From:  Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Mark  Return to Home 

By Roland H. Worth, Jr.  © 2013


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5:1                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     So they arrived at the opposite shore of the Lake, in the country of the Gerasenes.

WEB:              They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.    

Young’s:         And they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gadarenes,

Conte (RC):    And they went across the strait of the sea into the region of the Gerasenes.


5:1                   And they came over unto the other side of the sea.  Luke:  "over against Galilee,” i.e., the eastern side of the lake.  Some, apparently overlooking this language, have attempted to find the scene of this miracle on the western side.  As Jesus and His disciples set out in the evening, encountered a violent storm, and made a voyage of ten or twelve miles, it was doubtless morning when they landed.  [45]

                        into the country of the Gadarenes.  Both "Gadarenes" and "Gerasenes" are found in the manuscripts, but the preference is given to the latter.  The same is true of the parallel in Luke.  Matthew employs neither of these names, but calls the place "the country of the Gergesenes."  The reason of the difference is not certainly known; but the conjecture of Alford, that the country of the Gergesenes was a part of the country of the Gerasenes--Matthew using the more specific designation and Mark and Luke the more general one--is highly probable.  [38]



5:2                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     At once, on His landing, there came from the tombs to meet Him a man possessed by a foul spirit.

WEB:              When he had come out of the boat, immediately a man with an unclean spirit met him out of the tombs.

Young’s:         and he having come forth out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

Conte (RC):    And as he was departing from the boat, he was immediately met, from among the tombs, by a man with an unclean spirit,


5:2                   And when He was come out of the ship, immediately.  The demoniac did not wait for Jesus to draw near but as soon as He came out of the ship, and while He was yet afar off (verse 6), the demons ran, in the person of their victim, to meet Him and to do homage to Him.  They probably had two purposes in this:  first, by cunning flattery and fawning to dissuade Jesus from casting them out; and second, to injure His cause by making it appear that there was friendship between Him and themselves.  [38]

                        they met out of the tombs a man.  Matthew mentions two demoniacs, Mark and Luke only one; the one who presented the worst form of this malady and whom, after his conversion, Jesus sent forth to herald the truth in that region.  [45]

                        Dr. Lightfoot supposes that of the two demoniacs mentioned here, one was of Gadara, and consequently a heathen, the other was a Gergesenian, and consequently a Jew; and he thinks that Mark and Luke mention the Gadarene demoniac because his case was a singular one, being the only heathen cured by our Lord, except the daughter of the Syrophaenician woman.  [21]

                        with an unclean spirit.  i.e., an evil spirit, a demon.  [8]      



5:3                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     This man lived among the tombs, nor could any one now secure him even with a chain;

WEB:              He lived in the tombs. Nobody could bind him any more, not even with chains,

Young’s:         who had his dwelling in the tombs, and not even with chains was any one able to bind him,

Conte (RC):    who had his dwelling place with the tombs; neither had anyone been able to bind him, even with chains.


5:3                   Who had his dwelling among the tombs.  In the East, the receptacles of the dead are always situated at some distance from the abodes of the living.  [24]

                        Hewn out of the rock and serving for shelters and lurking places.  Observe the complicated evil which the powers of darkness inflicted on their victim.  They deprived him of the exercise of his rational powers; they so lashed his spirit that he could not suffer even a garment upon his body but went naked (Luke 8:27) and could not endure the sight of living men and social comfort, but dwelt among the tombs; they allowed him not a moment's repose even there, for  "always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying"--his unmingled misery venting itself in wild wailing cries; nay, so intolerable was his mental torture, that he  "kept cutting himself with stones!"--the natural explanation of which seems to be that one in this state is fain to draw off his feelings from the mind when its anguish grows unendurable, by trying to make the body, thus lacerated and smarting, bear its own share.  One other feature of the evil this diabolically inflicted, is very significant:  "no man could tame him” (verse 4).  [43]

                          and no man could bind him.  The “critical text” adds the word “anymore,” indicating that at one point they had been able to gain at least temporary control over his erratic and frightening outbursts.  [rw]

                         No, not with chains.  In other words they had attempted to use even the most drastic methods of limit his excesses and even those had failed.  [rw]



5:4                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     for many a time he had been left securely bound in fetters and chains, but afterwards the chains lay torn link from link, and the fetters in fragments, and there was no one strong enough to master him.

WEB:              because he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him, and the fetters broken in pieces. Nobody had the strength to tame him.

Young’s:         because that he many times with fetters and chains had been bound, and pulled in pieces by him had been the chains, and the fetters broken in pieces, and none was able to tame him,

Conte (RC):    For having been bound often with shackles and chains, he had broken the chains and smashed the shackles; and no one had been able to tame him.


5:4                   Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains.  “Often:  It was not a case of trying once and then giving up; they had tried repeatedly to do something to control his behavior.  This argues either (or both) that he had concerned relatives and that they did not give up easy or that his behavior was so extreme that he was feared a potential danger to anyone who came his way.  The first possibility speaks of family concern—or, at least, of close friendship concern; the second argues that he was perceived as a public danger and any control would be just as much a matter of protecting themselves as providing him assistance.  [rw]

and the chains had been plucked asunder [pulled apart, NKJV] and the fetters broken in pieces.  The demons gave him superhuman strength.  [11]

                        It must have been at intervals of quietude that his friends succeeded in binding him and taking him home; but when the demons willed, he was thrown into a frenzy, and bursting through all restraints, was driven out again into the mountains and the tombs.  [38]

                        neither could any man tame him.  ["Tame] properly denotes the subjugation of the lower animals by man, but is also applied to moral influence on human subjects.  (For examples of both senses, compare James 3:7-8).  It may here express a complex notion, comprehending moral suasion and physical coercion; but the latter having been already mentioned, the former is probably the main idea.  As no one could confine his limbs, so no one could subdue his will; it was equally impossible to bind and tame him.  [3]



5:5                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     And constantly, day and night, he remained among the tombs or on the hills, shrieking, and mangling himself with sharp stones.

WEB:              Always, night and day, in the tombs and in the mountains, he was crying out, and cutting himself with stones.

Young’s:         and always, night and day, in the mountains, and in the tombs he was, crying and cutting himself with stones.

Conte (RC):    And he was always, day and night, among the tombs, or in the mountains, crying out and cutting himself with stones.


5:5                   And always.  Here we find a fearful picture, agreeing in most points with certain forms of insanity.  It cannot be argued from these symptoms that it was merely a case of insanity.  The writers who so accurately describe the symptoms, define the malady; their statements must be accepted or rejected as a whole.  [11]

                                night and day.  There was no rest for him in his fiendship work of self-torture.  [45]

                                in the mountains.  Common in that district.  [11]

                                Arguing that he moved about and was not constantly in any one single location that could be carefully avoided by those in the community.  One might encounter him “anywhere.”  [rw]

                                crying.  The inward anguish of the man’s soul found expression in outward cries, doubtless loud, wild, and heart-rending.  [45]

                        and cutting himself with stones.  Driven by the demon to wild frenzy, he lacerated his body in the vain hope of relieving the tortured mind.  [45]



5:6                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     And when he saw Jesus in the distance, he ran and threw himself at His feet,

WEB:              When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and bowed down to him,

Young’s:         And, having seen Jesus from afar, he ran and bowed before him,

Conte (RC):    And seeing Jesus from afar, he ran and adored him.


