Mark 5
Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary - Alford
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
Chap. 5:1-20.] Healing of a dæmoniac at gergesa. Matthew 8:28-34.Luke 8:26-39Luk_8:26-39. The accounts of Mark and Luke are strictly cognate, and bear traces of having been originally given by two eye-witnesses, or perhaps even by one and the same, and having passed through others who had learnt one or two minute additional particulars. Matt.’s account is evidently not from an eye-witness. Some of the most striking circumstances are there omitted. See throughout notes on Matt., wherever the narrative is in common.

3. οὐδὲ ἁλύσει] not even with a chain.

4.] The διὰ τό gives the reason, not why he could not be bound, but why the conclusion was come to that he could not. The πέδαι are shackles for the feet, the ἁλύσεις chains in general, without specifying for what part of the body.

6.] ἀπὸ μακ. ἔδρ., peculiar to Mark.

7.] ὁρκ. σε τ. θ. = δέομαί σου Luke.

8.] Mark generally uses the direct address in the second person: see ver. 12.

ἔλεγεν] not imperf. for pluperf., either here or any where else; for He was saying to him, &c.

9.] ὅτι πολλοί ἐς. has perhaps given rise to the report of two dæmoniacs in Matt. I cannot see in the above supposition any thing which should invalidate the testimony of the Evangelists. Rather are all such tracings of discrepancies to their source, most interesting and valuable. Nor can I consent for a moment to accept here the very lame solution (repeated by Bp. Wordsw.), which supposes one of the dæmoniacs not to be mentioned by Mark and Luke: in other words, that the least circumstantial account is in possession of an additional particular which gives a new aspect to the whole: for the plural, used here and in Luke of the many dæmons in one man, is there used of the two men, and their separate dæmons.

On λεγιών see note, Luke, ver. 30.

10.] ἀποστ. ἔξω τ. χ. = ἐπιτάξῃ αὐτ. εἰς τ. ἄβυσσον ἀπελθεῖν Luke: see on Matt. ver. 30.

13.] ὡς δισχ., to the number of two thousand:—peculiar to Mark, who gives us usually accurate details of this kind: see ch. 6:37,—where however John (6:7) also mentions the sum.

15, 16.] Omitted by Matt., as also vv. 18-20. The whole of this is full of minute and interesting detail.

18.] and Theophyl. suppose that he feared a fresh incursion of the evil spirits.

19.] There was perhaps some reason why this man should be sent to proclaim God’s mercy to his friends. His example may in former times have been prejudicial to them:—see note on Matt. ver. 32 (I. 4).

20.] Gadara (see on Matthew 8:28) was one of the cities of Decapolis (see also on Matthew 4:25): ὁ μὲν χριστὸς μετριοφρονῶν, τῷ πατρὶ τὸ ἔργον ἀνέθηκεν· ὁ δὲ θεραπευθεὶς εὐγνωμονῶν, τῷ χριστῷ τοῦτο ἀνετίθει. Euthym. He commands the man to tell this, for He was little known in Peræa where it happened, and so would have no consequences to fear, as in Galilee, &c.

21-43.] Raising of Jaeirus’s daughter, and healing of a woman with an issue of blood. Matthew 9:18-26. Luke 8:41-56. The same remarks apply to these three accounts as to the last. Matt. is even more concise than there, but more like an eye-witness in his narration (see notes on Matt. and Luke);—Mark the fullest of the three.

21.] συνήχθ … = ἀπεδέξατο αὐτ. ὁ ὄχλ. Luke.

23.] Notice the affectionate diminutive θυγάτριον, peculiar to Mark.

ἐσχ. ἔχει = ἄρτι ἐτελεύτησεν Matt. It is branded as an idiom of lower Greek by Phrynichus: ἐσχάτως ἔχει ἐπὶ τοῦ μοχθηρῶς ἔχει καὶ σφαλερῶς τάττουσιν οἱ σύρφακες, ed. Lobeck, p. 389, where see Lobeck’s note.

Before ἵνα understand πάρειμι, or αἰτῶ σε: or as Meyer suggests, connect it with the fact just announced: ‘this tidings I bring, in order that,’ &c. To do this without any filling up, ‘My daughter is, &c., in order that,’ &c., is far-fetched, and savours too much of the sentimental. Or, it has been suggested that ἵνα might, by a mixture of constructions, depend on the foregoing παρεκάλει.

24.] Matt. adds, καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτ.

27.] ἀκούσασα is subordinated to ἐλθοῦσα as giving a reason for it: ‘owing to having heard … came.’

28.] ἔλεγεν γάρ perhaps need not to be pressed to mean that she actually said it to some one—ἐν ἑαυτῇ may be understood. At the same time, the imperfect looks very like the minute accuracy of one reporting what had been an habitual saying of the poor woman in her distress.

29.] On these particulars see notes on Luke.

ἔγνω τῷ σώμ., elliptic—knew by feeling in her body.

32.] Peculiar to Mark, and indicative of an eye-witness.

34.] καὶ ἴσθι … σου, peculiar to Mark, and inexplicable, except because the Lord really spoke the words, as a solemn ratification of the healing which she had as it were surreptitiously obtained: see note on Luke, ver. 48.

36.] But Jesus having [straightway] overheard the message being spoken: a mark of accuracy which is lost in the . text.

38.] The καί after θόρυβον takes out one particular from the general description before given: see reff.

40.] How capricious, according to modern criticism, must this Evangelist have been, who compiled his narrative out of Matt. and Luke, adding minute particulars—in leaving out here εἰδότες ὅτι ἀπέθανεν (Luke), a detail so essential, if Mark had really been what he is represented. Can testimony be stronger to the untenableness of such a view, and the independence of his narration? And yet such abound in every chapter.

41.] ταλ. κοῦμ (or κοῦμι) = טָ̇לִיתָא קוּמִי.

σοὶ λέγω is added in the translation.

The accuracy of Mark’s reports,—not, as has been strangely suggested (see Webst. and Wilk. p. 174), the wish to indicate that our Lord did not use mystic magical language on such occasions,—often gives occasion to the insertion of the actual Syriac and Aramaic words spoken by the Lord: see ch. 7:11, 34; 14:36. Talitha, in the ordinary dialect of the people, is a word of endearment addressed to a young maiden: = κοράσιον. So that the words are equivalent to Rise, my child. On the nom. with the article standing as a vocative, see Winer, § 29. 2. Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 67, remarks that the idiom had originally something harsh in it, being used only in emphatically imperative addresses. This however it lost, as the present use and that in Luke and Luke 12:32 sufficiently shew.

42.] καὶ περιεπ., peculiar to Mark.

The whole account is probably derived from the testimony of Peter, who was present. The ἦν γὰρ ἐτῶν δώδεκα is added, as Bengel, to shew that she “rediit ad statum ætati congruentem.”

Ver. 43 betokens an eye-witness, who relates what passed within. Matt. says nothing of this, but tells what took place without, viz. the spreading abroad of the report. Notice in the last words, that her further recovery of strength is left to natural causes.

Henry Alford - Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

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