Mark 5
ICC New Testament Commentary
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

5. All of the Synoptics agree in correlating the three miracles narrated in this chapter. And Mk. and Lk. agree in general in the relation of these to events preceding and following. But Mt. places them in an entirely different connection. According to him, the occasion of Jesus’ crossing to the other side was the gathering of the multitude about him owing to the miracles accompanying the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law. And the parables are said to be delivered on a day following, not preceding, the sending forth of the twelve, and removed from these events by a considerable interval. According to our account, the evident intention is to connect Jesus’ departure with the failure of Jesus’ mission to the Galileans marked by the veiled teaching of the parables. The recurrence of the same language in various places marks the interdependence of the Synoptics, as also the correlation of the events. But Mk.’s fulness of detail, in which he is followed to some extent by Lk., is characteristic.


1-20. Jesus crosses the lake into Decapolis on the south-eastern shore, and heals a man said to be possessed of a host of demons. The demons, driven out of the man, enter with Jesus’ permission into a herd of swine, and the maddened beasts rush into the lake and are drowned.

1. εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν—into the country of the Gerasenes. Γαδαρηνῶν is the probable reading in Mt., and Γεργεσηνῶν in Lk. The country of the Gadarenes designates the district generally by the name of a principal city. Γεργεσηνῶν is probably derived from the name of the town in whose immediate vicinity the event occurred, which must have been on the shore of the lake. Γερασηνῶν is more difficult to dispose of, as Gerasa is too far away to be the scene of the incident, or even to become a familiar designation of the general locality. And the similarity of name indicates that it has been confused with the nearer Gergesa.1

Γερασηνῶν, instead of Γαδαρηνῶν, Tisch. Treg. א* BD Latt. Γεργεσηνῶν Treg. marg. WH. RV. אc LU Δ 1, 28, 33, 118, 131, 209, Memph. Harcl. marg. Internal, as well as external, evidence favors Γερασηνῶν.

2. ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ—The TR. gives the proper construction of the part., putting it in agreement with αὐτῷ after ὑπήντησεν. This improper use of the gen. absolute is a specimen of the inaccuracy of Mk. in dealing with the part., like the μικρότερον ὂν of 4:31. The TR, is an evident correction of this mistake by some copyist. Mt.’s repetition of the inaccuracy is one of the proofs of the interdependence of the Synoptics. Matthew 8:28, Critical Text.

ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ, instead of ἐξελθόντι αὐτῷ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ 1, 13, 33, 69,118, 124, 131, 209, 346, two mss. Lat. Vet. (Memph. Syrr.). ὑπήντησεν, instead of ἀπήντησεν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDGL Δ 1, 13, 28, 69, etc.

ἐκ τῶν μνημείων—out of the tombs. These were natural or artificial excavations in the rocks, frequently cut laterally in the hills, and often left uncovered, which, like other caves, would be resorts for wild men and beasts. ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ—in an unclean spirit.1

3. μνήμασιν. This, like μνημείων, v. 2, means properly monuments. Tombs is a Biblical meaning. This adds to the previous statement that the man came from the tombs, that he had his home there.

μνήμασιν, instead of μνημείοις, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCL ΔΠ etc.

οὐδὲ ἁλύσει οὐκέτι οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο—literally, and not even with a chain could no one no longer bind him. The RV. manages, by an ingenious arrangement of the negatives, to hide their barbarism. But the original couples them together without any mitigation of their effect. The TR. evidently omits οὐκέτι to get over this roughness.

οὐδὲ, instead of οὔτε, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDL Δ 33, etc. ἁλύσει, instead of ἁλύσεσιν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. BC*L 33, two mss. Lat. Vet. οὐκέτι before οὐδεὶς Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC* DL Δ 13, 28, 69, 124, 346, Lat. Vet. (most mss.) Vulg.

4. διὰ τὸ αὐτὸν πολλάκις πέδαις καὶ ἁλύσεσι δεδέσθαι—on account of his having been bound often with fetters and chains.2 The perf. inf. here, and in διεσπᾶσθαι and συντετρίφθαι is used to denote the relation of these past acts to the present inability.3 πέδαις καὶ ἁλύσεσι—bonds for the feet and other parts of the body. διεσπᾶσθαι κ. συντετρίφθαι—rent asunder, and crushed together. Breaking by pulling, and by the opposite motion of crushing, are denoted severally.

καὶ οὐδεὶς ἴσχυεν αὐτὸν δαμάσαι—and no one had strength to tame him. The statement of reasons for their inability to bind him ends with συντετρίφθαι, and this introduces another independent statement.

5. ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν κ. ἐν τοῖς ὄρεσι—in the tombs and in the mountains. Probably, these are specific and general designations of place—in the tombs and in other parts of the hills. ἦν κράζων κ. κατακόπτων—he was crying and cutting. This vivid circumlocution for the impf. is characteristic of Mk. The forcible descriptions of the violence and frenzied strength of the demoniac are also peculiar to Mk. Mt. tells us simply that no one could pass that way, and Lk. that he went about naked. Two qualities in Mk. lead to this: first, his vividness of narration, and secondly, his desire to emphasize the greatness of Jesus’ miracles.

6. ἀπὸ μακρόθεν—from a distance.1 προσεκύνησεν αὐτῷ—he made obeisance to him.2 The verb in the N.T. denotes prostration before another in token of reverence, but properly it denotes reverence by kissing the hand towards another.

This act of homage seems inconsistent with the expostulation which follows. It is evident, throughout the narrative, that Jesus has to deal with a hostile attitude in the man, dominated, as he is, by the demon. But the demons, nothwithstanding, recognize Jesus’ mastery over them, and adopt a suppliant rather than a defiant attitude. The προσεκύνει is not inconsistent with the ὀρκίζω, or παρεκάλει, v. 10, 11.

λέγει, says. The historical present, characteristic of Mk.

This reading, instead of εἶπε, said, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCKM D Harcl. etc.

7. Τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοὶ;—What have I to do with thee? This reproduces the language of 1:24, a more or less suspicious imitation. The language of the expostulation is exactly the same as in Lk. In Mt. it is Τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί, υἱὲ τοῦ Θεου; As this is probably a reproduction of what was spoken originally in Aramaic, the resemblance points strongly to the interdependence of the Synoptics. The man speaks here under the influence of the demons possessing him, identifying himself with them, but not so as to represent their plurality stated in v. 9. It was such addresses as this which led Jesus to prevent the recognition of himself by the demoniacs.

μή με βασανίσῃς—torment me not. This would easily imply that Jesus’ command to them to vacate the man implied remanding them to the place of torment. And Lk.’s account follows this out in the ἄβυσσον, 8:31. Also Mt. in πρὸ καιροῦ, 8:29. But Mk. is not constructed on that basis, as he substitutes ἔξω τῆς χώρας for εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον. According to him, this would represent therefore the man’s insane terror of being driven out of his haunts.

8. ἔλεγεν γὰρ—The reason of the protest of the demons against Jesus’ interference with them was his command to them to vacate. It is difficult to find a place to put this in, as the man’s action and words in the preceding verse seem to succeed each other immediately in such a way as to make one act, occasioned apparently by his sight of Jesus at a distance. But evidently this sequence must be interrupted somewhere to introduce this.

αὐτῷ—to him. Only the man has been mentioned before, which would lead us to refer this to him. But the command is evidently addressed to the demon. The confusion is due to the identification of the two.

Ἔξελθε, τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἀκάθαρτον—Come out, thou unclean spirit.1

9. Τί ὄνομά σοι;—What is thy name?2 It is a curious question, why Jesus asked this question of the demoniac, and it has been curiously answered; e.g. that Jesus saw the state of the case, and wished to bring it out in order to impress on the witnesses the greatness of the miracle. This ostentation we know to be far from the spirit of Jesus, who performed his miracles for beneficent purposes alone, and with secrecy, instead of ostentation. We are in the region of conjecture here, but we can guess at it somewhat after this fashion. May it not be, that the purpose of Jesus was hindered by this identification of the man with the demons, leading him to resist the cure? In that case, Jesus might ask the question in order to bring before the man the nature of the power holding him in thrall, so as to make some break in the terrible sympathy and alliance of the two. But it is all mixed up with the question as to the nature of this possession, and how far the account of the cure has been modified by the view of it taken by the narrators. It is comparatively useless to discuss details where the main facts are so much in doubt.

καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Λεγιὼν—And he says to him, Legion.

λέγει αὐτῷ, instead of ἀπεκρίθη, λέγων, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCKLM ΔΠ text, two mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr.

Λεγιὼν, instead of Λεγεὼν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א* B* CDLL Δ Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr.

Legion is the Roman name for a body of soldiers numbering, when full, 6000 men. Of course, it is a rhetorical and exaggerated statement by the man of his state, as if he had said, I feel as if I were possessed by a thousand devils.

ὅτι πολλοί ἐσμεν—because we are many. Lk. puts this statement into the mouth of the Evangelist, saying himself that it was because many demons entered into the man. But it seems that Mk. is more correct, as he is certainly more effective, in making the demoniac say this; for it traces back to the man himself the hallucination which gives shape to the story. In Lk. the plurality, which formed a part of the man’s delusion, is transferred to the statement of facts.

10. καὶ παρεκάλει αὐτὸν πολλὰ ἵνα μὴ αὐτὰ ἀποστείλῃ—And he besought him much that he would not send them.

αὐτὰ, instead of αὐτοὺς, Tisch. Treg. WH. BC Δ etc. But αὐτὰ looks like an emendation.

