Jesus sends his disciples ahead by boat then he meets them walking on the water.
45And immediately, he urged his disciples to go up into the boat, and go in advance of him to the port at Bethsaida, while he dismissed the people.
46And when he had dismissed them, he went up to the mountain to pray.
47When evening came, the boat was in the center of the sea and he was alone on the land.
48And he saw them struggling as they were rowing, for the wind was against them; and in the 4th watch of the night, Joshua came to them, walking on the water, and he wanted to pass by them.
49But when they saw him walking on the water, they thought it was a false vision, and they cried out;
50for they all saw him and were frightened. And immediately, he spoke to them saying, Have courage, it is I, do not be afraid.
51And he got into the boat with them and the wind quieted down; and they marveled exceedingly, and were astonished.
52But, they did not understand the miracle of the loaves of bread, because their hearts were confused.
Like the other Ark based parables, This one begins again with a trip by boat across the Sea of Galilee. This resets the time back to the historical event of Noah’s Ark.
In this particular story Jesus sends his disciples on ahead of him, alone, in their own boat. Then, in the middle of the 4th watch in the night Jesus appears as he is walking across the water, past the boat.
The time reference here, "Watch in the night" is reference to the time in the night when this happened. Nights are divided into 4 parts of 3 hours each. Night begins at sunset, nominally 6 PM, so each watch is 3 hours of the night. This particular meeting in the 4th such watch or between 3 AM and the 6 AM nominal sunrise.
Moses explains1 that 1000 years are like a day, they are also like watch in the night. Taking this as the time key for this parable the time interval is 4 watches, or 4000 years. This would normally point at the era around 10,000 AA or the time of David, but in this case it is only "about" the 4th watch which widens out the set of stories to all of those that happened between 9000 and 10,000 AA.
Jesus meets up with the boat carrying the disciples in the middle of the lake. This appears to be the way the parable indicates the middle of the 4th watch, or about the year 9500 AA. This is the time in history when the ancient Israelites departed Egypt for Canaan and crossed the Red Sea.
Further details support this particular rendering of the parable. Jesus sends the masses of people away, allowing himself the chance to go up on a mountain to pray. Moses essentially did the same, separating the ancient Israelites from the masses of the Egyptians so they could worship the Lord in the wilderness. That wilderness journey of course lead to Mount Sinai in Arabia, on the far side of the Red Sea.
It is also curious that Mount Sinai was between the crossing of the Red Sea and the crossing of the Jordan River. Both represent forms of baptism and the encounter at Mount Sinai was between these two water crossing events. This quite similar to the way Jesus meets with his disciples in the middle of the lake.
Several details surrounding Jesus’ encounter matter to this parable. At first Jesus is going to pass the disciples by. Jesus at first wasn’t going to stay with the disciples in the lake. This is a major feature of the encounter ancient Israel had with Jesus at the time of the Exodus. Because of their rebellion they were going to be "passed by" or left alone in the wilderness.
The disciples were afraid of Jesus, thinking they saw a ghost. A ghostly appearance is thought to be a collection of vapors, similar to a cloud. In the ancient case the Israelites saw the cloud, descend onto Mount Sinai. The ancients, too, were deathly afraid, wanting only Moses to approach the Lord.
When Jesus climbed into the boat the wind and waves ceased their attack on the boat. Wind and waves are symbolic of the troubles we face in our lives and the presence of Jesus in the boat with the disciples cured the fears they had. When the ancient Israelites were obedient to the Lord, and did what he said, they too were protected from the military attacks of the nations around.
The disciples fear, of drowning in the sea, is the main event at the Exodus from Egypt. Ancient Israel thought they would drown, but they walked right through on dry ground. Note the seas represent the gentile peoples and also represent loosing covenant relationship with Jesus.
The final comment, that they did not understand about the loaves, they had hard hearts, is an indirect reference as to why ancient Israel went down to Egypt in the first place. Jacob had sent his sons for grain in order to make loaves during the time of the famine. Jacob’s sons except Joseph, did not understand this was for God’s sovereign purpose. Egypt was where God would raise up the nation. The nation did not know this at the time of the Exodus, wanting to go back to Egypt instead of forward to the land where they would be taken. They, too, had hard hearts. They also did not realizing their destiny was basically control of the entire world.
53And when they had crossed to the port, they came to the land of Gennesaret.
