People's New Testament
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
5:1 Healing the Afflicted
SUMMARY OF MARK 5:
In the Country of the Gadarenes. The Fierce Demoniac. The Demons and the Swine. The Gadarenes Do Not Wish Jesus. The Preacher in Decapolis. Jesus Again in Capernaum. The Daughter of Jairus. The Woman with the Issue of Blood. Healed by Faith. The Dead Damsel Made Alive.
They came over unto the other side. After the storm.
Into the country of the Gadarenes. Matthew in the parallel account says Gergesenes (Mt 8:28). The explanation is easy. Gerasa, a town whose modern name is Gersa, stood on the southeast shore of the sea, while Gadara, the chief city of the district, was south about seven or eight miles. As the capital of the district, the country of the Gadarenes embraced Gerasa and its vicinity.
And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
5:2 There met him out of the tombs. The tombs are still seen in the cliff near Gersa. For notes on demoniacal possession and this account see Mt 8:28-33. Compare Lu 8:26-39.
Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
5:3 Dwelling among the tombs. The tombs of that age were either natural or artificial caves in a rocky hillside, and hence would afford shelter. They are now sometimes the homes of the poorer classes.
No man could bind him. Modern lunatics in their frenzy often exhibit almost superhuman strength.
Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
5:10 Besought him much, etc. In other words, Do not send us back to the place of perdition from whence we came. They confess the power of Christ.
Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
5:11 Nigh unto the mountains. At Gersa the mountain rises near the sea.
A great herd of swine. Either the property of Gentiles, or of Jews who disobeyed the law of Moses for gain.
And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
5:13 A steep place. The declivity at the base of the mountain at Gersa is almost perpendicular.
And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.
And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
5:17 They began to pray him to depart. Christ does not stay where he is not wanted. He never visited the country of the Gadarenes again.
And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.
Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
5:20 Decapolis. A district so called from its ten cities, of which Gadara was one. The first preacher of Christ there was one who could testify of his power.
And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.
5:21 When Jesus was passed... to the other side. Sailed back across the sea to Capernaum.
And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,
5:22 One of the rulers of the synagogue. The office of ruler in the synagogue was somewhat similar to that of elder in a Christian congregation.
And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
5:23 At the point of death. In Mr 5:35 the word comes to the ruler that his daughter is dead. Matthew in his account condenses the two reports and says, My daughter is even now dead (Mt 9:18).
And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
5:25 And a certain woman. For notes on this miracle, see Mt 9:20-22. Compare Lu 8:41-56.
An issue of blood. A hemorrhage of the womb or bowels.
And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
5:26 Suffered many things of many physicians. The medical art in Judea in that age was in a very crude condition. Lightfoot gives, from the Rabbinical books, the remedy for a female hemorrhage:
Let them dig seven ditches, in which let them burn some cuttings of vines under four years old. Let her take in her hand a cup of wine; let them lead her away from this ditch and make her sit over that. Let them remove her from that and sit her over another. At each removal you must say to her, Arise for thy flux.''
This is an illustration of what this woman suffered.
When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
5:30 Knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him. Christ, conscious of the approach and condition of this woman, voluntarily healed her. His language that follows is to bring out the moral issue. He cured her, not by touch or word, as was usual with him, but by act of will. By his question he called out her public confession. Faith saves. It may not be intelligent faith, for this woman was not well instructed, but is a faith strong enough to lead to action.
And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?
5:35 While he yet spake, etc. For notes on this example of Christ's power over death, see Mt 9:18-19 23:26 Compare Lu 8:41-42 49-56.
As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
5:37 Permitted no man to follow him. Into the house of the ruler. The mourners were excluded and only the parents and three apostles, the same three that saw him transfigured, and in the agony of Gethsemane, were allowed to enter. Matthew omits this fact.
And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.
5:38 Them that wept and wailed greatly. At a Jewish funeral were professional mourners called by Matthew minstrels (Mt 9:23). It is still the funeral fashion in the East.
And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.
And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
5:41 Talitha cumi. Words from Aramaic, the common language of the people of Palestine in that age, meaning, Damsel, arise.
And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.
5:42 Straightway. The restoration was immediate.
And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.
5:43 That no man should know it. That is, that it should not be published abroad. It was often needful for Jesus to restrain the fame of his miracles for various reasons, one of which was the wrath they excited in the Jewish authorities. It was needful for him to delay exciting them to the point of putting him to death till his time had come.
There are three cases, besides his own resurrection, of Christ raising the dead. (1) This case is immediately after death; (2) another, that of the son of the widow of Nain, at least 24 hours after death (Lu 7:11-15); (3) the third, that of Lazarus, several days after death, when corruption would naturally have begun (Joh 11:41-46): in one case privately; in the second, publicly; in the third, before bitter enemies.