5:6                   But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran.  This act of running from a distance may have looked to the spectators like a violent attack, and may at first have been so intended, which would make the change more striking when, instead of flying at the stranger, as he had been wont to do as long as any came that way, he suddenly fell down to him (Luke 8:28).  [3]

                        and worshipped Him.  This may mean that he reverenced Him according to oriental custom, without adoring Him as a divine person.  But this may depend on the question of whether the act was of the man's own volition or of the demon's controlling power.  This demon that “drove him into the wilderness" had frequent but not constant absolute control; for only "oftentimes it had caught him” (Luke 8:29).  If, then, the man had partial respite from the rigors of his grasp and temporary control of his own movements, his running and prostrating himself may be explained as springing from a longing for deliverance from this cruel bondage.  But if the demon directed his course, his thus prostrating himself before Jesus is one of the many instances in which these evil spirits acknowledged the superior power of Him who came to overthrow their kingdom and reverenced Him as the Son of God (verse 7).  [45]



5:7                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     crying out in a loud voice, "What hast Thou to do with me, Jesus, Son of God Most High? In God's name I implore Thee not to torment me."

WEB:              and crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have I to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, don't torment me."

Young’s:         and having called with a loud voice, he said, 'What -- to me and to thee, Jesus, Son of God the Most High? I adjure thee by God, mayest thou not afflict me!'

Conte (RC):    And crying out with a loud voice, he said: "What am I to you, Jesus, the Son of the Most High God? I beseech you by God, that you not torment me."


5:7                   And cried out with a loud voice.   If the man had the ascendancy in coming to Jesus, not at least it is the unclean spirit that cries out in terror, because Jesus bade him come out of the man.  [45]

                        and said, What have I to do with Jesus, thou Son of the most high God.  In quoting the words of this outcry, Mark omits the question quoted by Matthew, “Art thou come to torment us before the time?" and he adds what Matthew omits, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou torment us not" (compare Matthew 8:29).  Doubtless both remarks were made and in the order in which we have placed them:  first, “Art thou come to torment us before the time?"  and then, without waiting for an answer, “I adjure thee by the living God that thou torment me not."  [38]

                        I adjure thee by God, that You do not torment me.  The demon looked to a time of [retribution], but he implored Jesus by God, who had allowed a partial respite, not to cut it short and remand him to torment before the time of his appointed judgment (Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4).  [45]



5:8                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     For He had said to him, "Foul spirit, come out of the man."

WEB:              For he said to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!"

Young’s:         (for he said to him, 'Come forth, spirit unclean, out of the man,')

Conte (RC):    For he said to him, "Depart from the man, you unclean spirit."


5:8                   For He said unto him.  The man himself isn’t the problem so the problem causer, the demon, is addressed.  How hideous the man himself must have felt as he stood there, virtually a bystander to his own fate!  [rw] 

        Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.  The fact that Jesus said, “Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit,” is given as the reason why the demon entreated Jesus not to torment him and this implies that the command to come out was given before the outcry.  It is further evident from the connection between the command and the outcry, that the demon considered it a torment to be driven out.  His position in the man's person was a comparative relief from the torment which he experienced when utterly disembodied.  [38]        



5:9                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     Jesus also questioned him. "What is your name?" He said. "Legion," he replied, "for there are a host of us."

WEB:              He asked him, "What is your name?" He said to him, "My name is Legion, for we are many."

Young’s:         and he was questioning him, 'What is thy name?' and he answered, saying, 'Legion is my name, because we are many;'

Conte (RC):    And he questioned him: "What is your name?" And he said to him, "My name is Legion, for we are many."


5:9                   And he asked him, "What is your name?"  This is the only instance in which the Lord asked an unclean spirit concerning his distinctive name.  [24]

                        Jesus of course did not ask this question for information.  There is, however, difference of opinion as to its purpose, and as to the person addressed, whether the man or the demon.

                        Trench, among others, supposes the question was directed to the man for the purpose of “calming him, by bringing him to recollection, to the consciousness of his personality, of which a man's name is the outward expression."

                        This view, however, is not consistent with the prominent feature of this miracle:  a dispossessing of Satan from his hold upon the man, nor with the fact that, as soon as the man prostrated himself before Jesus, He bade the spirit come forth.  The narrative can be consistently explained only by regarding the question as addressed to the demon; for Jesus had before said to him,  "Come out of the an, thou unclean spirit."  The spirit replied:  "What have I to do with thee"  etc. (verse 7) Jesus, therefore, again addressed him as he dallied, “What is thy name?"  for the purpose of bringing out the fact disclosed in the answer, that there were many demons in the man, and thus showing to the multitude that He could not only compel obedience from this one reluctant spirit, but could, by a word, command any number of Satan’s hosts.  [45]

                        And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”  A division in the Roman armies was called a Legion.  It numbered about six thousand men.  [25]

                        The one spirit, who alone has been presented in the narrative thus far, now appears as the leader of a band of subordinates, an organized band, as is implied by the word “Legion,” who, with him as their superior, held possession of the man.  Possession by a larger number indicates a more wretched state than possession by a singly demon; as, for example, the man whose last state was worse than the first (Matthew 12:45).  [45]



5:10                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     And he earnestly entreated Him not to send them away out of the country.

WEB:              He begged him much that he would not send them away out of the country.

Young’s:         and he was calling on him much, that he may not send them out of the region.

Conte (RC):    And he entreated him greatly, so that he would not expel him from the region.


5:10                 And he besought him much.  Showing how vital the matter was to the unclean spirit’s well being—and just how terrified he was of what would happen next.  [rw]

         that He would not send them out of the country.  The evil spirit knew well that he and his host must now yield to the command of Jesus and come out of the man; but they dreaded more the sentence that might follow.  Therefore, they entreated Him, as Luke tells us, not to  "command them to go into the abyss,"  i.e., into Hell; nor, as Mark here gives their entreaty, to send them away out of the country of the Gerasenges, where they wished still to prosecute their hellish work.  The language of the two evangelists, in thus presenting their petition under different forms, is not conflicting:  for doubtless the demon put his petition in both forms, but neither writer records both because the one implies the other:  for if He sent them out of that country, they would not, they believed, be allowed to go elsewhere on the earth, but must be remanded to perdition.  [45]



5:11                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Feeding there, on the mountain slope, was a great herd of swine.

WEB:              Now on the mountainside there was a great herd of pigs feeding.

Young’s:         And there was there, near the mountains, a great herd of swine feeding,

Conte (RC):    And in that place, near the mountain, there was a great herd of swine, feeding.


5:11                 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains.  In Matthew, "far off"--i.e., at some distance; in sight, but not close at hand.  [23]

            a great [large, NKJV] herd of swine feeding.  The Jews were not allowed to eat swine's flesh.  But Jews were not the only inhabitants of that district.  It had been colonized at least in part by the Romans immediately after the conquest of Syria, some sixty years before Christ.  It was in this district that ten cities are said to have been rebuilt by the Romans, whence the territory acquired the name of "the Decapolis."  And a although the Jews were forbidden by their Law to eat this kind of food, yet they were not forbidden to breed swine for other uses, such as provisioning the Roman army.  [39]



5:12                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     So they besought Jesus. "Send us to the swine," they said, "so that we may enter into them."

