And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
They were afraid - They were awed, as in the presence of God. The word does not mean here that they feared that any evil would happen to them, but that they were affected with awe; they felt that God was there; they were struck with astonishment at what Jesus had done.
and also concerning the swine—Thus had they the double testimony of the herdsmen and their own senses.See Poole on "Mr 5:1"
told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil; gave a particular account, how, upon first sight of Christ, he ran to meet him, and fell down and worshipped him; how Christ ordered the unclean spirit to come out of him; and how he was dispossessed of a legion of devils by a word speaking:
and also concerning the swine; how, at the request of the devils, and by the leave of Christ, they entered into them; upon which they ran mad; and betaking themselves to the rocks by the sea side, fell down the precipice, and were suffocated in the sea.And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Mark 5:16. The eyewitnesses in further explanations to their employers now connect the two events together—the cure and the catastrophe—not representing the one as cause of the other, but simply as happening close to each other. The owners draw a natural inference: cure cause of catastrophe, and (Mark 5:17) request Jesus, as a dangerous person, to retire.—ἤρξαντο, began to request, pointing to transition from vague awe in presence of a great change to desire to be rid of Him whom they believed to be the cause both of it and of the loss of their swine. Fritzsche takes ἤρξαντο as meaning that Jesus did not need much pressure, but withdrew on the first hint of their wish.Verses 16, 17. - How it befell him that was pessessed with devils, and concerning the swine. The loss of the swine. They could not get over that. They thought far more of the worldly loss than of the spiritual gain; and they began to beseech him to depart from their borders. St. Luke (Luke 8:37) says that "they were taken (συνείχοντο) [literally, were holden] with great fear." This was the dominant feeling. They did not entreat him to depart out of humility, as though they felt themselves unworthy of his presence; but out of servile, slavish fear, lest his continued presence among them might bring upon them still greater losses. They saw that Jesus, a Jew according to the flesh, was holy, powerful, Divine. But they knew that they were Gentiles, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. Wherefore they feared lest he should punish them more grievously, both on account of their being Gentiles and on account of their past sins. It was not, therefore, so much on account of hatred, as out of a timorous fear, that they besought Jesus that he would depart out of their borders.
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