Mark 5:13
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.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(13) They were about two thousand.—The number, which is peculiar to St. Mark, may be noted as another instance of his graphic accuracy in detail.

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 8:29.13. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave—In Matthew (Mt 8:32) this is given with majestic brevity—"Go!" The owners, if Jews, drove an illegal trade; if heathens, they insulted the national religion: in either case the permission was just.

And the unclean spirits went out—of the man.

and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently—rushed.

down a steep place—down the hanging cliff.

into the sea (they were about two thousand)—The number of them is given by this graphic Evangelist alone.

and were choked in the sea—"perished in the waters" (Mt 8:32).

See Poole on "Mark 5:1"

And forthwith Jesus gave them leave,.... For the reason of this See Gill on Matthew 8:32.

and the unclean spirits went out; of the man, in whom they had for some time dwelt:

and entered into the herd of swine; according to the leave given them by Christ: this shows not only the existence of spirits, but their going from one to another shows that they are circumscribed by space; that they are here, and not there, or there, and not here: there is an "ubi", a somewhere, where they are; and whilst there, are not elsewhere:

and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea. The Syriac and Arabic versions read, "the herd ran to the rock", or "promontory", and "fell into the sea". The Ethiopic, the "herd grew mad, and was carried headlong into the sea": the sense is, that the devils having entered into them, it had a like effect on them, as on the man possessed; they ran mad, and were hurried on by the devils, to the rocks on the sea shore; where, falling down the precipice, they were all lost; and a considerable loss it was to their owners; for

they were about two thousand; a very large herd, but there were devils enought in that one man, to possess all these, and run them into the sea:

and were choked in the sea; not suffocated by the devils, but drowned in the waters of the sea, or lake, as Luke calls it; the lake of Gennesareth, or sea of Tiberias and Galilee; which, as often observed, were the same. Though some think it was not this lake or sea, but some other place of water near Gadara. Strabo says (e), that in the country of Gadara, there was a very bad laky water, of which if cattle tasted, they cast their hair, hoofs, and horns; which perhaps may be the same with what the Talmudists call (f), , "the whirlpool of Gadara"; said to be from the time of the deluge, and so called from its swallowing up every thing that came into it; but the sea of Tiberias seems rather to be the place, where this herd perished. The Jew (g) objects to the destroying this herd of swine as an unjust action, being a great injury to the owners; and seeks to blacken the character of Christ, as being concerned in it: but, as Bishop Kidder (h) well observes, it does not appear that Jesus destroyed it; it was the devils that did it: he suffered them indeed to go into it, nor did he restrain the natural power which they had; nor did he think fit to do it, nor was he obliged to it: but had he destroyed it himself, since he is Lord of all, the proprietor of all creatures, who has all under him, and at his disposal, can give and take away as he pleases, no charge of evil and injustice can be brought against him: and this should be satisfactory to a Christian, who believes him to be God over all blessed for ever; though it will not be to a Jew: let it therefore be further observed, that the owners of these swine were either Jews or Gentiles; if they were Jews, and they brought up these swine in order to eat them themselves, to destroy them was a just punishment, for their violation of the law of God, Deuteronomy 14:8. And if they brought them up to sell to others, this was contrary to their own canons; See Gill on Matthew 8:30, to the rules and customs of their own country, which were made as a fence to keep off from breaking the above law; and such a practice could only proceed from an avaricious disposition, of which this was a proper rebuke: or if they were Gentiles that were the owners of them, these were idolatrous persons, worshippers of devils; and it was but a righteous thing, to suffer the devils, whom they worshipped, to do this mischief to their property, to whom they devoted themselves soul and body; and a Jew cannot well find fault with this, who believes that idolaters cannot be punished too severely: add to this, what the above learned prelate observes; this practice of the Gentiles in breeding hogs, was a temptation to the Jews to follow the same business, and even to taste of the forbidden flesh; so that to use his words, it was in truth an act of grace and favour to the Jews, to remove from them so dangerous a snare, and so bad an example: and it may be added, by suffering the devils to go into the swine, several valuable ends were answered, infinitely preferable to the herd of swine; such as evincing the truth of the dispossession; showing the greatness of the mercy to the dispossessed; the power of Christ over the devils; and making for the spread of the fame of this miracle the more; as well as giving further proof of the malignity and mischievous disposition and actions of these evil spirits; by which the inhabitants of the adjacent places might learn, how hurtful they were to them, and what a blessing it was to be rid of them: and therefore ought to have been thankful to Christ for this dispossession, notwithstanding the loss of their swine; but such an effect it had not upon them, but the reverse, as the words following show.

(e) Geograph. 1. 6. (f) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 108. 1.((g) Jacob Aben Amram, port. ver. No. 1028. apud Kidder, Demonstr. of the Messiah, par. 3. p. 51. (h) Kidder ib. p. 52.

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 {f} sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

(f) Strabo in the sixteenth book says that in Gadaris there is a standing pool of very polluted water, which if beasts taste, they shed their hair, nails, or hooves and horns.

Mark 5:13. καὶ ἐπέτρεψεν: permission, not command, to enter; in Mt. not even that, simply a peremptory: Depart! vide notes there.—εἰσῆλθον: an inference from the sequel; neither exit nor entrance could be seen. There was doubtless a coincidence between the cure and the catastrophe.—ὡς δισχίλιοι: about 2000, an estimate of the herds possibly exaggerated.—ἐπνίγοντο (πνίγω, to choke), were drowned, used in this sense in Joseph., A. J., x., 7, 5, regarding Jeremiah in the dungeon.

13. down a steep place] At Kerza or Gersa, “where there is no precipice running sheer to the sea, but a narrow belt of beach, the bluff behind is so steep, and the shore so narrow, that a herd of swine rushing frantically down, must certainly have been overwhelmed in the sea before they could recover themselves.” Tristram’s Land of Israel p. 462.

the sea] This, as we have seen above (Mark 3:7), was one of the names, by which the Lake of Gennesaret was called.

Mark 5:13. Εὐθέως, forthwith) He did not require to deliberate in any case.—ὡς δισχίλιοι, about two thousand) The name legion implied a number exceeding this.

Verse 13. - The unclean spirits came out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place (κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ) - literally, down the steep - into the sea,... and were choked in 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. Mark 5:13Ran (ὥρμησεν)

The verb indicates hasty, headlong motion. Hence, as Rev., rushed.

Two Thousand.

As usual, Mark alone gives the detail of number.

A steep place

But the noun has the definite article: τοῦ κρημνοῦ, the steep, as Rev.

Mark 5:13 Interlinear
Mark 5:13 Parallel Texts

Mark 5:13 NIV
Mark 5:13 NLT
Mark 5:13 ESV
Mark 5:13 NASB
Mark 5:13 KJV

Mark 5:13 Bible Apps
Mark 5:13 Parallel
Mark 5:13 Biblia Paralela
Mark 5:13 Chinese Bible
Mark 5:13 French Bible
Mark 5:13 German Bible

Bible Hub

Mark 5:12
Top of Page
Top of Page