WEB:              All the demons begged him, saying, "Send us into the pigs, that we may enter into them."

Young’s:         and all the demons did call upon him, saying, 'Send us to the swine, that into them we may enter;'

Conte (RC):    And the spirits entreated him, saying: "Send us into the swine, so that we may enter into them."


5:12                 And all the devils [demons, NKJV].  Only one demon is spoken of at first [verse 7], and he is addressed, and himself speaks in the singular, until Jesus made him reveal the fact that there was a multitude of them (verse 9).  Then the leader speaks for the company (verse 10) but now all speak out or join in the request.  [45]

                        besought [begged, NKJV] him.  Again indicating how passionately they were aware that what came next would be to their hurt and injury.  They had no scruples about inflicting harm on the human, but they were horrified that they themselves should be on the receiving end.  [rw]

                        saying, Send us.   They now acknowledge the complete supremacy of Jesus; they could not go without His permission.  Their purpose in making this request was, of course, either to obtain by this means the respite they had asked, or to accomplish some work of evil.  They may have thought there was more probability of escape from being immediately sent down to the abyss by a request to enter a lower order of beings.  [45]

                        into the swine, that we may enter into them.  Presumably far from any solution they would prefer, but since those would permit their continuing to harm others—at least animals!--they had to settle for whatever they could get.  But Jesus had no intention to permit even that more limited potential for inflicting pain.  [rw]              



5:13                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     He gave them leave; and the foul spirits came out and entered into the swine, and the herd--about 2,000 in number--rushed headlong down the cliff into the Lake and were drowned in the Lake.

WEB:              At once Jesus gave them permission. The unclean spirits came out and entered into the pigs. The herd of about two thousand rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and they were drowned in the sea.

Young’s:         and immediately Jesus gave them leave, and having come forth, the unclean spirits did enter into the swine, and the herd did rush down the steep place to the sea -- and they were about two thousand -- and they were choked in the sea.

Conte (RC):    And Jesus promptly gave them permission. And the unclean spirits, departing, entered into the swine. And the herd of about two thousand rushed down with great force into the sea, and they were drowned in the sea.


5:13                 And forthwith [at once, NKJV].  Because He was tired of listening to them trying to avoid His expulsion?  Because this was the kind of offer that was exactly what He wanted in the first place:  (Ethically) unclean beings being sent into (ceremonially) unclean pigs?  [rw]

         He gave them leave [permission, NKJV].  God gave Satan leave to destroy the property of His servant Job; mush more might He, without being subject to the charge of injustice, give leave to these spirits to destroy the property of these lawless Jews or godless Gentiles, rejecters of Him and His mission.  Why should any one cavil at Christ's permitting or even ordering the destruction of the swine?  He as Lord of all, for His own wise purposes, disciplinary or judicial, had the same right to destroy this property as to destroy a herd of cattle by murrain or any wheat-field upon which He sends a hail-storm, or any city engulfed by an earthquake, or consumed by fire; and these are all His providential orderings.  The special purpose of His causing this loss is not declared.  [45]

                        And the unclean spirits went out.  This whole narrative, more distinctly than any other of the New Testament, implies the real existence of demons as personal spirits distinct from both men and beasts, but capable of acquiring harmful control of both.  The language of Jesus to the demons, and of the evangelists in the narrative, is conformed to the ideas then current.  If Jesus had any different conception of the matter, He apparently took no pains to impart it to His disciples or to the people.  [44]

                        and entered into the swine.  Some seem to have so much difficulty in admitting that demons could enter into beasts as to invent many curious and yet absurd devices to keep this language from meaning the only thing it can mean.  Rationalists seriously propose for us the absurdity that the writer describes a maniac's running through the herd of swine and driving them into the sea!  But why should any believer in the word of God have difficulty here as some seem to have?  Satan began his evil work with man by “entering into” a reptile, the serpent; and more, he spoke through this animal that has no organs of speech.  [45]   

                        and the herd ran violently down a steep place.  Although the demons had had power over the actions of the possessed man, they themselves were now subject to the irrational panic of the pigs—not having the intellect to grasp what was sharing their bodies but instinctively horrified at its presence?  Or did Jesus Himself cause the pigs to flee?  [rw]

                        into the sea.  By this Christ shows of how little worth are earthly possessions when set in the balance with the souls of men.  The recovery of this demoniac was worth far more than the value of the two thousand swine.  [39] 

                        (they were about two thousand).  Confirming the words of the spokesdemon that there was a multitude within the man.  Not the literal legion in number, but so large as to explain and make reasonable the prideful boast of there being a huge number within the sufferer. [rw] 

                        and were chocked [drowned, NKJV] in the sea.  Whether or not this was the purpose of  the demons, and this is questioned, it was the purpose of Christ.  Trench thinks that the drowning of the swine was the remanding of the unclean spirits to the abyss; but that does not follow; for it must have depended on the order of Jesus, and we have no evidence that He gave them such a command.  [45]

                        As to the event itself, as it is a surprise to the reader, so it may have been to the spirits.  (1)  The immediate drowning of the swine left the spirits without an abode.  (2)  This cannot have been at their desire for they expressly desired a habitation in the swine.  (3)  Hence it cannot have been at the impulse of the spirits that the swine rushed to their death.  (4)  The natural conclusion is that the spirits failed to effect a union with the powers of the swine, but that the approach of the unwanted disturbing power to the natures of the animals only excited them and caused them to rush to their own destruction.  There appears no way but this to account for it unless we suppose that Jesus, by His own will, drove the swine to death--a much less plausible explanation.  [23]

                        In depth:  Does demon possession occur today  [14]?  To this question conflicting replies are given.  Eminent physicians, and missionaries from the Orient, report instances which seem to be exactly parallel to those recorded in the         New Testament; other careful investigators believe that these modern symptoms can all be explained on the ground of mental derangement, and that actual demon possession is a phenomenon which belongs to the days of Christ.  If the latter is true, it may explain why the demons so feared to be sent out of the country and why they suggested that to be cast out of the man would hasten their "torment," as if their power of operation were limited to the locality and time of the earthly ministry of Christ.



5:14                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     The swineherds fled, and spread the news in town and country. So the people came to see what it was that had happened;

WEB:              Those who fed them fled, and told it in the city and in the country. The people came to see what it was that had happened.

Young’s:         And those feeding the swine did flee, and told in the city, and in the fields, and they came forth to see what it is that hath been done;

Conte (RC):    Then those who pastured them fled, and they reported it in the city and in the countryside. And they all went out to see what was happening.


5:14                 And they that fed the swine fled.  Such a loss of property in their charge was alarming.  [45]

                                And told it in the city.  I.e., in which the owners resided and to which the men belonged (Luke 8:27) through now his home was in the tombs and the mountains.  In attempting to identify the city here mentioned, two groundless assumptions are made by most writers:  First, that because the scene of the miracle was close upon the shore, this city must have been; been; whereas, the only inference as to its location that we have a right to draw is that it was near enough for the people, hearing the news, to come out to meet Jesus.  This might be true of Gadara, sixteen miles from Tiberias, and half that distance.  "Three hours” (Thomson) from the nearest point of the sea.  Secondly, that the city here referred to was the one that gave the name to the region, and must, therefore, have been  Gergesa or Gerasa or Gadara.  Only  "the country of the Gadarenes"  or Garasenes or Gergesenes is mentioned.  Any other city within this district that meets the other conditions of the narrative has an equal claim with those that gave name to the region.  [45]

And the country.  Wherever they ran into people this was “big news.”  Being ones who had observed it all, for once in their lives they were the center of attention.  And more than a little worried that they themselves might somehow be blamed for the destruction of the pigs?  If so, getting their version of events out first was of primary importance, even greater than the natural compulsion to share a first hand event.  [rw]

And they went out to see what it was that was done.  To seek out confirmation of the incredible story they had just been told.  [rw]  



5:15                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     and when they came to Jesus, they beheld the demoniac quietly seated, clothed and of sane mind--the man who had had the legion; and they were awe-stricken.

