The Meaning of Mark 6:34 Explained

Mark 6:34

KJV: And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

YLT: and having come forth, Jesus saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion on them, that they were as sheep not having a shepherd, and he began to teach many things.

Darby: And on leaving the ship Jesus saw a great crowd, and he was moved with compassion for them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.

ASV: And he came forth and saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

What does Mark 6:34 Mean?

Context Summary

Mark 6:30-56 - The Sympathy And Compassion Of Jesus
When the Apostles returned they had much to tell. Some were flushed with success, others radiant with victory over demons, others, perhaps, overstrained and weary, and all needing the quiet, holy influence of repose and silence in the Lord's company. And in those quiet hours or days, as the fever passed out of them, He taught them memorable lessons of how He would feed the world by His Church, and how His people would be safe amid the storms that swept the sea, for always he would watch them from the height, and come to them at the moment when His help was most needed. Christ sits as host at the great table of the Church, and the meager resources of His servants yield the starting point for His multiplication of bread. He bids us go and consider how little we have, that we may properly estimate the greatness of His help. Notice how the upward look precedes the breaking and giving. There is enough for each, not of bread alone, but of fish; and the disciples are refreshed by another kind of ministry. So the Lord recreates us by turning exhausted energies into new channels. What threatens to overpower us brings Christ to our side. But His footsteps must be arrested, if we would have His company. Where Jesus is, storms cease and the sick are made whole. [source]

Chapter Summary: Mark 6

1  Jesus is a prophet without honor in his own country
7  He gives the twelve power over unclean spirits
14  Various opinions of Jesus
16  John the Baptist is imprisoned, beheaded, and buried
30  The apostles return from preaching
34  The miracle of five loaves and two fishes
45  Jesus walks on the sea;
53  and heals all who touch him

Greek Commentary for Mark 6:34

They were as sheep not having a shepherd [ησαν ως προβατα μη εχοντα ποιμενα]
Matthew has these words in another context (Matthew 9:26), but Mark alone has them here. Μη — Mē is the usual negative for the participle in the Koiné. These excited and exciting people (Bruce) greatly needed teaching. Matthew 14:14 mentions healing as does Luke 9:11 (both preaching and healing). But a vigorous crowd of runners would not have many sick. The people had plenty of official leaders but these rabbis were for spiritual matters blind leaders of the blind. Jesus had come over for rest, but his heart was touched by the pathos of this situation. So “he began to teach them many things” Two accusatives with the verb of teaching and the present tense of the infinitive. He kept it up. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Mark 6:34

Mark 8:11 Began []
The beginnings of things seem to have a peculiar interest for Mark. See Mark 1:1, Mark 1:45; Mark 4:1; Mark 5:17, Mark 5:20; Mark 6:2, Mark 6:7, Mark 6:34, Mark 6:55. [source]
John 6:5 Lifting up his eyes [επαρας τους οπταλμους]
First aorist active participle of επαιρω — epairō See the same phrase in John 4:35 where it is also followed by τεαομαι — theaomai John 11:41; John 17:1; Luke 6:20. Here it is particularly expressive as Jesus looked down from the mountain on the approaching multitude. Cometh unto him Present middle indicative, “is coming to him.” The same οχλος πολυς — ochlos polus (here πολυς οχλος — polus ochlos) of John 6:2 that had followed Jesus around the head of the lake. Whence are we to buy? Deliberative subjunctive (aorist active). John passes by the earlier teaching and healing of the Synoptics (Mark 6:34.; Matthew 14:14.; Luke 9:11.) till mid-afternoon. In John also Jesus takes up the matter of feeding the multitude with Philip (from the other Bethsaida, John 1:44) whereas in the Synoptics the disciples raise the problem with Jesus. So the disciples raise the problem in the feeding of the four thousand (Mark 8:4; Matthew 15:33). See Numbers 11:13-22 (about Moses) and 2 Kings 4:42. (about Elisha). Bread “Loaves” (plural) as in Matthew 4:3. That these may eat Purpose clause with ινα — hina and the second aorist active subjunctive of εστιω — esthiō (defective verb). [source]

What do the individual words in Mark 6:34 mean?

And having gone out He saw a great crowd was moved with compassion toward them because they were like sheep not having a shepherd He began to teach many things
Καὶ ἐξελθὼν εἶδεν πολὺν ὄχλον ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ἐπ’ αὐτοὺς ὅτι ἦσαν ὡς πρόβατα μὴ ἔχοντα ποιμένα ἤρξατο διδάσκειν πολλά

ἐξελθὼν  having  gone  out 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἐξέρχομαι 
Sense: to go or come forth of.
εἶδεν  He  saw 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: εἶδον 
Sense: to see with the eyes.
πολὺν  a  great 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: πολύς  
Sense: many, much, large.
ὄχλον  crowd 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: ὄχλος  
Sense: a crowd.
ἐσπλαγχνίσθη  was  moved  with  compassion 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: σπλαγχνίζομαι  
Sense: to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).
ἐπ’  toward 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ἐπί  
Sense: upon, on, at, by, before.
ὅτι  because 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
ἦσαν  they  were 
Parse: Verb, Imperfect Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
ὡς  like 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ὡς 
Sense: as, like, even as, etc.
πρόβατα  sheep 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Plural
Root: προβάτιον 
Sense: any four footed, tame animal accustomed to graze, small cattle (opp. to large cattle, horses, etc.), most commonly a sheep or a goat.
ποιμένα  a  shepherd 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: ποιμήν  
Sense: a herdsman, esp. a shepherd.
ἤρξατο  He  began 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Middle, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἄρχω  
Sense: to be the first to do (anything), to begin.
διδάσκειν  to  teach 
Parse: Verb, Present Infinitive Active
Root: διδάσκω  
Sense: to teach.
πολλά  many  things 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: πολύς  
Sense: many, much, large.