Here, again, the man identifies himself with the demons, but not so as to protest any longer against their expulsion. Only one demon has been mentioned before, vv. 2, 8. But with v. 9, it begins to be assumed that there is a host of them, and the plural is used.

ἔξω τῆς χώρας—out of the country.1 Lk. says εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον, into the abyss, i.e. into Gehenna, the place of evil spirits. And it has been supposed that our phrase means out of the earth, making it equivalent to this. But plainly, χώρα does not mean the earth as distinguished from the under world, but one part of the earth as distinct from another. γῆ is the proper word for earth, or world. But just as plainly, the translation, out of the country (put into the mouth of the demons, so to speak), creates another difficulty. What preference they should have for one country over another is one of the mysteries connected with these stories of demoniacal possession. It can be explained only as part of the hallucination of the demoniac, to be referred possibly to his terror of city or town, and his unwillingness to be driven out of the solitary wild district haunted by him. Lk.’s statement is probably an attempt to remove the difficulty.

11. πρὸς τῷ ὄρει—on the mountain side.2

τῷ ὄρει, instead of τὰ ὄρη, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. and about all the principal sources.

χοίρων—swine. The presence of these unclean animals, so abhorrent to the Jews, indicates, what we know from other sources, that the region was inhabited by a mixed population, in which Gentiles predominated.3

12. καὶ παρεκάλεσαν αὐτὸν—and they besought him.4 Here the subject changes from the man speaking for the demons to the demons speaking through the man.

πέμψον—Lk. says, ἵνα ἐπιτρέψῃ, that he would permit, a modification which Mk. introduces in his account of Jesus’ answer.

Omit πάντες οἱ δαίμονες with παρεκάλεσαν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCLΔ 1, 13, 28, 69, 118, 131, 209, 251, 346, Memph.

13. Καὶ ἐπέτρεψεν—and he permitted them.

Omit εὐθέως ὁ Ἰησοῦς, immediately Jesus, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCLΔ 1, 28, 118, 131, 209, two mss. Lat. Vet. Memph. Pesh.

εἰσῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους—entered into the swine. It is evidently the intention of the writer that the man was possessed by a host of demons, and that this host of demons—no less would be required—entered into the herd of (two thousand) swine. This literalizing of the demoniac’s Legion, the multiplication of the difficulty of possession by the thousands, and the addition of the difficulty of demoniac possession of swine, makes this part of the story a tax upon our belief. Demoniacal possession is in itself such a tax, but this story shows whereto such belief in a credulous age tends. The facts in this case are the cure and the rush of the frightened swine. The traditional account connects them in such a way as to make Jesus responsible for one as well as the other. Leave out now the elements of the story contributed by the idea of possession, and substitute the theory of lunacy, and the rational account of the fright and destruction of the swine is that it was occasioned by some paroxysm of the lunatic himself.

Καὶ ὥρμησεν ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, ὡς δισχίχλιοι—and the herd rushed down the declivity into the sea, about two thousand (of them).

Omit ἦσαν δὲ, and there were, before ὡς δισχίλιοι, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC* DL Δ 1, mss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh.

κρημνοῦ, a perfectly good Greek word, occurs in the N.T. only in the parallel Synoptical accounts of this event, and the verbal resemblance is an important item in the proof of the interdependence of the Synoptics.

ὡς δισχίλιοι in the reading adopted is in apposition with ἡ ἀγέλη—the herd, about two thousand (of them).

14. Καὶ οἱ βοσκοντες αὐτοὺς ἔφυγον καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν—And those feeding them fled and brought the news.

Καὶ οἱ, instead of Οἱ δὲ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCDLM Δ two mss. Lat. Vet. Syrr. αὐτοὺς, instead of τοὺς χοίρους, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ 13, 69, 124, 346, Latt. Memph. Pesh. ἀπήγγειλαν, instead of ἀνήγγειλαν, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCDKLM II etc.

εἰς τὴν πόλιν καὶ εἱς τοὺς ἀγρούς—to the city and to the farms. πόλιν is the city Gergesa (Gerasa) in the neighborhood.1 ἀγρούς denotes the farms or hamlets in the vicinity. καὶ ἦλγθον—and they came, viz. the inhabitants generally.

ἦλθον, instead of ἐξῆλθον, they came out, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. אc ABKLMU II* 33, etc. Memph. Harcl.

15. καὶ θεωροῦσι τὸν δαιμονιζόμενον καθήμενον ἱματισμένον—and they behold the demoniac sitting clothed. θεωροῦσι, they behold, expresses the kind of sight directed towards notable objects.2

δαιμονιζόμενον is timeless. The temporal relation would be expressed by the aor. δαιμονισθέτα.1 ἱματισμένον—clothed. This implies what Lk. states, that the man in his previous state had torn his clothes from him. Luke 8:27. τὸν ἐφηκότα τὸν λεγιῶνα—who had the legion. We have already seen how it is implied that Mk. accepts the man’s account of himself in telling the story of the swine. Here he does it expressly. καὶ ἑφοβήθησαν—and they were frightened. The thought of the miracle alone produced this effect.