WEB:              They came to Jesus, and saw him who had been possessed by demons sitting, clothed, and in his right mind, even him who had the legion; and they were afraid.

Young’s:         and they come unto Jesus, and see the demoniac, sitting, and clothed, and right-minded -- him having had the legion -- and they were afraid;

Conte (RC):    And they came to Jesus. And they saw the man who had been troubled by the demon, sitting, clothed and with a sane mind, and they were afraid.


5:15                 And they came to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting and clothed.  Those who had witnessed the miracle may have given him the clothes.  He showed his possession of reason in his actions.  [16]

                        Luke informs us (8:27) that the wretched man wore no clothes [while demon possessed].  [8]  

                        And in his right mind.  The remark  implies that he had been insane, as he certainly had been:  but this detracts nothing from the reality of demon possession; it only shows that the presence of a foreign spirit within a man disturbed, as from the nature of the case it must, the normal workings of his own spirit.  [38]

                        and they were afraid.  Awed by this manifestation of divine power and by the presence of the superior Being who possessed it.  [45]



5:16                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     And those who had seen it told them the particulars of what had happened to the demoniac, and all about the swine.

WEB:              Those who saw it declared to them how it happened to him who was possessed by demons, and about the pigs.

Young’s:         and those having seen it, declared to them how it had come to pass to the demoniac, and about the swine;

Conte (RC):    And those who had seen it explained to them how he had dealt with the man who had the demon, and about the swine.


5:16                 And they that saw it.  Either such of their own countrymen as chanced to be on the spot at the time, or the companions of Jesus.  [45]

                        told them.  Not the word used in verse 14.  Recounted, narrated, declared fully.  Those who were with Jesus could give them a more particular account of these singular occurrences than that carried them by the swineherds.  [45]  

                        how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.  If there is anything more astounding that hearing an “impossible” story, it is having it confirmed.  Pig farming, to put it mildly, was not a favored career with Jews.  To be faced with a Jew who had just eliminated a major herd naturally raised the question of “what might he do about the other herds?”  They would have recognized the unique need of curing the possessed man, but their sense of personal economic well being would have their minds quickly wandering back to the pigs and whether such a destruction was to occur yet again.  [rw]  



5:17                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Then they began entreating Him to depart from their district.

WEB:              They began to beg him to depart from their region.

Young’s:         and they began to call upon him to go away from their borders.

Conte (RC):    And they began to petition him, so that he would withdraw from their borders.


5:17                 And they began to pray Him [plead with Him, NKJV] to depart.  More terrified by the damage to their swine that moved by the benefit to the demoniac--not the only instance in which the property value of beasts has been more considered than the moral advantage of men.  [44]

                        Alternative interpretation:     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.  [39]

                        Out of their coasts [from their region, NKJV].  Not just from the immediate vicinity, but from any place that their compatriots in the region were likely to encounter Him.  Having Him repeat the destruction of local pigs would do their reputation no good.  As likely as not to have them put the blame on the locals where it all began and their inability to deal with the problem.  [rw]



5:18                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     As He was embarking, the man who had been possessed asked permission to accompany Him.

WEB:              As he was entering into the boat, he who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him.

Young’s:         And he having gone into the boat, the demoniac was calling on him that he may be with him,

Conte (RC):    And as he was climbing into the boat, the man who had been troubled by the demons began to beg him, so that he might be with him.


5:18                 And when He was come into the ship [got into the boat, NKJV].  Jesus took them at their word and departed.  [45]

                        he that had been possessed with the devil prayed [begged, NKJV] that he might be with Him.  The reason for this request was probably personal gratitude to our Lord.  He would thus separate himself from those who rejected his Deliverer.  Possibly he feared a relapse.  [11]



5:19                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     But He would not allow it. "Go home to your family," He said, "and report to them all that the Lord has done for you, and the mercy He has shown you."

WEB:              He didn't allow him, but said to him, "Go to your house, to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how he had mercy on you."

Young’s:         and Jesus did not suffer him, but saith to him, 'Go away to thy house, unto thine own friends, and tell them how great things the Lord did to thee, and dealt kindly with thee;

Conte (RC):    And he did not permit him, but he said to him, "Go to your own people, in your own house, and announce to them how great are the things that Lord has done for you, and how he has taken pity on you."


5:19                 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not [However Jesus did not permit him, NKJV].  Not that Christ would refuse his offer of discipleship but we can follow Christ without being with Him in the flesh.  [19]

                        Various reasons have been conjectured why Jesus did not suffer this man to go with Him.  It might be, that He wished to leave him among the people as a conclusive evidence of His power to work miracles.  It might be that the man feared that if Jesus left him the devils would return and that Jesus told him to remain to show him that the cure was complete and that He had power over the devils when absent as when present.  But the probable reason is that He desired to restore him to his family and friends.  [42]

                        Go home to thy friends.  Thy friends, who have given up all attempts to bind thee—go to them, clothed and in thy right mind.  [23]

                        and tll them how great things the Lord hath done for thee.  It is not now, as sometimes, when it was forbidden to make it known; here upon the outskirts of the Jewish land, there was no danger to be [avoided].  The people of Decapolis shall have, though against their will a testimony and living monument of His power—one who had lived among themselves.  [24]

                        His special testimony would lose all its force when he left the district where he was known; but there, on the contrary, the miracle could not fail to be impressive, as its extent and permanence were seen.  This man was perhaps the only missionary who could reckon upon a hearing from those who banished Jesus from their coasts.  [46]

                                To be a missionary for Christ in the region where he was so well known and so long dreaded was a far nobler calling than to follow Him where nobody had ever heard of him and where other trophies not less illustrious could be raised by the same power and grace.  [43] 

and hath had compassion on thee.  Nothing external could make Jesus heal; the desire came internally, from His compassion for the afflicted.  [rw]



5:20                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     And he did not permit him, but he said to him, "Go to your own people, in your own house, and announce to them how great are the things that Lord has done for you, and how he has taken pity on you."

WEB:              He went his way, and began to proclaim in Decapolis how Jesus had done great things for him, and everyone marveled.

Young’s:         and he went away, and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how great things Jesus did to him, and all were wondering.

Conte (RC):    And he went away and began to preach in the Ten Cities, how great were the things that Jesus had done for him. And everyone wondered.