54And when they got out of the boat, the people of that place immediately knew him.
55And they came running throughout that land; and began to bring those who were seriously sick, carrying them in quilts to places where they heard he was.
56And wherever he entered into villages and cities, they laid the sick in the streets, and begged him that they might even touch the edge of his robe; and all who touched him were healed.
The previous parable where Jesus encounters the disciples in the middle of the lake, likely around 4:30 in the morning, continues when they arrive on shore. This next parable does not contain any counts of anything so the timing is still tied to the previous parable. No crowds would have been able to see Jesus in the dark of night, but the sunrise, the end of the 4th watch, is when this would have taken place.
This story dates at the end of the full 4000 years suggested by 4 full watches. In chronological history this is around 10,000 years from Adam is at the time of David.
The Bible records many events that took place in the time before and during his reign. David was a mighty warrior many of the stories involve his exploits in the countryside surrounding Hebron and Jerusalem, his two seats of power. David’s most notorious story, though, was not a military exploit, but was his indiscretion with Bathsheba, the wife of Ephron(???) the Hittite.
David had remained at home in his palace while the army was at war. From his view over the city he saw Bathsheba. He seduced her and lay with her. She conceived. In order to cover for what had happened he summoned Ephron(???) back from the battle hoping he would lay with his own wife. He, in honor, would not while the rest of the army was at war so David conspired to have Ephron(???) killed.
David’s downfall was his disobedience to a specific command in the Mosaic Law: the king was to only have 1 wife. Eventually God judged David on this sin, sending a prophet to call out David’s sin. He then one of David’s sons who would attempt to take over David’s throne. In the process David’s son would put David’s harem on the roof of his palace and then go into the Harem in full view of citizens of Jerusalem. David himself departed Jerusalem for the countryside. Bed references, like this one, in the parables of Jesus are references to the sins and diseases that happen in bed. It is the Bible’s metaphor for venereal disease.
Further evidence in support of the parable is the final verse in the parable where the crowds want to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. In so doing they were healed. This is something the woman with the issue of blood also did. It is also a direct reference to a story from the time of David. While David was gaining power he was essentially at war with Saul, the king who proceeded David in Jerusalem. Saul made several attempts at killing David, though David refused to "touch the Lord’s anointed."
One of the most famous times when David refused to kill Saul, even though he had the chance was when David and his men were hiding deep in a cave. Saul, with his men trying to find David, entered the same cave in order to relieve himself. David snuck up behind David and cut off a portion of the hem of Saul’s garment.
Saul did not know what had happened, and rejoined his men. Then, to Saul’s surprise David emerged from the cave and used the cut off piece in order to prove he was no going to harm Saul, though he had the chance. This caused Saul to back off from his attempts at killing David. It also demonstrated David’s worthiness to eventually sit on Saul’s throne in Jerusalem.
One of the most serious sins that people get into are attempts to take things that God himself has given through covenant or contract to others. When David was a young man, likely about age 13, a prophet of God had appeared in his home town and visited his father. The prophet inspected each son and when young David appeared, the prophet said David would become king over Israel. David knew the throne was eventually his. But, David recognized Saul’s right to the throne. David knew God would give David the throne in God’s timing. God had given it to Saul when Saul was anointed king. David impressed this point several times when he put to death people who were involved in coming against Saul as king over Israel. David left it in God’s hands to set the time and circumstances when David would eventually be granted access to Saul’s position.
David could not do the same with Bathsheba. This woman was someone else’s wife. She was married to another man’s wife. Marriage is a covenant too, entered into before God. David disregarded the marriage vows and committed adultery with Bathsheba. He suffered the consequences by having his harem exposed in full view of the city.
Jesus forgives sins and heals people from the consequences of those sins. The miracles Jesus performed the morning the arrived in Gennesaret was to heal people from the consequences of breaking covenant, healing those would touch the garment but no more.
1Then there gathered to him Pharisees and scribes who had come from Jerusalem.
2And they saw some of his disciples eating bread with their hands unwashed, and they disgraced them.
3For all the Jews, even the Pharisees, unless their hands were washed carefully, would not eat, because they strictly observed the tradition of the elders.
4Even the things from the market, if they were not washed, they would not eat. And there are a great many other things which they have accepted to obey, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper utensils and the bedding of dead men.
5And the scribes and Pharisees asked him, Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with their hands unwashed?