16. καὶ διηγήσαντο—and … reported in full, rehearsed. The verb denotes the fulness of the account—they went through it all.


This is the only case in our Lord’s ministry in which his miracles operated against him in this way, and it is to be accounted for by the strange element in this case, the mixture of gain and loss in the result. Men welcome a beneficent power, and so we find the multitudes following Jesus. But they are repelled from a destructive power, and all the more, if it is supernatural. This explains the singular treatment, but the infraction of our Lord’s rule, to use his power only for beneficent purposes, is itself to be accounted for. And it enforces the question already raised, if this is not one of the cases in which we have to separate between the facts and the explanations and inferences of the Evangelists. The facts are the cure of the man and the destruction of the swine. But is Jesus responsible for the destruction? The whole idea of possession is beset with serious difficulties, and in this case, the substitution of lunacy for possession removes not only these, but also this anomaly in the action of Jesus.

18. ἑμβαινοντος—As he was entering. The present part. denotes action contemporaneous with that of the principal verb.

ἐμβαίνοντος, instead of ἐμβάντος, was come, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCDKLM ΔΠ 1, 33, 124, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg.

ὁ δαιμονισθε0ίς—He who had been possessed with demons. The aor. part. denotes a state preceding the action of the principal verb.2

ἵνα μετʼ αὐτοῦ ᾖ—that he may be with him.3

19. Καὶ οὐκ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὸν—and he did not permit him.

καὶ, instead of ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCKLM ΔΠ 1, 33, two mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Syrr.

Καὶ ἀπάγγειλον ὄσα ὁ Κύριός σοι πεποίηκεν—and report how much the Lord hath done for thee.

ἀπάγγειλον, instead of ἀνάγγειλον, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BC Δ etc. πεποίηκεν, instead of ἐποίησε, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCL Π etc.

This command, the exact opposite of the injunction of secrecy usually enforced by Jesus, is due to the fact that this was a region not frequented by him, and in which, therefore, the ordinary reasons for such silence were inoperative. His enemies were not here, nor his injudicious friends, nor the people to be blinded by his miracles to his more spiritual work. But it was a region rarely visited by him, and out of which he himself had just been driven, where therefore the story told by this man would be the only message of glad-tidings brought to the people. Moreover, the message which Jesus gives him does not concern our Lord himself, but God, to whom ὁ Κύριος evidently refers. The effect produced would thus be, not a false Messianism, as in Galilee, but a sense of God’s presence and pity. The demoniac’s story would counteract the impression made by the destruction of the swine. And it would be kept in Decapolis, where it would do no harm, and away from the already excited Galilee.

ὅσα ὁ Κύριός σοι πεποίηκεν, καὶ ἠλέησέ σε—how much the Lord hath done for thee, and pitied thee.1

ὁ Κύριος—is evidently used of God, as neither the man himself nor his friends would understand its application to Jesus. And besides, this is a case in which Jesus would especially desire to call attention to what God had done for him. Lk. says ὁ Θεὸς, 8:39.

20. τῇ Δεκαπόλει—Decapolis, the ten city district, is the name applied to the cities, east of the Jordan, liberated by Pompey from Jewish rule, which united in the ten city alliance. These cities had been Hellenistic since the Syrian conquest, had been conquered and subjected to Jewish rule by the Maccabees, and were finally liberated by Pompey. Schürer, II. I, 23, I.


21-43. Jesus, repelled by the people of Decapolis, returns to the western shore of the lake, and there raises the daughter of a synagogue ruler by the name of Jairus. On his way to the house of Jairus, he is approached in the crowd by a woman with an issue of blood, who is healed at the touch of his garment.

21. εἰς τὸ πέραν πάλιν συνήχθη—having crossed over to the other side, again there was gathered.

εἰς τὸ πέραν πάλιν, instead of πάλιν εἰς τὸ πέραν, Tisch. א D mss. of Lat. Vet. Syrr. It is more in Mk.’s manner to connect πάλιν with συνήχθη.

καὶ ἦν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν—And he was by the sea. According to Mt., Jairus came to Jesus while he was in the house. He places the events after the crossing of the lake in the following order: first, the healing of the paralytic, and the dispute about forgiveness of sins; then, the call of Matthew; then, the question of John’s disciples about fasting; and then, while he was saying these things, the coming of Jairus. And these events are connected all the way through by marks of time, fixing the chronological connection. Matthew 9:1-18.

22. Καὶ ἔρχεται εἷς τῶν ἀρχισυναγώγων1 And there comes one of the synagogue-rulers.

Omit ἰδού before ἔρχεται, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDL Δ 102, mss. of Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh.

