Mark 8:26 Neither go into the town, nor tell [it] to any in the town.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Nor into that village should you want to enter.

KJV : 

Mark 8:26 Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The beginning word strongly suggests that it is a response to a statement that was not recorded.  The last part of this verse is missing in the Greek we use today (see this article about Greek sources). This statement is not a command as translated in the KJV and other version. It is a suggestion about what should happen, "you might not want to go" or "you should not go."

Greek Vocabulary: 

Μηδὲ (partic) "Neither" is mede, which means "and not", "but not", "nor," and "not."

εἰς (prep) "Into" is eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)." -- The word translated as "unto" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

τὴν (article) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

κώμην [uncommon]( noun sg fem acc) "Town" is kome, which means an "unwalled village", "country town," and the ward or quarter of a city.

εἰσέλθῃς ( verb 2nd sg aor subj act) "Go into" is from eiserchomai (eiserchomai)which means both "to go into", "to come in", "to enter", "to enter an office", "to enter a charge," (as in court) and "to come into one's mind."

KJV Analysis: 

Neither -- The word for "nor" is the Greek subjective negative plus the Greek word for "but."  This suggests this is a response to another statement that is being contradicted. The negative is the one of opinion with the stense of "you don't want."

go into --  "Go into"  is a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."  The word is not in the form of a command. It has the sense of something that should or might happen.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

town, -- "Town" is an uncommon word for Jesus to use. It  means an "unwalled village", "country town," and the ward or quarter of a city.

nor tell it to any in the town. -- There are no Greek words for this section of the verse.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Jesus makes this statement to a man  that he has cured from blindness, but we try to look at all words in the larger context of Jesus's words, especially in light of the Jesus's previous question about why we cannot put together things that happen into a complete picture.

So, we have to asked the question about why Jesus didn't want people to spread stories of his healing, especially in towns? Interestingly, right before this miracle, Jesus led the man out of the town before curing him.

The question is why?

To seek the answer, I look at all of Christ's references to the word used here for "villages," and I found that it was mentioned in three contexts: 1) as places Christ visited while teaching, 2) as places where people can get food, and 3) as places where on some villages and some people are worthy. This last idea is covered most clearly in Mat 10:11 that we discuss here.

Jesus taught in villages all the time but performing a miraculous healing was different. Christ brought his message to everyone, but the filter of faith was very important. He did not want to provide non-believers a sign (see Mat 16:4) but the signs that he offered were specifically designed for those who were worthy (see Mat 11:4-5 discussed here.

When he fed crowds of thousands, it was an invisible miracle. The people there probably didn't know what was happening. All they saw was food being passed around.

However, having a person who everyone know was blind was different. It was a demonstration of power that a lot of people would seek, even if they had no interest in God or the teaching. If they saw or heard about his ability to heal, unworthy people would follow him and consume his very limited time.  He wanted people to following him for the purpose of finding God alone. This is why he makes it work to understand his words, using parables. This is why he teaches in villages but tries to keep his miracles private, so that people will follow for the right reasons rather than the wrong ones.

Front Page Date: 

Aug 25 2019