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And he, when he was fully awakened, subdued the wind, and said to the sea, “Hush! Be bound!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Bible

“having fully awakened,” In v. 38 he was awakened, the verb in v. 39 is stronger. He was not “sleepy” or “just coming to his senses” as so many do when they are awakened. He became fully awake.

“subdued.” In this context, epitimaō (#2008 ἐπιτιμάω) has a technical meaning: it is used in Greek religion of gaining control over a spirit, a demon. Jesus subdued the storm, which was no doubt caused by a demon, by the power of God he wielded, which he expressed in words. The power came from God and was used by Jesus. Jesus did not gain control over the storm by some “magic words” or formula that he used. “It is not a magical incantation...it is powerful Word of the Son” (Gerhard Kittle, Theological Dictionary, ἐπιτιμάω Vol. 2, p. 626). For a more complete explanation, see commentary on Mark 1:25.

“Hush!” The Greek siopao (#4623). “To refrain from speaking or making a sound, keep silent, say nothing, make no sound” (BDAG). Although this word gets translated “Peace” in many versions, it is not the standard word for peace.

“Be bound!” As with the word “subdued” (above), the Greek word phimoō (#5392 φιμόω) has a technical meaning in this context. Ordinarily phimoō means to close the mouth with a muzzle or to silence. However, it was used in Greek magic to denote the binding of a person with a spell. Moulton and Milligan write that it can refer to “the binding of a person by means of a spell, so as to make him powerless to harm” (The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament. Cp. A. Nyland, The Source NT; footnote on Matt. 22:12 and her translation: “Be bound!”). The Greek conveys a spiritual power behind the command that the English, “Be still,” simply does not convey. Jesus did not just command the storm—and the demon causing it—to be still—he bound it with the power of his word. See commentary on Mark 1:25.


Commentary for: Mark 4:39