According to Schürer, the ἀρχισυνάγωγος is to be distinguished from the ἄρχων, the officer having general direction of the affairs of the synagogue; and he is not an official conducting the worship, for which no special appointment was made; but he is the officer entrusted with the care of public worship, including the appointment of readers and preachers. Mt. calls Jairus an ἄρχων, and Lk. uses the two names interchangeably, which is explained by the fact, that the two offices, though distinct, might be combined in one person. Generally, there was only one ἀρχισυνάγωγος in each synagogue, and εἷς τῶν ἀρχισυναγώγων may mean one of the class simply. S. Schürer, II. 2. 27.

23. παρακαλεῖ—beseeches.

παρακαλεῖ, instead of παρεκάλει, besought, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ACL 33, etc.

ἔχει ἐσχάτως—is at the point of death.2

Mt. says ἄρτι ἐτελεύτησεν, just died, evidently confounding this with the message brought later by members of his household. Lk. says ἀπέθνησκεν, was dying. ἵνα ἐλθὼν ἐπιθῃς—that you may come and lay.1 ἵνα σωθῇ καὶ ζήοῃ—that she may be saved and live.

ἵνα σωθῇ καὶ ζήσῃ, instead of ὅπως … ζήσεται, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDL Δ 13, 69, 346, most mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph.

24. ἠκολούθει … ὂχλος …, καὶ συνέλιβον—a crowd followed, and they pressed.2


There is a peculiar turn given to this story by the statement of Mk. and Lk. that Jesus recognized that power had gone forth from him. Mt. treats it as an ordinary miracle, in which Jesus consciously exercises his healing power. But Mk. and Lk. represent it as a miracle in which the woman herself, unknown to Jesus, draws upon his healing power, and Jesus knows it only by the departure of the power, of which he becomes conscious as he would be of any bodily change happening to him. It would seem that this is a case in which the miracle was performed directly by God, without the intervention of Jesus, of which Jesus becomes aware by the touch of the woman, but not by the loss of power. This makes an opening, as Mt.’s account does not, for the explanation of Mk. and Lk. The fact for which they try to make way in their account is the cure of the woman without the intervention of Jesus. But here again, we have to distinguish between the fact which they preserve for us, and their explanation, arising from reflection on the fact. The one is a matter of testimony, and the other of judgment.

25. Καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα—And a woman being.

Omit τις, a certain, before οὖσα, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCL Δ mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Harcl.

οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος ἒτη δώδεκα—being in an issue of blood twelve years.3 There is nothing in the language, which is quite general, not technical, to denote the nature of this hemorrhage, but it was probably menstrual.

26. πολλὰ παθοῦσα ὑπὸ πολλῶν ἱατρῶν—having suffered many things at the hands of many physicians.1 δαπανήσασα τὰ παρʼ ἑαυτῆς πάντα—having spent all that she had.2

μηδὲν ὠφεληθεῖσα—seeing that she was no way benefited.3 μηδὲν is used, instead of οὐδὲν, because of the writer’s way of conceiving what is nevertheless stated as a fact. He is giving here not only the facts, but the facts as they lay in the woman’s mind and became her reasons for coming to Jesus. He suggests that she knew all this, and reasoned it out this way, and this subjective view is implied in the use of μηδὲν. Win. 55, g, β

27. ἀκούσασα τὰ περὶ Ἰησοῦ—having heard the things concerning Jesus.

τὰ is inserted before περί by Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. א* BC* Δ etc.

The things concerning Jesus were the reports of his miracles. So far, the participles have denoted the particulars of the woman’s state, previous to her coming to Jesus, and this identity of relation has led to the use of καὶ or ἀλλά to connect them. Now, the narrative passes over to a new relation, and the conjunction is dropped. ἐλθοῦσα—having come. Here, the long line of participles ceases to be elegant, and should have been replaced by ἦλθε καὶ, she came and.

28. Ὅτι ἐὰν ἅψωμαι κἂν τῶν ἰματιῶν—If I touch his garments only.4

ἐὰν ἅψωμαι κἂν τῶν ἰματιῶν, instead of κἂν τῶν ἰματίων… ἅψωμαι, Tisch. Treg. marg; WH. RV. א BCL Δ etc.

The woman seeks to be cured in this surreptitious way because of her uncleanness.5

29. ἔγνω τῷ σῶματι—she knew in her body. The changed condition, like the disease itself, would make itself known physically. ὅτι ἴαται ἀπὸ τῆς μάστιγος—that she has been healed of the

scourge.1 μάστιξ is used in Greek writers to denote any calamity providentially, a μάστιξ θεοῦ. But the providential view does not appear in the N.T. use, but only a figurative designation of the effect of disease.