5:20                 And he departed, and began to publish [proclaim, NKJV].  As he had been commanded to go first to his own family, and friends at home, they were no doubt the first to hear the glad tidings of what  Jesus had done for him.  Then he published it "throughout the whole city" (Luke 8:39).  [45]

                        in Decapolis.  This region embraced, as its name indicates, ten cities, all except Scythopolis lying east of the Jordan.  The ancient lists agree as to eight of these cities but differ as to two.  Both Pliny and Ptolemy include Gadara and Geraca in their lists; the former also includes Damascus, but the latter does not, and with him Josephus seems to agree, when he says that Scythopolis was the largest city of the district.  This region, never having accurate bounds, lay east and southeast of the Sea of Galilee; it was extensive and in its day prosperous and important.  If the restored demoniac told of the compassion of Jesus in these ten cities and the intervening country, he did a great work.  [45]

                        The name occurs three times in the Scriptures:  (a) here; (b)  Matthew 4:25; and (c) Mark 7:31.  [8]

                        how great things Jesus had done for him.  His prehealing history was characterized by behavior so extreme that tales of him would have inevitably been widespread.  So much greater the impact when he shared with others that all of that was now past history, thanks to Jesus of Nazareth.  [rw]

                        all men did marvel.  But is it not said whether any believed.  [23]



5:21                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     When Jesus had re-crossed in the boat to the other side, a vast multitude came crowding to Him; and He was on the shore of the Lake,

WEB:              When Jesus had crossed back over in the boat to the other side, a great multitude was gathered to him; and he was by the sea.

Young’s:         And Jesus having passed over in the boat again to the other side, there was gathered a great multitude to him, and he was near the sea,

Conte (RC):    And when Jesus had crossed in the boat, over the strait again, a great crowd came together before him. And he was near the sea.


5:21                 And when Jesus was passed over [had crossed over, NKJV] again by ship unto the other side.  From the southeastern shore of the lake,  where the legion of demons was cast out, Jesus passed over  "to the other side;" or, as Matthew more definitely expresses it,  "to his own city,"  which was Capernaum (Matthew 9:1).  [38]

                                much people [a great multitude, NKJV] gathered unto Him.  Those to whom He had spoken the parables seem not to have left Capernaum; but expecting His return from the other side they “were waiting for Him” and “gladly received Him” (Luke 8:40).  [45]

                                and He was nigh unto [was by, NKJV] the sea.  As He had been when He spoke the parables, before going over to the country of the Gerasenes.  The circumstance, apparently having no bearing on what follows, seems to be one of this particulars which an eye-witness will incidentally throw into his narrative to mark the exact circumstances of an event.  [45]



5:22                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     when there came one of the Wardens of the Synagogue--he was called Jair--who, on beholding Him, threw himself at His feet,

WEB:              Behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, came; and seeing him, he fell at his feet,

Young’s:         and lo, there doth come one of the chiefs of the synagogue, by name Jairus, and having seen him, he doth fall at his feet,

Conte (RC):    And one of the rulers of the synagogue, named Jairus, approached. And seeing him, he fell prostrate at his feet.


5:22                          And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue.  Presumably the synagogue in Capernaum, though nothing positively determines the place.  [23]

                                Each synagogue had a kind of college of elders, presided over by a ruler, who superintended the services and possessed the power of excommunication.  [8]

                                Jairus by name.  Of Jairus nothing is known except what is recorded here.  If, as is probably the case, he was a ruler of the synagogue in Capernaum, he would naturally be one of those who were sent by the centurion who had “built a synagogue” to intercede for him when his servant was sick (Luke 7:3).  In that case he would be no stranger to the healing power of Jesus, and his confidence would be fully explained.  [23]

                                And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet.  This explains Matthew’s statement, that “he worshipped him.”  He rendered homage to Jesus by falling at His feet.  This was a lowly act for a ruler of a synagogue, but the ruler was now in trouble and trouble often brings men to their senses.  [38]   



5:23                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     and besought Him with many entreaties. "My little daughter," he said, "is at the point of death: I pray you come and lay your hands upon her, that she may recover and live."

WEB:  and begged him much, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Please come and lay your hands on her, that she may be made healthy, and live."     

Young’s:         and he was calling upon him much, saying -- 'My little daughter is at the last extremity -- that having come, thou mayest lay on her thy hands, so that she may be saved, and she shall live;'

Conte (RC):    And he beseeched him greatly, saying: "For my daughter is near the end. Come and lay your hand on her, so that she may be healthy and may live."


5:23                 And besought him greatly [begged Him earnestly, NKJV].    Desperation makes men bold.  Without apology or preliminary, Jairus bursts in and his urgent need is sufficient excuse.  [50]
saying, My little daughter.  She was twelve years of age (verse 42).  [38]

                                lieth at the point of death.   Matthew reports him as saying, “even now dead” (Matthew 9:18).  The two reports are not al all inconsistent, but each writer--as in so many other places--reports a part only of what was said.  The man made both remarks:  "My little daughter is at the point of death.  She is even now dead."  The latter proved not to be strictly true, but he supposed to was; for he left her in a dying condition and she was dead when they got back to the house.  [38]

                                I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her.  He employed this language because such was Christ's customary method of healing and not because he supposed there was virtue in the laying on of hands or that Christ's power to heal was limited to this method.  The ceremony employed was significant, implying the transfer of the blessing from Jesus to the sick; just as the laying of the hands of the worshipper upon the head to the (animal) victim to be sacrificed implied the ceremonial transfer of sin from him to the victim.  [45]

                                That she may be healed; and she shall live.  In her case, healing and surviving went hand-in-hand.  If one were at the door of death, what sense would it make to enable her to live only a little longer rather than be rid of the entire threat?  Furthermore, the capacity to do one, argued the capacity to do both.  [rw]                            



5:24                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     And Jesus went with him. And a dense crowd followed Him, and thronged Him on all sides.

WEB:              He went with him, and a great multitude followed him, and they pressed upon him on all sides.

Young’s:         and he went away with him. And there was following him a great multitude, and they were thronging him,

Conte (RC):    And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him, and they pressed upon him.


5:24                 And Jesus went with him.  Up from the lake-side into the town.  [23]

                                and much people followed Him.  Having heard the promise, they would naturally be interested to see what would come out of it.  [rw]

           thronged Him.  The word is a strong one in Greek, meaning to "press upon," and that used by Luke (8:42) still stronger, conveying the idea of suffocation.  Jesus, then, was closely pressed in such a crowd as produces the sense of suffocation.  This fact is mentioned to explain the occurrence which follows.  [45]



5:25                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Now a woman who for twelve years had suffered from haemorrhage,

WEB:              A certain woman, who had an issue of blood for twelve years,

Young’s:         and a certain woman, having an issue of blood twelve years,

Conte (RC):    And there was a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years.


5:25                 And a certain woman.  Eusebius records a tradition that she was a Gentile, a native of Caesarea Philippi.  [39]

                                which had an issue of [a flow of, NKJV] blood.  The disease involved uncleanness according to the ceremonial law and on the part of the sufferer a sense of shame as well as fear.  [11]

                                twelve years.  A long period to suffer from disease and a circumstance mentioned as magnifying the cure.  [45]

                        All the synoptic Gospels mention the length of time during which she had been suffering.  [39]



5:26                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     and had undergone many different treatments under a number of doctors and had spent all she had without receiving benefit but on the contrary growing worse,

WEB:              and had suffered many things by many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better, but rather grew worse,

Young’s:         and many things having suffered under many physicians, and having spent all that she had, and having profited nothing, but rather having come to the worse,

Conte (RC):    And she had endured much from several physicians, and she had spent everything she owned with no benefit at all, but instead she became worse.


