Mark 5:3
Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
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(3) No man could bind him.—The better MSS. give, “no man could any longer bind him.” The attempt had been so often made and baffled that it had been given up in despair.

5:1-20 Some openly wilful sinners are like this madman. The commands of the law are as chains and fetters, to restrain sinners from their wicked courses; but they break those bands in sunder; and it is an evidence of the power of the devil in them. A legion of soldiers consisted of six thousand men, or more. What multitudes of fallen spirits there must be, and all enemies to God and man, when here was a legion in one poor wretched creature! Many there are that rise up against us. We are not a match for our spiritual enemies, in our own strength; but in the Lord, and in the power of his might, we shall be able to stand against them, though there are legions of them. When the vilest transgressor is delivered by the power of Jesus from the bondage of Satan, he will gladly sit at the feet of his Deliverer, and hear his word, who delivers the wretched slaves of Satan, and numbers them among his saints and servants. When the people found that their swine were lost, they had a dislike to Christ. Long-suffering and mercy may be seen, even in the corrections by which men lose their property while their lives are saved, and warning given them to seek the salvation of their souls. The man joyfully proclaimed what great things Jesus had done for him. All men marvelled, but few followed him. Many who cannot but wonder at the works of Christ, yet do not, as they ought, wonder after him.See this account of the demoniacs fully explained in the notes at Matthew 8:28-34.3. Who had his dwelling among the tombs—Luke (Lu 8:27) says, "He ware no clothes, neither abode in any house." These tombs were hewn out of the rocky caves of the locality, and served for shelters and lurking places (Lu 8:26). See Poole on "Mark 5:1"

Who had his dwelling among the tombs,.... Which is one of the characters of a madman among the Jews; who say it is (q).

"the sign of a madman, that he goeth out in the night, , "and lodges among the tombs", and rends his garments, and loses what is given to him.''

The same they say, in the same place, of an hypochondriac, and melancholy man; and of Kordiacus, which they give out (r) is a demon that possesses, and has power over some sort of persons:

and no man could bind him, no, not with chains; so as to hold him for any length of time: not only cords were insufficient to hold, but even chains of iron; so strong was he through the possession; for this could not be by his own natural strength.

(q) T. Hieros. Gittin, fol. 48. 3. & Trumot, fol. 40. 2.((r) Jarchi & Bartenora in Misn. Gittin, c. 7. sect. 1.

Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
Mark 5:3-5 elaborately describe the man’s condition, as if the evangelist or rather his informant (Peter) were fascinated by the subject; not a case of idle word-painting, but of realistic description from vivid, almost morbid, recollection. Holtzmann (H. C.) refers to Isaiah 65:4-5, as if to suggest that some elements of the picture—dwelling in tombs, eating swine’s flesh—were taken thence.—τὴν κατ., the, i.e. his dwelling, implying though not emphasising constant habit (perpetuum, Fritzsche), Lk., “for a long time”.—οὐδὲ, οὐκέτι, οὐδεὶς: energetic accumulation of negatives, quite in the spirit of the Greek language. At this point the sentence breaks away from the relative construction as if in sympathy with the untamable wildness of the demoniac.

Mark 5:3. Κατοίκησιν, dwelling) The dwellers among the tombs were of various descriptions. See Mark 5:5.

Mark 5:3The details of Mark 5:3-5 are peculiar to Mark. "The picture of the miserable man is fearful; and in drawing it, each evangelist has some touches which are peculiarly his own; but St. Mark's is the most eminently graphic of all, adding, as it does, many strokes which wonderfully heighten the terribleness of the man's condition, and also magnify the glory of his cure" (Trench, "Miracles").

Dwelling (κατοίκησιν)

The κατὰ, down, gives the sense of a settled habitation. Compare our phrase settled down. So Tynd., his abiding.

The tombs (τοῖς μνήμασιν)

"In unclean places, unclean because of the dead men's bones which were there. To those who did not on this account shun them, these tombs of the Jews would afford ample shelter, being either natural caves or recesses hewn by art out of the rock, often so large as to be supported with columns, and with cells upon their sides for the reception of the dead. Being, too, without the cities, and oftentimes in remote and solitary places, they would attract those who sought to flee from all fellowship of their kind" (Trench, "Miracles").

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