6He said to them, The prophet Isaiah prophesied well about you, hypocrites, as it is written, This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me.
7And they worship me in vain, when they teach the doctrines of the commandments of men.
8For you have ignored the commandment of god, and you observe the tradition of men, such as the washing of cups and pots and a great many other things like these.
9He said to them, You certainly do injustice to the commandment of god, to sustain your own tradition.
10For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother; and, He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.
11But you say, A man may say to his father or his mother, What is left over is my offering;
12yet you do not let him do anything for his father or mother.
13So you dishonor the word of god for the sake of the tradition which you have established; and you do a great many other things like these.
14Then Joshua called all the people and said to them, Hear me, all of you, and understand.
15There is nothing outside of a man, if it should enter into him, which can defile him; but what goes out of him, that defiles the man.
16Who has ears to hear, let him hear.
17When Joshua entered into the house because of the people, his disciples asked him concerning that parable.
18And he said to them, So even you find it hard to understand? Do you not know that whatever enters into a man from outside cannot defile him?
19Because it does not enter into his heart, but into his stomach, and then is thrown out through the intestines, thereby purifying the food.
20It is what goes out of man which defiles the man.
21For from inside, from the hearts of men come evil thoughts, such as fornication, adultery, theft, murder,
22extortion, wickedness, deceit, lust, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness;
At this point in Mark’s epistle Jesus gives the disciples an extensive editorial on the source and cause of defilement. Pointing directly back at Moses, Jesus explains that all the issue of the Law were really issues of the heart. Nothing from outside can defile someone’s heart. People’s hearts are defiled from within.
The people of Moses’ day developed into the kingdom of David’s day. Jesus quotes Isaiah to indicate with certainty that his message is an editorial on the ancient nation of Israel as much as it is on the individual people around him.
The Pharisees were the last remaining vestiges of the kingdom of David’s day, causing them to be the target of Jesus’ editorial. The editorial adds volumes on how to understand the events during the time of the Judean kingdom. The historical record covers the interactions of the kings at Jerusalem and how the dealt with the nations around. These were the external problems of the various kings, but the real problems were problems of the heart. This is defiled from within. When it comes to nations they always rise and fall based on their own internal sins, not on the external situations around them.
24Joshua moved away from there, and came to the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and he entered into a house, and did not want anyone to know about him. Yet he could not hide himself.
25For immediately, a woman heard about him, whose daughter had an unclean spirit; and she came and fell at his feet.
26But the woman was a heathen, from Phoenicia in Syria; and she begged him to cast out the devil from her daughter.
27And Joshua said to her, Let the sons be filled first; for it is not right to take the sons' bread and throw it to the dogs.
28But she answered, saying to him, Yes, my master; even the dogs eat the sons' crumbs under the tables.
29Joshua said to her, Go your way; just because of this word, the devil has gone out of your daughter.
30So she went to her house and found her daughter lying in bed, and the devil gone out of her.
Without crossing anywhere by boat Jesus proceeds out to the Mediteranian Coast, to the regions of Tyre and Sidon. Without crossing by sea the time line of Mark remains roughly at the time of David.
While at Tyre he met a Syro-Phoenician woman, a Greek, who had a young daughter with a demon. The woman wants Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus enters into a peculiar dialog with the woman, indicating that the children should be fed before the dogs. The woman indicates the dogs eat from the children, and with this response the demon left the woman’s daughter.
In the historical story just after David’s day, a man named Hiram, a half-breed, between Dan and Greek(???) is sent by the king to build the temple.
The pay to Hiram for supplying materials was food for Hiram’s table. That food was a small fraction of the cost of the entire operation of building the temple. In this parable the crumbs from the table represent this small token paid to Hiram for his part in Solomon’s great effort.
Jesus’ editorial on this story is that Hiram (and presumably his family or those with him) were saved over their contribution to Solomon’s temple project.
31Again, Joshua went out from the border of Tyre and Sidon, and came to the sea of Galilee, to the border of the 10 cities.
32And they brought to him a deaf and mute man; and they asked him to lay his hand on him.
33So he drew him aside from the people, and put his fingers into his ears; then he spat, and touched his tongue;
34and he looked up to the skies and sighed, and he said to him, Ethpatakh, which means, Be opened.
35And in that very hour, his ears were opened, and his tongue was loosened, and he spoke plainly.
