*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.
Looked up to heaven - To lift up the eyes to heaven is an act imploring aid from God, and is an attitude of prayer, Psalm 121:1-2; Mark 6:41; John 11:41.
He sighed - Pitying the sufferings of the man who stood before him.
Ephphatha - This word is "Syriac," the language which our Lord used in addressing the man, and means "Be opened."
Ephphatha - Ethphathach, Syriac. It is likely that it was in this language that our Lord spoke to this poor man: and because he had pronounced the word Ephphathach with peculiar and authoritative emphasis, the evangelist thought proper to retain the original word; though the last letter in it could not be expressed by any letter in the Greek alphabet.
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,
Ethphatha, 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, "and is opened" (i.e. his ears are opened, or his hearing is restored), or a blind man, "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 "one that is open", and afterwards becomes deaf, and then again "opened"; 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" (e). 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.
(d) Gittin, c. 2. sect. 6. (e) Vid. Misn. Yebamot, c. 14. scct. 10. & T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 114. 2.
And looking up to heaven--ever acknowledging His Father, even while the healing was seen to flow from Himself (see on John 5:19).
he sighed--"over the wreck," says TRENCH, "which sin had brought about, and the malice of the devil in deforming the fair features of God's original creation." But, we take it, there was a yet more painful impression of that "evil thing and bitter" whence all our ills have sprung, and which, when "Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses" (Matthew 8:17), became mysteriously His own.
"In thought of these his brows benign,
Not even in healing, cloudless shine."
and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened--Our Evangelist, as remarked on Mark 5:41, loves to give such wonderful words just as they were spoken.
*More commentary available at chapter level.