Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

MARK 9:44 – Verse of the Day

Mark 9:44  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Isaiah 66:24  And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Mark 9 is an amazing chapter, one could easily stop and discuss almost every verse in this chapter. God speaking directly v7; the Kingdom of God v1; Jesus walking with Mose and Elias v4; details about Elias coming v12-13; revelations about Jesus resurrection v9,31; and this strange phrase repeated 2 times in v46,48.

Let’s read what Old John Gill says about this verse:

Mark 9:44
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. The passage referred to, is in Isa 66:24, and as there, the words are spoken of such, as transgressed against the Lord; so here, of such as offended any of Christ’s little ones, or were offended by an hand, a foot, or eye, and retained them: by their worm is meant, their conscience; for as a worm that is continually gnawing upon the entrails of a man, gives him exquisite pain; so the consciences of sinners, will be continually flying in their faces, bringing their sins to remembrance, accusing them of them, upbraiding them with them, aggravating them, tormenting them for them, filling them with dreadful anguish and misery, with twinging remorses, and severe reflections, and which will never have an end. This will be always the case; conscience will be ever distressing, racking, and torturing them; it will never cease, nor cease doing this office, and so the Chaldee paraphrase of Isa 66:24 renders this phrase, נשמתהון לא ימותון, “their souls shall not die”; but shall ever continue in the dreadful torments and unspeakable horrors of a corroding conscience; and by “the fire” may be meant the fire of divine wrath let into their souls, which will never be extinguished; and so Jarchi interprets the phrase in Isa 66:24, “their fire”, בגיהנם, “in hell”. It is a tradition of the Jews (l), that the light, fire, which God created on the second day, “there is no quenching it for ever”; as it is said, “for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched”, Isa 66:24, the passage which is here referred to; the reason they give is, because it is the fire of hell; the sense of which is sometimes given by the Jewish doctors thus (m); “their worm shall not die” from the body, “and the fire shall not be quenched” from the soul.

(l) T. Bab. Pesachim. fol. 54. 1. & Gloss. in ib. (m) Zohar in Exod. fol. 62. 3.

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