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Go to Bible: Mark 5
“Gerasenes.” While Mark and Luke say “Gerasenes,” Matthew says “Gadarenes.” For more on how to harmonize this account in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, see commentary on Matthew 8:28.(top)
“a man with an evil spirit.” Matthew says there were two men, and has other different details as well. For more on how to harmonize this account in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, see commentary on Matthew 8:28.(top)
“in the tombs.” The Greek word “in” (en) can be “in” or, as many versions, “among,” but since the hillsides of that area east of the Sea of Galilee are steep and have many cave-tombs, it is not likely he lived “among” the tombs. That would be akin to living on a hillside with some cave-tombs around. It is much more likely that he lived inside a cave-tomb, but what the state of dead bodies he would be around were we are not told. They could be rotting, or have turned to dust.(top)
|Mar 5:4||- (top)|
|Mar 5:5||- (top)|
“bowed before him.” See commentary on Matthew 2:2.(top)
“What do you want with me.” See commentary on Matthew 8:29.
“demand that you swear under oath.” The Greek word translated into this phrase is the verb horkizō (#3726 ὁρκίζω), and in this context it means to put someone under oath (BDAG Greek-English lexicon); to demand that Jesus swears an oath by the name of God that he will not torment the demon. Many English versions translate horkizō by the English word “adjure,” which is a good translation except almost no English reader knows what “adjure” means.
It seems very strange that the demon would demand that Jesus swear under oath “by God” not to torment him. How and why would he do that? In Matthew 8:29 the demons asked if Jesus was going to torment them before the “appointed time.” Demons know there is a day of judgment coming when they will be punished for their millennia of sins. But at the time of this encounter between demons and Jesus, they also knew from Scripture that there were things that had to happen before the day of judgment arrived, such as Jesus having his heel bruised (Gen. 3:15; which we now know was Jesus being tortured and put to death). By this time in Jesus’ ministry it was clear to the demons that he was the one who would be the final warrior and judge who would see them put into Gehenna, but according to the promises in Scripture that day could not come quite yet, so the demon wanted to put Jesus under an oath that he would not somehow circumvent the apparent timeline in Scripture and put him immediately into Gehenna. The plea went nowhere; Jesus would not agree to that.
This scripture is very revealing in that it shows that the demons are afraid of the Day of Judgment, but there are millions of human beings who have ignored or defied God all their lives who are not. The Day of Judgment and the punishment for unbelief that follows it should be frightening to anyone who does not believe, but it is part of the pride of humankind that people willingly ignore God and also ignore their own death and destiny, acting as if they will not happen, but Judgment Day and the punishment that follows it will indeed happen and at that time there will be crying and gnashing of teeth, just like Jesus said. It has been a major role of believers of all time to try to turn evil people back to God so that they too can live forever.
[For more on the crying and gnashing of teeth, see commentary on Matt. 8:12. For more on annihilation in Gehenna, the Lake of Fire, see Appendix 5, “Annihilation in the Lake of Fire”].
“torment me.” See commentary on Matthew 8:29.(top)
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“Let us enter into them.” This is a command clause composed of hina with a verb in the subjunctive mood in Greek. See commentary on John 9:3, “let the works of God be revealed in him.”(top)
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“afflicted by the demon.” The Greek is singular, “by the demon,” and thus reference is being made to the top demon who was in charge of the other demons. The demonic world has higher and lower ranking demons just as the angelic world does.(top)
|Mar 5:19||- (top)|
“Decapolis.” See commentary on Matthew 4:25.(top)
|Mar 5:21||- (top)|
“one of the rulers of the synagogue came.” For evidence that this event occurred in Capernaum, see commentary on Luke 8:40.(top)
“Come.” Lenski points out that in certain cases the Greek word hina [untranslated] simply introduces an imperative, not a purpose clause. Here, it is the imperative of prayer, which is why some versions, fill in the “ellipsis” with “I pray.”(top)
|Mar 5:24||- (top)|
“And a woman.” See commentary on Luke 8:47.(top)
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“was saying.” She talked to herself (cp. Matt. 9:21) over and over.(top)
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“made you well.” The Greek sōzō, in the context of sickness, is to be made whole or to be healed. In the context of everlasting life, it is to be “rescued, saved,” but that is not the context here.
“Go in peace.” Had Jesus simply let the woman take her healing and leave, she would likely have been wracked by guilt. Jesus knew not to let that happen, and in doing so set a wonderful example for us. We need to take care of people emotionally as well as physically.
“affliction.” The Greek mastix (#3148 μάστιξ) is literally a whip, and was used metaphorically of a whipping, affliction, disease, etc.(top)
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“sleeping.” The Greek verb is koimaō (#2837 κοιμάω), to fall asleep, to be asleep. Sleep is used as a euphemism and metaphor for death. See commentary on Acts 7:60.(top)
|Mar 5:40||- (top)|
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“for she was twelve years old.” This describes why she could walk even though she had been referred to as “little” in this and other Gospel records.
“amazed…with a great amazement.” This is the figure of speech polyptoton, the repetition of both noun and verb forms together (Bullinger, Figures of Speech). It highlights the degree of astonishment, they were greatly amazed.(top)
|Mar 5:43||- (top)|