30. ἐν ἑαυτῷ—in himself. Denotes the inwardness of his knowledge, proceeding from his own feelings, not from his knowledge of what the woman had done. This feeling is where Jesus’ knowledge of the facts began, and signifies that he had no conscious part in the miracle. Also the expression τὴν ἐξ αὐτοῦ δύναμιν ἐξελθοῦσαν, the power gone out from him, indicates that the writer conceives of the cure as effected not by the conscious exercise of power by Jesus, but by power that went out from him involuntarily, and of which he became conscious only afterwards. Lk. relates the story from the same point of view. Mt. tells us that the woman expected to be cured in that way, but that Jesus felt the touch, and sought the woman out, after which the miracle proceeded in the ordinary way. It is possible that the cure took place without Jesus’ intervention, but by a direct Divine act, as in the other cases in which the throng about him sought to touch even the hem of his garment, and as many as touched were healed. Only, in this case, Jesus knew in some way that there had been a touch on him different from that of the crowd, and chose to trace it and bring himself into personal contact with the person from whom it proceeded, instead of allowing it to remain in the impersonal form which was necessary in the case of numbers doing the same thing. This has been interpreted by Mk. and Lk. into a miracle done not by Divine intervention, but coming from a spring of power in Jesus, which could be drawn on, but not without his feeling the efflux, the loss of power. While Mt. has reduced it to a miracle of the ordinary kind.

32. τὴν τοῦτο ποιήσασαν—her who did this. This is anticipating the result of his search. Jesus was ignorant who had done it, and so of course, whether it was man or woman.

33. φοβηθεῖσα κ. τρέμουσα—the aor. pass., denoting a past act, and the pres., denoting a present state; having been frightened and trembling.

34. ὕπαγε εἱς εἰρήνην—go in health. An exact translation of the Heb. לֵךְ לְשָׁלוֹם, the salutation used by them in saying farewell. εἰρήνη does not have its Greek meaning, peace, but one imported directly from the Heb., general wellbeing, or in this case, health. This is the primary meaning of the Heb. word, and peace only a secondary meaning, whereas peace is the only meaning of the Greek word. Our version translates it always peace, which is misleading.

καὶ ἴσθι ὑγιὴς—and be well. This must not be taken to mean that the cure was performed now for the first time, as everything in the story points to the fact that the cure was effected when she touched Jesus, v. 29.


This is the only case of raising of the dead related by all the Synoptics. Only Lk. tells of the case at Nain, 7:11-17. The words, she did not die, but sleeps, lend themselves so readily to the supposition that this was not a case of raising the dead, that it is no wonder that they have been so used. Beyschlag treats it as a case in which the state ordinarily called death has been reached, but in which there has been no final separation of soul and body, so that there is a possibility of awakening, which there would not be, if the connection between the two had been actually severed. Holtzmann treats the language more rudely as a contradiction within the story itself of its miraculous intention. Everything else in the three accounts favors the hypothesis of death. The announcement in Mt. is that the child is dead, in Mk. and Lk., that she is dying, and later, that she is dead. Lk. says that they knew her to be dead, an expression which is inappropriate, if it was their mistaken supposition. And Jesus signifies his sense of the momentousness of the occasion by taking with him only the three, a selection reserved for the critical periods of his life. On the other hand, the explanation of Jesus’ words, which makes she did not die, but sleeps mean that this was not an ordinary case of death, though really death; but resembling sleep, since the child was to be raised, does not seem quite adequate. And Beyschlag’s explanation is worthy of serious consideration. But it is purely an exegetical consideration. His general objection to miracles of resurrection is a question by itself, and the theory of miracles to which it belongs discredits many of Jesus’ miracles without sufficient reason. He attributes the genuine cases to the immense influence of Jesus’ personality on other men, with its reaction on the body, and of course excludes all miracles on nature, and of actual reanimation of a dead body. When once the soul and body are finally severed, the possibility of reanimation ceases. Meantime, it seems quite certain that the narratives themselves treat this as a case of raising the dead.

35. ἔρχονται ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀρχισυναγώγου—they come from the synagogue’s ruler’s house. The Greek says from the synagogue ruler, but he was with Jesus, and they bring the message to him.

ὅτι ἡ θυγάτηρ σου ἀπέθανε· τί ἔτι σκύλλεις τὸν διδάσκαλον;—thy daughter has died; why troublest thou the teacher further?1

36. Ἰησοῦς παρακούσας—Jesus having overheard, i.e. heard what was not addressed to him.

Omit εὐθέως before παρακούσας, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDL Δ 1, 28, 40, 209, 225, 271, mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. etc. παρακούσας, instead of ἀκούσας, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א* et cb BL Δ one ms. Lat. Vet.

μόνον πίστευε—In accordance with the ordinary use of the present imp., this means, hold on to your faith, do not lose it.2

37. μετʼ αὐτοῦ συνακολουθῆσαι—Literally, to accompany with him. The ordinary construction is the dat.

