Mark 7:34

34 And 1looking up to heaven, 2he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened."

Mark 7:34 Meaning and Commentary

Mark 7:34

And looking up to heaven
To his Father there, by whom he was sent, and from whom, as man, he received his authority and power; though this was not for assistance in the working of this miracle, which he had power to do of himself; nor do we find that he put up any request to his Father: but he seems to have made use of this motion, not for his own sake, but for the sake of the man: to teach him, that every good gift, blessing, mercy, and favour, and so this he was about to partake of, was from above:

he sighed;
not as unequal to the work of healing the man, or as despairing of doing it; but as commiserating the case of the poor man, and reflecting with concern upon his sin, that had been the occasion of it. These actions of looking up to heaven and sighing, as they may be understood in a spiritual sense, or with relation to the spiritual healing of a sinner, may show that such a blessing comes from above: it is received from heaven; it is God that gives the hearing ear, as well as the seeing eye; and that in a spiritual, as well as in a natural sense: and therefore this directs to apply to God for it, whether for a man's self, or for others; and when enjoyed, to look up again to heaven, and return thanks for it: and also that such a favour flows from divine mercy and compassion, Christ pitying the case of persons in such a condition; and he being an high priest that can have compassion on those that are in distress, and having ability to help them, makes use of it, and expresses both his pity and his power, as in the following manner.

And saith unto him;
in the Syriac language, which he then spoke, (xtpta) ,

or "Ephphatha";

that is,
being interpreted,

be opened,
both ears and mouth. And this way of speaking is used by the Jews, of a deaf man being restored to hearing, as of a blind man's being restored to sight; of which, take the following instance {d};

``a minor that receives (i.e. a divorce), and afterwards becomes adult, or a deaf man, (xqptnw) , "and is opened" (i.e. his ears are opened, or his hearing is restored), or a blind man, (xtptnw) , "and is opened" (has his sight again), or a fool, and he is restored to his reason, or a Gentile, and he becomes a proselyte, is unfit or unlawful (to carry a divorce from a man to his wife), but (xqp) , "one that is open", and afterwards becomes deaf, and then again "opened"; (xwtp) , or "open", and afterwards become blind, and again "opened"; or a fool, and is restored to his senses, and again becomes a fool, he is right or fit''

(for the above purpose). It is common with them to call one that hears well, in distinction from a deaf man, "one that is open" F5. This is an instance of the power of Christ in curing disorders, merely by a word speaking, without the use of means; for what he did before, were not as means of healing, but significative of his power; which now went along with his word, and which was expressed with great majesty and authority: and such a power attends the word of his grace, to the opening of the heart, to give heed to the things which are spoken; and to the opening of the ear to discipline, and sealing instruction to it; land to the opening of the mouth and lips, in praise and thankfulness.


F4 Gittin, c. 2. sect. 6.
F5 Vid. Misn. Yebamot, c. 14. scct. 10. & T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 114. 2.

Mark 7:34 In-Context

32 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him.
33 And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue.
34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened."
35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.
36 And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.

Cross References 2

  • 1. See Mark 6:41
  • 2. Mark 8:12; [John 11:33]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.