(1) In those days.—See Notes on Matthew 15:32-38
Here in the wilderness.—The word here, as in Matthew 15:33, is not the one usually employed, and is abstract, not concrete, in its form, suggesting the idea, i.e., of “loneliness;” and through that, of a lonely place. It is used in a like sense in 2 Corinthians 11:26; Hebrews 11:38. Like many other abstract words, it seems to have tended to a concrete meaning; but there is always an appreciable shade of difference.
Seven baskets.—See Note on Matthew 15:37.
Dalmanutha.—St. Mark’s use of the word, instead of the Magdala or “Magada” of St. Matthew, may be noted as an instance of his independence. It is mentioned by no other writer. On its probable site, see Note on Matthew 15:39.
More than one loaf.—Another detail peculiar to St. Mark.
The leaven of Herod.—The words imply the presence among the questioners of Mark 8:11 of others besides the Pharisees. On the connection between the “leaven of Herod” and that of “the Sadducees” in Matthew 16:6, see Note on that verse.
If he saw ought.—The better MSS. give the very words, “Dost thou see ought?”
The towns of Cæsarea Philippi.—Better, villages.
He asked his disciples.—The tense of the Greek verb implies that it was not a single question only, but a continued and, as it were, searching inquiry. The time was come to test the faith of the disciples thoroughly.
This adulterous and sinful generation.—The words are not found in St. Luke’s report, but they agree with language which our Lord had used before (Matthew 12:39; Matthew 16:4). Their force here lies in the contrast drawn between those from whose frown or scorn the disciples were now shrinking, and the bright hosts in whose presence the faithless should be put to shame when the Son of Man should come in His glory. They were to look on this picture and on that, and ask themselves which ordeal was the most terrible.