5:26                 And had suffered many things of many physicians.  She did not give up, however; if one doctor failed, perhaps another could help.  If persistence could guarantee a cure, she would already have been well.  [rw]

         and had spent all that she had.  Her sufferings under medical treatment, and the expenditure of all her fortune, resulted in no good [and left her] a penniless sufferer, without hope of relief from her aggravated disease.  [45]

                        and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.  The condition of this woman, including the long duration of her affliction, the vain efforts of many physicians to heal her, and the fact that she grew worse rather than better, is described in order to show that her instantaneous cure by Jesus was an unmistakable and a very surprising miracle.  [38]



5:27                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     heard of Jesus. And she came in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak;

WEB:              having heard the things concerning Jesus, came up behind him in the crowd, and touched his clothes.

Young’s:         having heard about Jesus, having come in the multitude behind, she touched his garment,

Conte (RC):    Then, when she had heard of Jesus, she approached through the crowd behind him, and she touched his garment.


5:27                 When she had heard of Jesus.  Her faith came by hearing; that of Jairus, perhaps, by seeing.  [23]

                        came in the press behind [came behind Him in the crowd].  After so many failures to help her and having nothing to give to Jesus to show her appreciation (as the doctors had clearly expected to receive!), a quiet and unseen approach made the best sense to her.  [rw]

                        and touched his garment.  For reasons explained in the next verse.  [rw]



5:28                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     for she said, "If I but touch His clothes, I shall be cured."

WEB:              For she said, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be made well."

Young’s:         for she said -- 'If even his garments I may touch, I shall be saved;'

Conte (RC):    For she said: "Because if I touch even his garment, I will be saved."


5:28                 For she said, If I may touch.  Her faith in His power is shown by this remark.  She seems to have been led to this conclusion by what she had “heard of Jesus" (verse 27) rather than by what she had seen.  [38]

                        Alternative interpretation:  She may have looked for some magical influence but twelve years in the hand of physicians in those days say may well excuse such a thought in a weak woman.  [11]

                        but His clothes.  It was the "hem," or "border of the garment" (Matthew 9:20; Luke 8:44) that she touched.  [45]

                                The Law of Moses commanded every Jew to wear at each corner of his tallith a fringe or tassel of blue, to remind them that they were God's people (Numbers 15:37-40; Deuteronomy 22:12).  "Two of these fringes usually hung down at the bottom of the robe, while one hung over the shoulder where the robe was fastened round the person."  Those who wished to be esteemed eminently religious were wont to make broad or "enlarge, the borders of their garments" (Matthew 23:5).  [8]

                        I shall be whole.  She was convinced that even His conscious recognition of what was happening would not be necessary for the healing to occur.  It would happen spontaneously.  Deep, deep faith indeed.  [rw]



5:29                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     In a moment the flow of her blood ceased, and she felt in herself that her complaint was cured.

WEB:              Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

Young’s:         and immediately was the fountain of her blood dried up, and she knew in the body that she hath been healed of the plague.

Conte (RC):    And immediately, the source of her bleeding was dried up, and she sensed in her body that she had been healed from the wound.


5:29                 And straightway [immediately, NKJV].  Denoting the instantaneous effect of that believing but almost despairing touch.  [3]

                        the fountain of her blood was dried up.  Not merely the flow, but the fountain.  [23]

                                and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague [of the affliction, NKJV].  It was not mere relief, but the inward consciousness that the long-felt disease itself was removed.  [23]

                        [She could feel] by her bodily sensations, not by mere conjecture or assurances from others.  [3]



5:30                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Immediately Jesus, well knowing that healing power had gone from within Him, turned round in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"

WEB:              Immediately Jesus, perceiving in himself that the power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd, and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"

Young’s:         And immediately Jesus having known in himself that out of him power had gone forth, having turned about in the multitude, said, 'Who did touch my garments?'

Conte (RC):    And immediately Jesus, realizing within himself that power that had gone out from him, turning to the crowd, said, "Who touched my garments?"


5:30                 And Jesus, immediately.  With no delay, as soon as it happened.  [rw]

         knowing in Himself that virtue [power, NKJV] had gone out of Him.  The evangelist speaks as if Jesus' power were exerted independently of His will, conforming his language to that of the woman and to that of Jesus to her.  Yet it is more likely that Jesus exercised His power consciously and intentionally and afterward by His questions drew the woman out that He might still further help her.  [44]

                                virtue [power, NKJV].  This is the same word that is often translated “mighty work," "miracle,"  etc.  This shows that the miraculous power of healing was inherent in Christ and not derived from another.  The disciples derived their power from Him and wrought miracles in His name.  [19]

                        turned him about in the press [in the crowd, NKJV], and said, Who touched My clothes?  This question was not asked in ignorance, but to allow the woman to come forward and declare herself.  Thus Jesus changes her opinion of the miracle from being a mere charm wrought by His clothes, as she may have thought, to a true deed of His love for her faith.  In the former case she would have gone home with an opinion [of her healing as a mere wonder], without a moral meaning.  But in the latter she is taught that her faith in Him had been the avenue of her cure.  [25]

                                The absurdity of two false alternative views of this question--that it necessarily implies a want of knowledge or, if Jesus knew who touched Him, that He practiced dissimulation--is effectually shown by Alexander thus:  "If the principle be sound, every question put to a witness on trial or to a pupil in examination is an acknowledgment of ignorance in him who asks it."  The omniscient One asked not for information, but to bring out the confession which followed, both for the good of the woman and the instruction of all.  [45]



5:31                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     "You see the multitude pressing you on all sides," His disciples exclaimed, "and yet you ask, 'Who touched me?'"

WEB:              His disciples said to him, "You see the multitude pressing against you, and you say, 'Who touched me?'"

Young’s:         and his disciples said to him, 'Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and thou sayest, 'Who did touch me!'

Conte (RC):    And his disciples said to him, "You see that the crowd presses around you, and yet you say, 'Who touched me?' "


5:31                 And His disciples said unto Him.  This was after all who were about Him had denied they had touched Him (Luke 8:45).  [45]

                        Thou seest the multitude thronging Thee, and sayest thou, Who touched Me?  It was strange to the disciples that He should ask when many were touching Him every moment.  They knew not the peculiar touch to which He referred.  [38]



5:32                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     But He continued looking about to see the person who had done this,

WEB:              He looked around to see her who had done this thing.

Young’s:         And he was looking round to see her who did this,

Conte (RC):    And he looked around to see the woman who had done this.


5:32                 And He looked round about to see her that had done this thing.  Having answered His disciples by reaffirming that someone had touched Him, and that healing power from Him had gone forth (Luke 8:46), Jesus turned His inquiring eyes upon the crowd.  The act was well calculated to arrest the attention of those about Him.  [45]

                        looked.  The tense in the original denotes that he kept on looking all around, that his eyes wandered over one after the other of the faces before Him, till they fell on her who had done this thing.  [8]



5:33                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     until the woman, frightened and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and threw herself at His feet, and told Him all the truth.

WEB:              But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had been done to her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

Young’s:         and the woman, having been afraid, and trembling, knowing what was done on her, came, and fell down before him, and told him all the truth,

Conte (RC):    Yet truly, the woman, in fear and trembling, knowing what had happened within her, went and fell prostrate before him, and she told him the whole truth.


