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Mark 9:2-13

Context
The Transfiguration

9:2 Six days later 1  Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John and led them alone up a high mountain privately. And he was transfigured before them, 2  9:3 and his clothes became radiantly white, more so than any launderer in the world could bleach them. 9:4 Then Elijah appeared before them along with Moses, 3  and they were talking with Jesus. 9:5 So 4  Peter said to Jesus, 5  “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three shelters 6  – one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 9:6 (For they were afraid, and he did not know what to say.) 7  9:7 Then 8  a cloud 9  overshadowed them, 10  and a voice came from the cloud, “This is my one dear Son. 11  Listen to him!” 12  9:8 Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more except Jesus.

9:9 As they were coming down from the mountain, he gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 9:10 They kept this statement to themselves, discussing what this rising from the dead meant.

9:11 Then 13  they asked him, 14  “Why do the experts in the law 15  say that Elijah must come first?” 9:12 He said to them, “Elijah does indeed come first, and restores all things. And why is it written that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be despised? 9:13 But I tell you that Elijah has certainly come, and they did to him whatever they wanted, just as it is written about him.”

1 tn Grk “And after six days.”

2 sn In 1st century Judaism and in the NT, there was the belief that the righteous get new, glorified bodies in order to enter heaven (1 Cor 15:42-49; 2 Cor 5:1-10). This transformation means the righteous will share the glory of God. One recalls the way Moses shared the Lord’s glory after his visit to the mountain in Exod 34. So the disciples saw Jesus transfigured, and they were getting a sneak preview of the great glory that Jesus would have (only his glory is more inherent to him as one who shares in the rule of the kingdom).

3 sn Commentators and scholars discuss why Moses and Elijah are present. The most likely explanation is that Moses represents the prophetic office (Acts 3:18-22) and Elijah pictures the presence of the last days (Mal 4:5-6), the prophet of the eschaton (the end times).

4 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

5 tn Grk “And answering, Peter said to Jesus.” The participle ἀποκριθείς (apokriqeis) is redundant and has not been translated.

6 tn Or “dwellings,” “booths” (referring to the temporary booths constructed in the celebration of the feast of Tabernacles).

sn Peter apparently wanted to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles or Booths that looked forward to the end and wanted to treat Moses, Elijah, and Jesus as equals by making three shelters (one for each). It was actually a way of expressing honor to Jesus, but the next few verses make it clear that it was not enough honor.

7 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

8 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

9 sn This cloud is the cloud of God’s presence and the voice is his as well.

10 tn Grk “And there came a cloud, surrounding them.”

11 tn Grk “my beloved Son,” or “my Son, the beloved [one].” The force of ἀγαπητός (agaphtos) is often “pertaining to one who is the only one of his or her class, but at the same time is particularly loved and cherished” (L&N 58.53; cf. also BDAG 7 s.v. 1).

12 sn The expression listen to him comes from Deut 18:15 and makes two points: 1) Jesus is a prophet like Moses, a leader-prophet, and 2) they have much yet to learn from him.

13 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

14 tn Grk “And they were asking him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant and has not been translated.

15 tn Or “Why do the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 1:22.



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