Mark 1:2-3 – Isaiah’s Prophecy

Christian MölkMark Leave a Comment

Mark 1:2

  1. Only the end of this quote is from the prophet Isaiah, the rest is from the prophet Malachi.
    1. In biblical times, the writings of several prophets could be collected in a single large scroll, usually named after the first prophet in the scroll. Therefore, it is not strange that Mark writes that it is “written in the prophet Isaiah”. The same phenomenon is found in Mt 27:9.
  2. Prophet is a Greek word which in Hebrew is “nabi” and in English means “preacher”; i.e. a person who speaks for someone else.
    1. An example of an early “nabi” is Aaron, who was Moses’ nabi when he pleaded Moses’ case before Pharaoh (Exodus 7:1).
    2. A prophet is a mediator between God and God’s people.
      1. A prophet of God speaks for God before his people (Jer 26:16-18).
      2. A prophet can also speak for the people before God (Amos 7:2-3).
    3. According to Paul, hearing God’s voice and communicating God’s word is a gift from God that we should strive for because it builds up the church (1 Corinthians 14:1-5).
  3. My messenger is an expression that Mark borrows from the prophet Malachi.
    1. Malachi prophesied that a messenger would prepare the Jewish people for the coming of Yahweh (Mal 3:1). The messenger John the Baptist is given the great honor of preparing and paving the way for Yahweh’s soon coming to earth.

Mark 1:3

  1. Path road
    1. In biblical times, paved highways did not exist as they do today. So when a king came to visit, it was not uncommon for the roads to be prepared, cleaned and made ready so that the king could travel smoothly.
  2. For the Lord is one of the clearest proofs that Jesus is God:
    1. Where it says “the Lord” in English, it says “kyrios” in the basic Greek text.
    2. Kyrios can mainly refer to 4 different things; “yhwh/Yahweh (=God), “an owner”, “a boss” and “lord (as in “sir” in English)”.
    3. In biblical times, God’s name was not usually pronounced “yhwh”. When it said yhwh in Scripture, it read “Adonai” instead. Adonaj is Hebrew and means “lord” in the same way that “kyrios” means “lord” in Greek.
    4. To know which “lord” Mark is referring to, we have to look at the text he quotes. Mark quotes Isaiah 40:3 and where it says “Lord” in English and “kyrios” in Greek it says “yhwh” in Hebrew. So the “lord” John is supposed to be paving the way for is none other than Yahweh, God himself!
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