Mark 5:5
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
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(5) Cutting himself with stones.—This feature, again, is given only by St. Mark.

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.Cutting himself with stones - These are all marks of a madman - a man bereft of reason, a wretched outcast, strong and dangerous. The inspired penman says that this madness was caused by an unclean spirit, or by his being under the influence of a devil. That this account is not irrational, see the notes at Matthew 4:24.5. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones—Terrible as he was to others, he himself endured untold misery, which sought relief in tears and self-inflicted torture. See Poole on "Mark 5:1" And always night and day, he was in the mountains,.... And this being in an Heathen country, would have rendered him an unclean person, if he had not been possessed with an unclean spirit; for so runs one of the Jewish canons (s):

"he that walks in an Heathen land, on mountains and rocks, is unclean.''

And in the tombs: which very likely were on the mountains, and cut out of them, it being usual to cut their sepulchres out of rocks:

crying, and cutting himself with stones; with sharp pieces of stone, which he picked up among the broken tombstones, or from off the mountains, where he was night and day; and besides taking up stones with his hands, and cutting himself with them, he might cut his feet with the sharp stones of the mountains, in which he ran about; these mountains were those, that encompassed the sea of Tiberias; for of it is , "that the mountains surround it" (t): for the place where this man was, was near the sea of Tiberias, over which Christ was just now come; and soon as he arrived on shore, he met him, and found him in this condition. This man was a lively emblem of a man in a state of nature and unregeneracy: he had "an unclean spirit", as every natural man has; his soul or spirit is defiled with sin, particularly his mind and conscience: this pollution is natural to him; he brings it into the world with him; it is very universal, it has spread itself over all the powers and faculties of his soul, and is what he cannot cleanse himself from: "who can say I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?" Proverbs 20:9. Nothing that he can do, or can be done for him by a mere creature, can free him from it: nothing but the blood of Christ, and that cleanses from all sin: this man, through the possession of Satan, was a madman, and exceeding fierce and furious: there is a spirit of madness in all unregenerate men; they are exceeding mad against God, and Christ, and the saints, as Saul was before conversion, Acts 26:9. For who but madmen would stretch out their hands against God, strengthen themselves against the Almighty, run upon him, even on his neck, and upon the thick bosses of his bucklers? Job 15:25. Who but such would oppose themselves to the Son of God, or do despight to the Spirit of grace, who are equal in power and glory with God the Father? or kick against the pricks, by persecuting the members of Christ? Who but men out of their senses, would seek to ruin and destroy themselves, both soul and body? This man was altogether under the power and influence of Satan, and had a legion of devils within him. Satan is in every unconverted man, in every child of disobedience; and works effectually in him, and leads him captive at his will: and he has besides a swarm of fleshly lusts in him, which have the government over him. This man had his dwelling among the tombs, where the dead lay: so unregenerate men dwell among dead sinners, they have their conversation among the men of the world, who are dead in trespasses and sins, and according to the course of it: and as this man could not be bound with chains and fetters, but these were broke asunder by him; so wicked men are not to be bound, restrained, and governed, by the laws, commands, and ordinances of God; they despise them, break through them, and cannot be subject to them, their language is, "let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us", Psalm 2:3. And as no man could tame this man, so it is not in the power of men, by the force of moral persuasion, by all the arguments, expostulations, exhortations, promises, or threatenings, they can make use of, to influence the carnal minds of men, or make any real change in them: or bring them into a subjection to the law of God, or Gospel of Christ, and remove from them the spirit of madness, and opposition to all that is good: and to say no more; as this man was mischievous to himself, and cut himself with stones, so carnal men are the worst enemies to themselves; they cut and wound themselves with their sins, though, like the madman, they are not sensible of it; and if grace prevent not, will destroy themselves, both soul and body, with their transgressions.

(s) Misn Oholot, c. 19. sect. 6. (t) T. Hieros. Erubin, fol. 25. 2.

And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
Mark 5:5. As the previous verse depicts the demoniac strength, so this the utter misery of the poor sufferer.—διὰ παντὸς νυκ. κ. ἡμέρ., incessantly night time and day time, even during night when men gladly get under roof (Weiss, Mc.-Evang.) and when sleep makes trouble cease for most: no sleep for this wretch, or quiet resting-place.—ἐν τ. μνήμασι κ. ἐ τ. ὄρεσι, in tombs or on mountains, in cave or out in the open, there was but one occupation for him: not rest or sleep, but ceaseless outcry and self-laceration (κράζων, κατακόπτων ἑσυτ. λίθοις).Mark 5:5. Ὄρεσιν, in the mountains) in solitary places. Mountains were in the locality, as we find in Mark 5:11.—ἑαυτὸν, himself) In the case of the possessed, even the natural and proper love of self [law of self-preservation] is in abeyance.Crying (κράζων)

Rev., crying out. The verb denotes an inarticulate cry; a shriek. Aristophanes uses it of the frogs ("Ranae," 258), and of the bawling of a boor ("Equites," 285).

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