5:33                 But the woman fearing and trembling.  Lest the healing that she had, as it were, through stealth gained for herself, might again be lost, because she had against His knowledge and will enticed the healing power from Him.  [22]

                        Alternative interpretation:     The manner of Jesus as He demanded, “Who touched my clothes?"  together with the well known fact that the touch of a person in her condition rendered one unclean (Leviticus 15:19-25), caused her to fear that she had given a serious offense.38

                        knowing what was done in her.  She could physically tell that a massive change had already occurred in her condition.  She couldn’t “see” it, but she certainly could “feel” it:  the absence of the pain and discomfort.   [rw]

                        came and fell down before Him.  In a combination of embarrassment and thankfulness.  [rw]  

                 told Him all the truth [the whole truth, NKJV].   Probably all the particulars in regard to her long affliction and fruitless employment of physicians (Luke 8:47).  [8]

                        In depth:  Jesus' ceremonial defilement [23].   Observe that her touch, thus confessed and explained, publicly fastened ceremonial defilement upon Jesus for the remainder of the day [Leviticus 15:19]; and if there were "strict constructionists" present, the fact can scarcely have failed to be noticed.  But who should be in the habit of putting a strict construction upon the law of Moses if not Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue?   It is certain that Jesus paid no heed to the defilement, and that Jairus also was willing to disregard it.  Whether he would have been willing but for his grief and anxiety, we cannot tell; but this was a case in which his own heart clamored for the "mercy and not sacrifice," in which Jesus delighted.



5:34                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     "Daughter," He said, "your faith has cured you: go in peace, and be free from your complaint."

WEB:              He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be cured of your disease."

Young’s:         and he said to her, 'Daughter, thy faith hath saved thee; go away in peace, and be whole from thy plague.'

Conte (RC):    And he said to her: "Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace, and be healed from your wound."


5:34                 And He said unto her, Daughter.  Our Lord is recorded to have addressed no other woman by this title.  He sometimes addressed men as "Son."   It calmed all her doubts and fears.8

                        thy faith hath made thee whole [well, NKJV].  The way in which her faith had made her whole is very apparent and it illustrates the manner in which faith saves us from sin.  It caused her to force her way through the crowd until she could touch the garment of Him from whom the deliverance was to come.  Had she stopped short of this, her faith would not have made her whole.  In like manner faith saves the sinner, not by the mere fact that he believes but by that which it leads him to do.  [38]

                        Go in peace.  I have no complaint with you; go with My best wishes.  [rw]          

         and be whole of thy plague [healed of your affliction, NKJV].  In view of her fears [he] promised that the cure should be permanent, so that she could now enjoy a well-being free from all danger and trouble.  [22]



5:35                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     While He is yet speaking, men come from the house to the Warden, and say, "Your daughter is dead: why trouble the Rabbi further?"

WEB:              While he was still speaking, people came from the synagogue ruler's house saying, "Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?"

Young’s:         As he is yet speaking, there come from the chief of the synagogue's house, certain, saying -- 'Thy daughter did die, why still dost thou harass the Teacher?'

Conte (RC):    While he was still speaking, they arrived from the ruler of the synagogue, saying: "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?"


5:35                 While He yet spoke.  No little delay had been caused, we may suppose, by the miracle performed on the way, and the instructions growing out of it.  [45]

                        there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house.   Luke speaks of one person only, the one charged with the message, while Mark, by using the plural, includes no doubt companions, friends, or servants, that came with him.  [45]

                        certain which said, Thy daughter is dead.  There was little sympathy in the harsh, bald announcement of the death or in the appended suggestion that the Rabbi need not be further troubled.  [50]

                        Why troublest the Master [Teacher, NKJV] any further?  ["Trouble"] is a strong word, though not a very frequent one; it is used here by both Mark and Luke.  It means, first,  "to flay" or "skin;" then "to rend" or "lacerate;" then metaphorically, "to vex, annoy."  It is difficult to resist the conviction that the messengers spoke ironically, in bitter impatience and vexation.  [23]      



5:36                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     But Jesus, overhearing the words, said to the Warden, "Do not be afraid; only have faith."

WEB:              But Jesus, when he heard the message spoken, immediately said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Don't be afraid, only believe."

Young’s:         And Jesus immediately, having heard the word that is spoken, saith to the chief of the synagogue, 'Be not afraid, only believe.'

Conte (RC):    But Jesus, having heard the word that was spoken, said to the ruler of the synagogue: "Do not be afraid. You need only believe."


5:36                 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He saith.  "Jesus, knowing how the heart of the agonized father would sink at the tidings, and the reflections at the delay, which would be apt to rise in his mind, hastens to reassure him, and in his accustomed style" (Brown).  [45]

                        unto the ruler of the Synagogue, “Be not afraid; only believe.”  This remark of the Savior points out the antagonism between faith and fear.  To believe is to be not afraid; there is no man so fearless as the man of faith.  [38]



5:37                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     And He allowed no one to accompany Him except Peter and the brothers James and John.

WEB:              He allowed no one to follow him, except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.

Young’s:         And he did not suffer any one to follow with him, except Peter, and James, and John the brother of James;

Conte (RC):    And he would not permit anyone to follow him, except Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.


5:37                 And He suffered [permitted, NKJV] no man to follow Him.  That is, into the house.  The multitude who thronged Him, and all of the twelve except the chosen three, were commanded to remain outside.  This was to prevent the house from being overrun by a curious and excited crowd, and also to secure the fullest opportunity for the chosen witnesses to see clearly what was done.  [38]

                        save [except, NKJV] Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.  Here we have the first occasion of the selection of three of the apostles to be witnesses of things not permitted to be seen by the rest.  The other two occasions are those of the transfiguration and of the agony in the garden [of Gethsemane].  [39]                                    The Law of Moses required "two or three witnesses" to prove a fact at law.  Jesus took with Him the larger number, "three," to be witnesses, at the appointed time, of the wonderful work He was about to perform.  The same three were separated from the others to be witnesses of the transfiguration (9:2), and of the agony in the garden (14:33).  [45]



5:38                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     So they come to the Warden's house. Here He gazes on a scene of uproar, with people weeping aloud and wailing.

WEB:              He came to the synagogue ruler's house, and he saw an uproar, weeping, and great wailing.

Young’s:         and he cometh to the house of the chief of the synagogue, and seeth a tumult, much weeping and wailing;

Conte (RC):    And they went to the house of the ruler of the synagogue. And he saw a tumult, and weeping, and much wailing.


5:38                 And He cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.  Matthew (9:23) describes the scene as “the minstrels and the people making a noise."  There was the customary funeral music, along with noisy lamentation.  Luke (8:52) says, “all wept and bewailed her;” from which it appears that there was true grief.  But a Jewish house of mourning was a place of noisy, tumultuous wailings; and to the heartfelt weeping of the bereaved, the hired minstrels and mourners had already, before the return of Jairus, added their mournful or noisy music and boisterous lamentations.  [45]

                        The Rabbinic rule provided for the poorest Israelite at least two flute players and one mourning woman.  [8]



5:39                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     He goes in. "Why all this outcry and loud weeping?" He asks; "the child is asleep, not dead."

WEB:              When he had entered in, he said to them, "Why do you make an uproar and weep? The child is not dead, but is asleep."