μετʼ αὐτοῦ, instead of αὐτῷ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCL Δ one ms. Lat. Vet. Pesh.

Πέτρον, κ. Ἰάκωβον, κ. Ἰωάννην—The prominence here given to these three is repeated at the Transfiguration and in Gethsemane (9:2, 14:33). The reason for admitting only these in this case is the same which led him to enjoin secrecy in regard to his miracles generally, but which is enhanced by the extraordinary nature of this miracle. His miracles generally earned him an undesired notoriety, but this would startle even one accustomed to them, and would excite a furor among the people. Note on 1:45.

38. καὶ ἔρχονται … καὶ θεωρεῖ θόρυβον καὶ κλαίοντας—and they come … and he sees a tumult and persons weeping.

ἔρχονται, instead of ἔρχεται, he comes, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCDF Δ 1, 33, some mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Memph. Pesh. καὶ before κλαίοντας, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCLMU ΔΠ mss. Lat. Vet. Vulg. Syrr. B* πολλάς.

ἀλαλάζοντας—wailing, is an onomatopoetic word, coming from ἀλαλά, a cry uttered originally by soldiers going into battle, but afterwards adapted to other cries expressing various feelings. Elsewhere, in the N.T., it is used only in 1 Corinthians 13:1, to denote the clanging of a cymbal. It is used very appropriately of the monotonous wail of hired mourners.

39. Τί θορυβεῖσθε καὶ κλαίετε;—Why do you make a tumult and weep? Mt. also speaks of the crowd as θορυβούμενον, and introduces αὐλητάς, flute-players. There was the exaggerated noise and ostentation of hired mourners.

τὸ παιδίον οὐκ ἀπέθανεν, ἀλλὰ καθεύδει—the child did not die, but sleeps. This may be said from the standpoint of Jesus, who knows that she is to be raised, so turning her death into sleep. But see note at beginning of paragraph.

καὶ κατεγέλων αὐτοῦ—and they laughed him down. They understood him literally, and Lk. says that they knew the child to be dead.

40. αὐτὸς δὲ ἐκβαλὼν πάντας—but he, having put out all.

αὐτὸς δὲ, instead of ὁ δὲ, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BCDL Δ 33, Lat. Vet. except one ms. Vulg. Memph.

καὶ τοὺς μετʼ αὐτοῦ—and those with him, viz. Peter, James, and John.

ὅπου ἦν τὸ παιδίον—where the child was.

Omit ἀνακείμενον, lying, after παιδίον, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א BDL Δ 102, mss. Lat. Vet. Memph.

41. Ταλιθά, κούμ—Maiden, arise. Ταλιθά is the Chaldaic טַלְיְתָא, fem. of טַלְיָא, a youth. κούμ is the Heb. imp. קוּם. κοῦμι of the TR. is the proper fem. form. κούμ is the masc. used as an interjection. The language of Jesus reproduced here is an indication that he spoke in Aramaic, the language of Palestine at the time.

Κούμ (Κοῦμ, Treg.), Tisch. WH. א BCLM 1, 33, 271, one ms. Lat. Vet. ἔγειρε, instead of ἔγειραι, Tisch. Treg. WH. RV. א ABCDL ΔΠ etc.

Τὸ κοράσιον—Maiden.1

42. ἦν γὰρ ἐτῶν δώδεκα—for she was twelve years old. This is introduced to explain the walking, nothing having been said about her age before. ἐξέστησαν εὐθὺς ἐκστάσει μεγάλῃ—they were amazed immediately with a great amazement.2

εὐθὺς after ἐξέστησαν, Tisch. (Treg. marg.) WH. RV. א BCL Δ 33, Memph.

43. διεστείλατο—he commanded.3 ἵνα μηδεὶς γνοῖ—that no one know.

γνοῖ, instead of γνῷ, Tisch. Treg. WH. א BDL.

Weiss contends that the words of Jesus, maiden, arise, do not mean that she is to awake from the sleep of death, but that the maiden already raised from the dead by the power of God, is to rise from her couch. But this is pure assumption, there being nothing in common linguistic usage to justify this distinction. And it leaves out of sight the plain fact that the words of Jesus on such occasions are the signal for the performance of the miracle. Weiss is theory-bound in his treatment of the miracles.

1 See Thompson, Land and Book, Bib. Dic.

Tisch. Tischendorf.

Treg. Tregelles.

אԠCodex Sinaiticus.

B Codex Vaticanus.

D Codex Ephraemi.

Latt. Latin Versions.

marg. Revided Version marg.

WH. Westcott and Hort.

RV. Revised Version.

L Codex Regius.

U Codex Nanianus.

Δ̠Codex Sangallensis

1 .Codex Basiliensis

28 Codex Regius.

33 Codex Regius.

209 An unnamed, valuable manuscript.

Memph. Memphitic.

