle. So Gen. xxxvii, it is said of Joseph’s brothers, they could not, (non poterant) i.e. would not, speak to him peaceably. See Jo. xii. 39, &c.

[2] V. 20. Custodiebat eum, suneterei auton. The Prot. translation, observed him.

[3] V. 52. Non intellexerunt de panibus, ou gar sunekan epi tois artois.