Mark 9:25 [You] dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out...

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

This speechless and dull spirit, I myself order you. Come out, out of him and no more come in, into him.

KJV : 

Mark 9:25 Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse uses on unique word ("dumb") and several uncommon ones. The first word could be addressed to the spirit or a description of ithe spirit.  There is a repetition of the commands in the Greek that we cannot see in the translation. The "come" and the "enter" are the same root word with different prefixes that are repeated in the following prepositions. This spirit is clearly not "deaf" because it hears Christ's command.  The confusion comes from a mistranslation of a Greek word that means "dull" and "obtuse." This spirit is dull because it is unable to control the body.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Τὸ (article sg neut nom/voc) "Thou" 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."

ἄλαλον [unique](adj sg neut nom/voc) "Dumb" is alalos, which means "speechless,"  and "dumb."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

κωφὸν  [uncommon] (adj sg neut nom/voc) "Deaf" is kôphos, (kophos) which means "the blunt", "the dull," and "the obtuse" and is a metaphor for the "deaf."

πνεῦμα, (noun sg neut nom/voc) "Spirit" is pneuma, which means "blast", "wind", "breath", "the breath of life", "divine inspiration", "a spiritual or immaterial being," and "the spirit" of a man.

ἐγὼ (pron sg masc nom) "I" is ego, which is the firs-person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and "for myself." -- The pronoun "I" is added to add emphasis that he is referring to his own words. It is unnecessary because the first-person indication is part of the verb ending. Christ sometimes uses it humorously to refer to himself.

ἐπιτάσσω uncommon]( verb 1st sg pres ind act) "Charge" is epitasso, which means "to put upon one as a duty", "to enjoin", "to order", "to impose commands," and "to place beside or behind."

σοι, (pron 2nd sg dat) "Thee" is soi which is the singular, second person pronoun, "you".

ἔξελθε  ( verb 2nd sg aor imperat act ) "Come" is exerchomai, which means "to come or go out of " "to march forth", "go out on", "to stand forth", "to exceed all bounds", "to come to an end", "to go out of office," and [of dreams or prophecies] "to come true."

ἐξ (prep) "From" is ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from."

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "Him" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

μηκέτι [uncommon](adv) "No more" is from meketi, which means "no more", "no longer," and "no further."

εἰσέλθῃς ( verb 2nd sg aor subj act ) "Enter" is 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."

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)."

αὐτόν (adj sg masc acc) "Him" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

KJV Analysis: 

Thou  -- The word translated as "thou" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. The form of the word could be either the subject of a clause or one of address.

dumb "Dumb" is an adjective that Jesus only uses here that means "speechless,"  and "dumb." The form of the word could be either the subject of a clause or one of address.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

deaf -- "Deaf" is  an uncommon word for Jesus that means "the blunt", "the dull," and "the obtuse" and is a metaphor for the "deaf." The form of the word could be either the subject of a clause or one of address.

spirit, -- The word translated as "spirit" primarily means "breath", "wind," a "non-material being", and "blast." Like "spirit" in English, it can also mean "attitude" or "motivation.' It also means the "breath of life," from which we get to "spirit" and "spiritual." It also means the "breath of life," from which we get to "spirit" and "spiritual." Its meaning as "the breath of life" is brought out by the idea of creating life. Its meaning as "spiritual" is brought out by the contrast with "physical". Read more about this word in this article on the holy spirit.  The form of the word could be either the subject of a clause or one of address.

When a number of words in the form of a subject are used in a series without a verb, an "is" is implied.  So the sense of this initial phrase coube "This is a deaf and dull spirit.

I -- The pronoun "I" is added to add emphasis that he is referring to his own words. It is unnecessary because the first-person indication is part of the verb ending. Christ sometimes uses it humorously to refer to himself.

charge -- "Charge" is another uncommon word, a verb that means "to put upon one as a duty", "to enjoin", "to order", "to impose commands," and "to place beside or behind."

thee, -- The word for "thee" is the indirect object form of the pronoun. 

come -- The word translated as "come" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true."  It is not the simple word translated as "come," but a form of that word with a prefix.  Its prefix means "out," the same as the following preposition.

out -- The Greek preposition translated as "of" means "out of" or "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases with usually use with "of."

of -- This "of" is from the form of the following pronoun.

him, -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." 

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

enter -- "Enter" is a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind." It is the same root as the previous "come out" but with prefix that means "into," which is repeated in the next preposition.

no more "No more" is another uncommon word for Jesus, an adverb that means "no more", "no longer," and "no further."

into -- 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.

him. -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective. In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

There is a separation between spirit and self. It is the self that acts and the spirit that motivates action. The self, our self-awareness, is the link between the world of spirit and the physical temporal world. Christ recognizes that some people have very little innate motivation on their own (Mat 5:3).

There is a longer discussion about the nature of "spirit" in this post. This line touches on a lot of the issues of "spirit," among them the spirit's control over the body but its independence of it.  The spirit is the motivating force of life. It is the divine spark that brings matter to life.

All animals have a spirit. The "unclean" spirits (a term that Christ uses elsewhere but only the evangelist uses here) that can control people can also leave then and control animals.  The Greek term for "unclean" has the sense that some types of things must be cleanse of their impurities. Being "unclean" is their state when they have not or cannot be cleansed of these impurities.

There is a very subtle inference in discussions about spirit, especially unclean ones, that spiritual growth is a process of cleansing our spirits of their impurities. Unclean spirits have not or cannot be cleansed. I say "our spirits" because there is the sense that we are a bundle of spirits, that is, a bundle of different motivations. More than one spirit can can inhabit a body, that is, a single person can have several several different conflicting sources of motivation and makes up what we think of as "us."   Sometimes the boy is himself and other times the unclear spirit is in control. Some afflictions, in this case a disease like epilepsy are symptomatic of an underlying spiritual distress.

Front Page Date: 

Sep 10 2019