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And he got up, subdued the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and it became completely calm. Bible other translations

“And he got up,” In v. 38 the disciples woke him up, and 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 and thus got up.

“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.

“Silence!” The Greek siopaō (#4623 σιωπάω). “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 still!” As with the word “subdued” (above), the Greek word phimoō (#5392 φιμόω), translated “be still,” also has a technical meaning that applies 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!”). Jesus commanded the water to “be still,” but also conveyed in the Greek is a spiritual power behind the command. Jesus did not just command the storm to be still—he bound it and the demon behind it with the power of his word. See commentary on Mark 1:25.


Commentary for: Mark 4:39