The Meaning of Mark 1:12 Explained

Mark 1:12

KJV: And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

YLT: And immediately doth the Spirit put him forth to the wilderness,

Darby: And immediately the Spirit drives him out into the wilderness.

ASV: And straightway the Spirit driveth him forth into the wilderness.

What does Mark 1:12 Mean?

Verse Meaning

"Mark makes evident that the wilderness in his story carries a dual significance: At times it is a hostile and threatening atmosphere, at other times it is a place of preparation." [1]

Context Summary

Mark 1:1-20 - The Beginning Of Jesus' Ministry
The ministry of John the Baptist, Mark 1:1-8. Always the message of John precedes that of Jesus Christ; first the changed attitude of the will, then faith. The greatness of the Baptist revealed itself in his humility. He saw what we must see, that a negative religion, symbolized by water, is not enough: we need to be set on fire.
The opening pages of Christ's public life, Mark 1:9-20. Jesus was recognized by the Baptist, who beheld the opened heavens and the descending Spirit. If the Lord was thus anointed ere He commenced His life-work, how much more must we be! Hast thou become united with Him in His death, made one with Him in His resurrection, and anointed by that same Spirit? Then be sure that thou, too, must be tempted. Sons of men must go the way of the Son of man, now under the opened heavens, then tempted of the devil; on one side the wild beasts, on the other the angels; now driven to loneliness, and then to the crowded street of the cities, there to gather disciples by the energy and beauty of a victorious life. [source]

Chapter Summary: Mark 1

1  The office of John the Baptist
9  Jesus is baptized;
12  tempted;
14  he preaches;
16  calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John;
23  heals one that had a demon;
29  Peter's mother in law;
32  many diseased persons;
40  and cleanses the leper

Greek Commentary for Mark 1:12

Driveth him forth [αυτον εκβαλλει]
Vivid word, bolder than Matthew‘s “was led up” It is the same word employed in the driving out of demons (Mark 1:34, Mark 1:39). Mark has here “straightway” where Matthew has “then” (see note on Mark 1:9). The forty days in the wilderness were under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit. The entire earthly life of Jesus was bound up with the Holy Spirit from his birth to his death and resurrection. [source]
Driveth him [ἐκβάλλει]
Stronger than Matthew's ἀνήχθη , was led up, and Luke's ἤγετο , was led. See on Matthew 9:38. It is the word used of our Lord's expulsion of demons, Mark 1:34, Mark 1:39. [source]
The Wilderness []
The place is unknown. Tradition fixes it near Jericho, in the neighborhood of the Quarantania, the precipitous face of which is pierced with ancient cells and chapels, and a ruined church is on its topmost peak. Dr. Tristram says that every spring a few devout Abyssinian Christians are in the habit of coming and remaining here for forty days, to keep their Lent on the spot where they suppose that our Lord fasted and was tempted. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Mark 1:12

Mark 3:7 Withdrew []
Mark alone notes no less than eleven occasions on which Jesus retired from his work, in order to escape his enemies or to pray in solitude, for rest, or for private conference with his disciples. See Mark 1:12; Mark 3:7; Mark 6:31, Mark 6:46; Mark 7:24, Mark 7:31; Mark 9:2; Mark 10:1; Mark 14:34. [source]
Mark 3:7 Withdrew to the sea [ανεχωρησεν εις την ταλασσαν]
Evidently Jesus knew of the plot to kill him, “perceiving it” (Matthew 12:15). “He and His would be safer by the open beach” (Swete). He has the disciples with him. Vincent notes that on eleven occasions Mark mentions the withdrawals of Jesus to escape his enemies, for prayer, for rest, for private conference with his disciples (Mark 1:12; Mark 3:7; Mark 6:31, Mark 6:46; Mark 7:24, Mark 7:31; Mark 9:2; Mark 10:1; Mark 14:34). But, as often, a great multitude (πολυ πλητος — polu plēthos) from Galilee followed him. [source]
Luke 10:2 Send forth [ἐκβάλῃ]
Lit., drive or thrust forth, implying the urgency of the mission. See on Mark 1:12. [source]
Luke 4:1 Full of the Holy Spirit [πληρης πνευματος αγιου]
An evident allusion to the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism (Luke 3:21.). The distinctness of the Persons in the Trinity is shown there, but with evident unity. One recalls also Luke‘s account of the overshadowing of Mary by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). Matthew 4:1 says that “Jesus was led of the Spirit” while Mark 1:12 states that “the Spirit driveth him forth” which see note for discussion. “Jesus had been endowed with supernatural power; and He was tempted to make use of it in furthering his own interests without regard to the Father‘s will” (Plummer). [source]
Luke 4:2 Being tempted [πειραζομενος]
Present passive participle and naturally parallel with the imperfect passive ηγετο — ēgeto (was led) in Luke 4:1. This is another instance of poor verse division which should have come at the end of the sentence. See note on Matthew 4:1; note on Mark 1:13 for the words “tempt” and “devil.” The devil challenged the Son of man though also the Son of God. It was a contest between Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, and the slanderer of men. The devil had won with Adam and Eve. He has hopes of triumph over Jesus. The story of this conflict is given only in Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13. There is a mere mention of it in Mark 1:12. So then here is a specimen of the Logia of Jesus (Q), a non-Markan portion of Matthew and Luke, the earliest document about Christ. The narrative could come ultimately only from Christ himself. It is noteworthy that it bears all the marks of the high conception of Jesus as the Son of God found in the Gospel of John and in Paul and Hebrews, the rest of the New Testament in fact, for Mark, Matthew, Luke, Acts, Peter, and Jude follow in this same strain. The point is that modern criticism has revealed the Messianic consciousness of Jesus as God‘s Son at his Baptism and in his Temptations at the very beginning of his ministry and in the oldest known documents about Christ (The Logia, Mark‘s Gospel). [source]
John 2:15 Drove out [ἐξέβαλεν]
Literally, as Rev., cast out. See on Matthew 10:34; see on Matthew 12:35; see on Mark 1:12; see on James 2:25. [source]
James 2:25 Sent them out [ἐκβαλοῦσα]
Better, thrust them forth, implying haste and fear. Compare Mark 1:12; Luke 4:29; Acts 16:37. [source]

What do the individual words in Mark 1:12 mean?

And immediately the Spirit Him drives out into the wilderness
Καὶ εὐθὺς τὸ Πνεῦμα αὐτὸν ἐκβάλλει εἰς τὴν ἔρημον

εὐθὺς  immediately 
Parse: Adverb
Root: εὐθέως  
Sense: straightway, immediately, forthwith.
Πνεῦμα  Spirit 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: πνεῦμα  
Sense: a movement of air (a gentle blast.
ἐκβάλλει  drives  out 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἐκβάλλω  
Sense: to cast out, drive out, to send out.
εἰς  into 
Parse: Preposition
Root: εἰς  
Sense: into, unto, to, towards, for, among.
ἔρημον  wilderness 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: ἔρημος  
Sense: solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited.

What are the major concepts related to Mark 1:12?

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