Below is my translation of Mark 1:29-34, a pericope wherein Jesus has left the synagogue (cf. 1:21-28) and heads to the home of Simon and Andrew. Like the previous pericope, this story emphasizes 1) Jesus’ miraculous abilities and 2) his popularity with the people. Of interest is 1:34 where we are told that Jesus “did not permit the demons to speak because they knew him.” This is clearly intended to parallel 1:24 where the man possessed by the unclean spirit tells Jesus, “We know who you are, the holy one of God!” There Jesus responds by telling the man, “Shut up and come out of him!” (1:25) Here it appears Jesus has learned his lesson and commands the demons to shut up ahead of time.
29 Immediately, having left the synagogue, they went to the home of Simon and Andrew with James and John. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was lying down sick with fever, and so they were speaking to Jesusa concerning her. 31 Going to her he raisedb her, having taken her by the hand. The fever left her and she served them. 32 When evening came, at the setting of the sun,c they brought to him the sick and the demon-possessed; 33 and the entire city had gathered at the door. 34 He healed many sick – those who had various diseases – and he cast out many demons, and did not permit the demons to speak because they knewd him.
a Literally, “him.”
b Greek, ēgeiren.
c The Markan wording here is redundant, a feature common to Mark (see 1:35, 2:20, 4:35, 14:30, 15:42, and 16:2). The genitive absolute found at the beginning of the verse (Opsias…genomenēs; “When evening came”) implies that sunset has come. Therefore Matthew (8:16) drops the clause I have translated as “at the setting of the sun” and retains only the genitive absolute. This is a classic example of Matthean redaction of Mark whereby he seeks to smooth out Mark’s repetitiveness.
d Greek, ēdeisan. This is a very rare instance of a verb in the pluperfect tense. The pluperfect in the indicative mood appears in narrative material to supplement narrative elements. For more, see Constantine R. Campbell, Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek (Zondervan, 2008), 105-106.
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