Mark 5:11
Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
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5:1-20 Some openly wilful sinners are like this madman. The commands of the law are as chains and fetters, to restrain sinners from their wicked courses; but they break those bands in sunder; and it is an evidence of the power of the devil in them. A legion of soldiers consisted of six thousand men, or more. What multitudes of fallen spirits there must be, and all enemies to God and man, when here was a legion in one poor wretched creature! Many there are that rise up against us. We are not a match for our spiritual enemies, in our own strength; but in the Lord, and in the power of his might, we shall be able to stand against them, though there are legions of them. When the vilest transgressor is delivered by the power of Jesus from the bondage of Satan, he will gladly sit at the feet of his Deliverer, and hear his word, who delivers the wretched slaves of Satan, and numbers them among his saints and servants. When the people found that their swine were lost, they had a dislike to Christ. Long-suffering and mercy may be seen, even in the corrections by which men lose their property while their lives are saved, and warning given them to seek the salvation of their souls. The man joyfully proclaimed what great things Jesus had done for him. All men marvelled, but few followed him. Many who cannot but wonder at the works of Christ, yet do not, as they ought, wonder after him.My name is Legion - See the notes at Matthew 8:29.11. Now there was there, nigh unto the mountains—rather, "to the mountain," according to what is clearly the true reading. In Mt 8:30, they are said to have been "a good way off." But these expressions, far from being inconsistent, only confirm, by their precision, the minute accuracy of the narrative.

a great herd of swine feeding—There can hardly be any doubt that the owners of these were Jews, since to them our Lord had now come to proffer His services. This will explain what follows.

See Poole on "Mark 5:1"

Now there was there, nigh unto the mountains,.... Where this man often was, Mark 5:5 according to Beza, the mountains of Galaad, which ran through that country, or the mountains that surrounded Tiberias. Some copies, as the Alexandrian copy and others, read "at", or "about the mountain", in the singular number. The Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions read, "about the mountain". The Syriac and Ethiopic, "at the mountain"; so in Luke 8:32,

a great herd of swine feeding; on one side of the mountain, or mountains; it may be called a great one, for there were about two thousand hogs in it.

Now there was there nigh unto the {e} mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

(e) This whole country is for the most part very hilly, for the mountains of Galeed run through it.

Mark 5:11. ἐκεῖ, there, near by. Cf. Matthew 8:30.—πρὸς τῷ ὄρει; on the mountain side.

11. a great herd swine] The lawless nature of the country, where Jews lived mingled with Gentiles, the Evangelist denotes by the circumstance of the two thousand swine, emphasizing the greatness of the herd. If their owners were only in part Jews, who merely trafficked in these animals, still they were not justified before the Law. The territory was not altogether Jewish.

Verse 11. - Now there was there nigh unto the mountains - literally, on the mountain side (πρὸς τὰ ὅρη) - a great herd of swine feeding. St. Matthew says (Matthew 8:30), "There was a good way off from them:" our Lord's interview with the demoniac was on the seashore. "The herd of swine," two thousand in number (as St. Mark tells us, with his usual attention to details), were at a distance, feeding on the slopes of the mountain; 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 though the Jews were forbidden 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. Mark 5:11
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