John Bengel Commentary - Mark 9:49 - 9:49

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John Bengel Commentary - Mark 9:49 - 9:49


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Mar 9:49. Πᾶς, every, all) Every [all] is here put without the noun being added. Some have supplied ἄρτος, bread; others, ἄνθρωπος, man. They seem to have felt, that it is hardly in accordance with usage, that πᾶς, all or every, should be put thus absolutely in the masculine. For where it seems to be put absolutely, the determining of the subject is left to be sought [gathered] from the predicate. Mat 13:19, πάντος ἀκούοντος τὸν λόγον, when any (hearer) heareth the word, etc.; Luk 6:40, κατηρτισμένος δὲ πᾶς, κ.τ.λ., every (disciple) if he shall be perfected, shall be as his teacher; [Luke] Luk 16:16, πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται, every one, who employs violence, by the employment of violence enters into the kingdom of heaven: Joh 2:10, Every man (who hath a marriage-feast, and sets forth wine) sets forth first the good wine. Phrases of this kind are to be met everywhere. So in this passage, Every one, who shall be salted at all, shall surely be salted with fire. But we will explain the idea of the passage a little more fully. It stands in position midway between the words concerning the fire which is not quenched, and the words concerning salt and its goodness. There are therefore three degrees: to be salted with salt; to be salted with fire; to be cast into the fire that never shall be quenched. The first degree is the most desirable: the third is the most bitter of the three: the second is intermediate, corresponding with the third in the mention of the fire (which in this passage is more often spoken of by Homonymy, i.e., the calling of things that differ in nature by the same name by analogy [Append.], as in Mat 3:10-12), whilst it has a closer correspondence with the first in the mention of the salting. Salting, which is a process most natural and suitable, is effected by means of salt: this salt implies the Divine discipline, gently training us to the denial of self, and to the cultivation of peace and harmony with others. They who are thus salted become thereby a sacrifice pleasing to God, the type of which [spiritual sacrifice] existed in the Levitical sacrifices; Lev 2:13. They who shrink from and evade the salting by salt, are salted by fire (for even salt has in it the power of burning, Deu 29:23; and again, in turn, that there is in natural fire the power also of salting, is shown even by flesh that is roasted; and in Plutarch, fire is said to be τῶν ἡδυσμάτων ἄριστον καὶ ἥδιστον, the best and sweetest of modes of sweetening or seasoning); i.e. according to what approaches most closely in analogy, they are salted by a Divine discipline of a severer kind, lest through the stumblingblock, occasioned by the hand, the foot, or the eye waxing stronger, they should go on to the fire that cannot be quenched. Therefore the connection and the idea of the passage stand thus: Without a moment’s delay, and casting aside all self-indulgence, meet and counteract the stumbling-block occasioned by the hand, the foot, or the eye; for otherwise it will thrust you on into hell, and hell’s eternal fire. For every one, who is about to be salted in any way, and who is by that salting to be snatched from the eternal fire, shall be salted, if not by salt, the milder remedy, but by fire, the more severe cure, yet still in this life [shall be so salted, not in the life to come]: and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt, which is a most lenient and excellent kind of salting. Therefore submit to [admit within you] and have this salt, so that, every stumbling-block [occasion of offence] having been laid aside, peace may flourish among you. You are certainly about [you are sure] to have to experience the salt and the fire: see that ye require to undergo [defungamini, perform] as lenient a salting as possible.-ἁλισθήσεται, shall be salted) The future: by which there is intimated the commandment as to the sacrifices of the Old Test, [which was couched in the future, Lev 2:13], as also their typical bearing in reference to the sacrifices of the New Test.-καὶ πᾶσα θυσία ἁλὶ ἁλισθήσεται) This is extant in Lev 2:13, καὶ πᾶν δῶρον θυσίας ὑμῶν ἁλὶ ἁλισθήσεται. Hence the sentiment in the former clause of the verse is inferred, πᾶς γὰρ πυρὶ ἁλισθ., which is more universal, inasmuch as the being salted with salt is now in fine added as if in the way of exception [qualification] to θυσίας, with the limitation standing in apposition [i.e. shall be salted with salt, in apposition to and qualifying the more universal, shall be salted with fire].