Young’s:         and having gone in he saith to them, 'Why do ye make a tumult, and weep? the child did not die, but doth sleep;

Conte (RC):    And entering, he said to them: "Why are you disturbed and weeping? The girl is not dead, but is asleep."


5:39                 And when He was come in, He saith unto them, Why make ye this ado [commotion, NKJV] and weep?  There was no occasion for such expressions of grief now, for this was but temporary death.  [45]

                        The damsel [child, NKJV] is not dead, but sleepeth.   Christ said of Lazarus, after he had been dead several days,  "he sleepeth,"  in view of the fact that he was going to "awaken him out of sleep"   (John 11:11).  So here the real death of the damsel is called sleep, in view of the resurrection that was at hand.  [45]

                        In the Holy Scriptures the dead are constantly referred to as sleeping, in order that the terror of death might be mitigated and immoderate grief for the dead be assuaged.  [39]

                        but sleeping.  Luke (8:53) adds, “knowing that she was dead."  We have, therefore, the declaration of an inspired writer that it was real death.  [45]



5:40                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     To this their reply is a scornful laugh. He, however, puts them all out, takes the child's father and mother and those He has brought with Him, and enters the room where the child lies.

WEB:              They ridiculed him. But he, having put them all out, took the father of the child, her mother, and those who were with him, and went in where the child was lying.

Young’s:         and they were laughing at him. And he, having put all forth, doth take the father of the child, and the mother, and those with him, and goeth in where the child is lying,

Conte (RC):    And they derided him. Yet truly, having put them all out, he took the father and mother of the girl, and those who were with him, and he entered to where the girl was lying.


5:40                 And they laughed Him to scorn [ridiculed Him, NKVJ.]  He was being ludicrous; His words were absurd.  Why couldn’t He see the obvious:  Death was present and it flees from no one!  [rw]

        But when He had put them all out.  [This] is a strong word--the same that is used of His act in driving out the intruders to the temple (Mark 11:15; John 2:15).  Thus He enforced the command that is recorded in Matthew and cleared the house of the mourners whose presence was so sharp a contradiction of His own.  [23]

                        He taketh the father and the mother of the damsel.  This was to guard against misconceptions and false reports.  If the room had been crowed with an excited mass of men and women, only a few could have seen clearly what was done or could have heard distinctly what was said; and, as a consequence, many incorrect stories might have gone abroad.  But with only five besides himself, all could stand about the bed in full view of the damsel, all confusion was avoided, and a correct report from the lips of each one present was secured.  [38]

                        and them that were with Him.  Peter, James, and John; the other disciples having been left without.  [45]

                        and entereth in where the damsel was lying.  Clearly a room that was accessible from within the home, from where they entered the residence.  Showing that this--not surprisingly in light of the owner’s position--is not among that multitude of one room residences which were so common.  [rw]



5:41                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Then, taking her by the hand, He says to her, "Talitha, koum;" that is to say, "Little girl, I command you to wake!"

WEB:              Taking the child by the hand, he said to her, "Talitha cumi!" which means, being interpreted, "Girl, I tell you, get up!"

Young’s:         and, having taken the hand of the child, he saith to her, 'Talitha cumi;' which is, being interpreted, 'Damsel (I say to thee), arise.'

Conte (RC):    And taking the girl by the hand, he said to her, "Talitha koumi," which means, "Little girl, (I say to you) arise.


5:41                 And He took the damsel by the hand.  This was an outward act in harmony with and expressive of, what He was doing by His divine power.   Similar was His laying His hands upon the sick when He healed them.  It was, too, an act calculated to encourage, in the hearts of her parents, that faith which He required.  [45]

                        and said unto her.  First instance in which the words of Jesus, as spoken in Aramaic, are given.  Jesus may have been a bilingual.  [17]  

                        Talitha cumi.  Other Aramaic words given by Mark are"  "Boanerges" (3:17); "Ephphatha" (7:34); "Abba" (14:36).  [8]

                        which is, being interpreted [translated, NKJV], "Damsel [Little girl, NKVJ], I say unto thee, arise."  “Arise:  The [Greek] middle voice of a verb which strictly means to awaken out of sleep.  It might even be translated here “awake,” which makes it still more striking and appropriate as addressed to one whom Christ Himself had just before described as being not dead but sleeping.  [3]



5:42                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Instantly the little girl rises to her feet and begins to walk (for she was twelve years old)

WEB:              Immediately the girl rose up and walked, for she was twelve years old. They were amazed with great amazement.

Young’s:         And immediately the damsel arose, and was walking, for she was twelve years old; and they were amazed with a great amazement,

Conte (RC):    And immediately the young girl rose up and walked. Now she was twelve years old. And they were suddenly struck with a great astonishment.


5:42                 And straightway [immediately, NKJV] the damsel arose, and walked.  Luke says her spirit came again (8:55).  There is no struggle, no effort, to crying "unto the Lord," or stretching "himself upon the child three times," as in the case of Elijah at Sarepta (1 Kings 17:21).  He speaks but a word and instantly the dead is alive again.  [8]

                        for she was the age of twelve years.  Mark thus far has spoken of her as a "little daughter" (verse 23), or "a damsel," a girl (verse 41), which might apply to an infant girl; therefore when he mentions her walking he records her age.  [45]

                        And they were astonished with a great astonishment.  [This] makes it prominent that they did not entertain the least doubt that the girl had really been recalled to life from death in contradistinction to those who mocked.  [22]

                        When the child was seen alive and well, walking and eating, the derision of the mourners and the incredulity of the messengers were turned into astonishment.  The astonishment was great in proportion to the previous incredulity and to the novelty of the event itself:  for this was the first person whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  [38]



5:43                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     but He gave strict injunctions that the matter should not be made known, and directed them to give her something to eat.

WEB:              He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and commanded that something should be given to her to eat.

Young’s:         and he charged them much, that no one may know this thing, and he said that there be given to her to eat.

Conte (RC):    And he instructed them sternly, so that no one would know about it. And he told them to give her something to eat.


5:43                 And he charged [commanded, NKJV] them straitly [strictly, NKJV] that no man should know it.  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 [religious] authorities.  It was needful for him to delay exciting them to the point of putting him to death till his time had come.  [49]

      The fact that the child, whom the people knew to be dead, was restored to life, would become known by her being seen by others; for no order was given to secrete her.  There was therefore something peculiar in this charge.  Those present were not to tell others what they had seen and heard, though the main fact must necessarily become known.  The public would have undoubted circumstantial evidence, but not the testimony, for the present at least, of eye-witnesses.  The injunction of secrecy, however, had its limitation, though it is not here given; for otherwise we would not have had any record of the transaction.  We have in this another particular, connecting this event with the transfiguration; from which we are enabled to infer the limit of the prohibition.  After the transfiguration,  "he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen till the Son of Man were risen from the dead" (9:9).  We have therefore good reason to infer that the secrecy, here enjoined upon the same three apostles, had the same limit.  [45]

                        And commanded that something should be given her to eat.  This command was absolutely necessary for the comfort of the little girl; but it broke for the parents the spell of awe and terror which the presence of death had cast upon them; and it was a proof, not only of  the return of life, but of a complete recovery from disease.  [14]

                        Her frame had doubtless been wasted away by sickness and, though restored to life, was still emaciated.   It was now to be reinvigorated by natural means and these were promptly employed by the command of Jesus.  Miraculous aid is given only where it alone can effect the divine purpose.  [38]