36And he warned them not to tell this to any man; but the more he warned them, the more they published it.
37And they were greatly astonished saying, He does everything so well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.
From Tyre, Jesus heads back to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The location near the Decapolis, a trigger for this story. This is where Jesus had cast out Legion from the demoniac. Now Jesus has returned.
The ’Decapolis’ or ’City of 10’ is figuratively the 10 northern tribes of ancient Israel. Their capital eventually became Samaria. Jesus’ story line now turns to this secondary group. Galilee itself is northern as well.
The Decapolis reference is also an implied reference to the Tower of Babel, since Jesus cast out a deaf-mute spirit on a story linked to the tower of Babel.
At the time of the split kingdom the Bible’s main historical chronology began replaying and continued across the time of the Judean kings. The fall of Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom, if you will the ’city of the 10’ is a prophetic match in time to the fall of the tower of Babel. Jesus’ narrative here is turning back to the Decapolis because he is now pushing forward in his narrative to the time of the fall of the city of Samaria. (10276 AA was the last year the city of Samaria stood to the Assyrians.)
In the account of casting out legion, the place "Decapolis" was linked directly to the tower of Babel. Now, here back near Decapolis, Jesus proceeds into his next miracle. The people bring a man who is deaf and mute. Jesus proceeds to open the man’s ears and mouth, exclaiming "be opened."
This miracle is done privately because the northern kingdom chronology which is in view here is off the beaten path of the Judean king chronology.
In this case Jesus’ miracle is pointing at the dispursion of the tribes of ancient Israel. The Assyrians hauled the tribes away and they would each eventually become nations with their own unique languages. This is the same effect as the tower of Babel on the world, here it was on Israel itself. Again, the deaf-mute spirit was cast out so the nation could speak.
Matched against historical time it suggests an interesting twist on why Jesus said be quiet. They had terrible theology, having invented their own under Jeroboam’s direction after the civil war. The message was spread anyway, as these eventually Christian nations would do world wide, badly, it seems.
1In those days, when there was a large multitude, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples and said to them,
2I have pity on this people, for they have remained with me 3 days, and they have nothing to eat;
3and if I dismiss them to their homes while they are hungry, they will faint on the way, for some of them have come from a distance.
4His disciples said to him, How can any man here in this lonely place feed all of these people with bread?
5And he asked them, How many loaves do you have? They said to him, 7.
6So he commanded the people to sit on the ground; and he took the 7 loaves of bread, and he blessed them and broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and they set them before the people.
7And there were a few fish; and he also blessed them and commanded to set them before the people.
8So they ate and were satisfied, and they took up 7 baskets of fragments which were left over.
9The men who ate were about 4,000; and he dismissed them.
Without leaving the region of the Decapolis, Mark records a second time that Jesus feeds a crowd. They have been with Jesus three days without food. This is a direct prophetic reference to the 3 years of the Assyrian Siege against Samaria, when Samaria also had no food.
(Days with people are years with the nation, as a general principle, which applies here too.)
The underlying language for ’come’ as in ’they have come a long way’ can be equally translated ’go’ so the secondary meaning of the passage is they have a long way to go to get to their homes so we need to feed them before the leave. This is what the tribes were about to do when Samaria fell.
The crowds were commanded to sit on the ground because they were prophetically being spread out across the ground, the earth itself.
The disciples are serving because they are the judges of the 12 tribes, prophetically seen here in proper prophetic fashion, serving the tribes. (Master of all must be servant of all.)
Fish and bread are both served. The nation will spread out by land and sea.
Note the total, 4000, being fed gives a time reference. Beginning when this happened in history, 10276 AA, and adding 4000 years yeilds 14276 AA. This is the year for the prophetic fulfillment of the next story.
10And immediately, he went into the boat with his disciples, and he came to the country of Dalmanutha.
11And the Pharisees came out and began to question him, and they asked him for a sign from the skies, to test him.
12And he sighed in his spirit and said, Why does this generation want a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.
This particular year, 14276 AA, is still nearly 1300 years in the future. There is confirmation that this is the proper placement because Jesus’ visit to Herod, during passion week, also fulfills this point. No sign was given Herod either.
Note: There is a second way to render this 4000 years. Tower of Babel in about 8020 AA + 4000 years = 12020 AA. This was about the year 1000 AD when no signs were given to mankind from heaven.
1 Psalms 90:4