Harcl. Harclean.

C Codex Bezae.

13 Codex Regius.

69 Codex Leicestrensis.

346 Codex Ambrosianus.

Lat. Vet. Vetus Latina.

Syrr. Syriac Versions.

G Codex Wolfi A.

1 See on 3:22, 1:24.

A Codex Alexandrinus.

Π̠Codex Petropolitianus

Vulg. Vulgate.

2 On this use of διὰ with the inf. and art., see Win. 44, 6.

3 See Win. 44, 7.

1 μακρόθεν. The prep. expresses the same relation as the termination of the adv. On this redundancy, belonging to later Greek, see Win. 65, 2. The adv. itself belongs to the same period.

2 This use of the dat. is peculiar to later authors, the regular construction being the acc. See Win. 4, 31, 1 k.

K Codex Cyprius.

M Codex Campianus.

1 On the use of the nom., instead of the voc., see Win. 29, 2.

2 On the omission of the art, with ὄνομα, see Win. 19, 2b.

1 On the use of ἔξω as a prep., see Win. 54, 6.

2 On the use of πρός with dat., see Win. 48 e. The art, denotes the mountain in the vicinity.

3 See Schürer, N. Zg. II. 1, 121.

4 The meaning beseech belongs to παρακαλεῖν only in later Greek.

Pesh. Peshito.

1 See on v. 1.

2 See Thay.-Grm. Lex. Synonyms of θεωρεῖν.

1 See Burton, N. T. Moods and Tenses, 123.

2 See on τὸν δαιμονιζόμενον, v. 15.

3 On the use of ἵνα with subj. after a verb of asking, see Win. 44, 8. Clearly, the clause with ἵνα expresses the contents of the petition, not its purpose.

1 The translation gives just the slight irregularity of the Greek; “how much” is the object of the first verb; and an adverb modifying the second, which is precisely the double use of ὅσα. So Meyer, who calls it zeugmatisch. On the conjunction of the perf. and aor., see Win. 40. 4. The perf, suggests the present condition as well as the past act, while the aor. denotes only the past action.

1 ἀρχισυνάγωγος is found in profane writings only in Inscriptions.

102 Codex Bibliothecae Mediceae.

2 ἐσχάτως, is found in the N.T. only here. Its use to denote at the point of death, in extremis, is condemned by Atticists. See Thay.-Grm. Lex.

1 This is explained by Win. as a weakened form of imp. 43, 5 a. My prayer is, that you may come. On the laying on of hands, see on 1:41.

2 συνέθλιβον is found in the N.T. only in this passage. The change from the sing. ἠκολούθει to the plur. is due to the crowding being thought of, not as the act of the crowd collectively, but individually.

3 The prep. denotes the state of the woman. The pres. part. οὖσα is used here of a past state continuing into the present, a temporal relation properly expressed by the perf. Burton, N. T. Moods and Tenses, 131 (c).

1 ὑπὸ differs from ἀπὸ in such cases as denoting under, or at the hands of, an efficient cause, while ἀπὸ means merely from, an occasional cause. Win. 47b. p. 364, 368, Thayer’s Translation.

2 παρʼ ἑαυτῆς is a case of attraction, the prep. taking the gen. after it, instead of the dat., as if it were connected with δαπανήσασα. See Win. 47 b. 66, 6.

3 On the absurd medical treatment of such cases, see Geikie, Life of Christ, chap. 42.

Win. Winer’s Grammar of N. T. Greek.

4 Literally, if I touch if even his garments. It is a case of condensed structure, with ἅψωμαι repeated after κἂν, understood. ὅτι introduces a direct quotation. In translating the clause, only or even belongs with garments, not with touch.—If I touch his garments only.

5 See Leviticus 15:25-27.

1 ἴαται is a perfect pass. of the deponent verb ἰάομαι, which has a passive signification in the perf., aor. pass., and 1 fut.

1 σκύλλεις means properly to flay, and is used in the weakened sense, to trouble, only in the Biblical and still later Greek. In the N.T. it is a rare word, and its use here and in the parallel passage, Luke 8:49, is one of the strong indications that the Synoptical Gospels are interdependent.

2 See Win. 43, 3 b.

F Codex Borelli.

1 In the earlier writers, this word is used disparagingly, belonging, as it does, only to colloquial speech. It is a rare word in the N.T., and its use here and in the parallel account, Matthew 9:24, points in the same direction as the use of σκύλλεις, v. 35.

2 This is a weakened sense of both noun and verb, which denote the actual putting one out of his senses, beside himself, and it belongs to later Greek. On the use of the dat. akin to the acc. of kindred signification, see Win. 32, 2, at end.

3 The nearest approach to this meaning in earlier Greek is to decide or determine. This meaning belongs in the main to Biblical Greek.

And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.
And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.
Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.
And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,
And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?
As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.
And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.
And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.
And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.
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