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Mark 2:4

Come nigh (proseggisai). But Westcott and Hort read prosenegkai, to bring to, after Aleph, B, L, 33, 63 (cf. John 5:18 ). They uncovered the roof (apestegasan thn steghn). They unroofed the roof (note paronomasia in the Greek and cognate accusative). The only instance of this verb in the N.T. A rare word in late Greek, no papyrus example given in Moulton and Milligan Vocabulary. They climbed up a stairway on the outside or ladder to the flat tile roof and dug out or broke up (exoruxante) the tiles (the roof). There were thus tiles (dia twn keramwn, Luke 5:19 ) of laths and plaster and even slabs of stone stuck in for strength that had to be dug out. It is not clear where Jesus was (opou hn), either downstairs, (Holtzmann) or upstairs (Lightfoot), or in the quadrangle (atrium or compluvium, if the house had one). "A composition of mortar, tar, ashes and sand is spread upon the roofs, and rolled hard, and grass grows in the crevices. On the houses of the poor in the country the grass grows more freely, and goats may be seen on the roofs cropping it" (Vincent). They let down the bed (calwsi ton krabatton), historical present again, aorist tense in Luke 5:19 (kaqhkan). The verb means to lower from a higher place as from a boat. Probably the four men had a rope fastened to each corner of the pallet or poor man's bed (krabatton, Latin grabatus. So one of Mark's Latin words). Matthew ( Matthew 9:2 ) has klinh, general term for bed. Luke has klinidion (little bed or couch). Mark's word is common in the papyri and is spelled also krabbato, sometimes krabato, while W, Codex Washingtonius, has it krabbaton.

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