Mark 5
Vincent's Word Studies
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
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:
The details of Mark 5:3-5 are peculiar to Mark. "The picture of the miserable man is fearful; and in drawing it, each evangelist has some touches which are peculiarly his own; but St. Mark's is the most eminently graphic of all, adding, as it does, many strokes which wonderfully heighten the terribleness of the man's condition, and also magnify the glory of his cure" (Trench, "Miracles").

Dwelling (κατοίκησιν)

The κατὰ, down, gives the sense of a settled habitation. Compare our phrase settled down. So Tynd., his abiding.

The tombs (τοῖς μνήμασιν)

"In unclean places, unclean because of the dead men's bones which were there. To those who did not on this account shun them, these tombs of the Jews would afford ample shelter, being either natural caves or recesses hewn by art out of the rock, often so large as to be supported with columns, and with cells upon their sides for the reception of the dead. Being, too, without the cities, and oftentimes in remote and solitary places, they would attract those who sought to flee from all fellowship of their kind" (Trench, "Miracles").

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.
With fetters and chains (πέδαις καὶ ἁλύσεσιν)

πέδη, fetter, is akin to πέζα, the instep; just as the Latin pedica, a shackle, is related to pes, a foot. The Anglo-Saxon plural of fot (foot) is fet; so that fetter is feeter. So Chaucer:

"The pure fetters on his shinnes grete

Were of his bitter salte teres wete."

Αλυσιν (derivation uncertain) is a chain, a generic word, denoting a bond which might be on any part of the body.

Broken in pieces (συντετρῖφθαι)

The verb συντρίβω means originally to rub together, to grind or crush. It has been suggested that the fetters might have been of cords which could be rubbed to pieces. Wyc. renders, Had broken the stocks to small gobbets.

And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
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).

But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
Afar off (ἀπὸ μακρόθεν)

Peculiar to Mark, as is also he ran.

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.
Crying - he saith

The inarticulate cry (Mark 5:5), and then the articulate speech.

What have I to do with thee? (τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοὶ)

Lit., what is there to me and thee ? What have we in common?

I adjure thee by God

Stronger than Luke's I pray thee. The verb ὁρκίζω, I adjure, is condemned by the grammarians as inelegant.

For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
For he said (ἔλεγεν)

Imperfect tense, he was saying; the force of which is lost both in the A. V. and Rev. The imperfect gives the reason for this strange entreaty of the demon. Jesus was commanding, was saying "come out;" and, as in the case of the epileptic child at the Transfiguration Mount, the baffled spirit wreaked his malice on the man. The literal rendering of the imperfect brings out the simultaneousness of Christ's exorcism, the outbreak of demoniac malice, and the cry Torment me not.

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.
Ran (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.

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.
See (θεωροῦσιν)

Rev., rightly, behold. For it was more than simple seeing. The verb means looking stedfastly, as one who has an interest in the object, and with a view to search into and understand it: to look inquiringly and intently.


Compare Luke 8:27. For a long time he had worn no clothes.

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.
When he was come (ἐμβαίνοντος αὐτοῦ)

The participle is in the present tense. Not after he had embarked, but while he was in the act. Hence Rev., rightly, as he was entering. With this corresponds the graphic imperfect παρεκάλει: While he was stepping into the boat the restored man was beseeching him.

That (ἵνα)

In order that. Not the subject but the aim of the entreaty.

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.
My little daughter (τὸ θυγάτριον)

This little endearing touch in the use of the diminutive is peculiar to Mark.

Lieth at the point of death (ἐσχάτως ἔχει)

One of the uncouth phrases peculiar to Mark's style, and which are cited by some as evidence of the early composition of his gospel.

I pray thee come (ἵνα ἐλθὼν)

The words I pray thee are not in the Greek. Literally the ruler's words run thus: My little daughter lieth at the point of death - that thou come, etc. In his anguish he speaks brokenly and incoherently.

He went (ἐπῆλθεν)

Lit., went away. The aorist tense, denoting action once for all, is in contrast with the imperfects, ἠκολούθει, kept following, and συνέθλιβον, kept thronging. The multitude kept following and thronging as he went along. The preposition σύν, together, in the latter verb, indicates the united pressure of a crowd. Compare Tynd., Mark 5:31. Thrusting thee on every side.

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,
Mark is much fuller and more vivid than Matthew or Luke.

Had suffered (παθοῦσα)

To be taken, as everywhere in the New Testament, in the sense of suffering pain, not merely subjected to treatment. What she may have suffered will appear from the prescription for the medical treatment of such a complaint given in the Talmud. "Take of the gum of Alexandria the weight of a zuzee (a fractional silver coin); of alum the same; of crocus the same. Let them be bruised together, and given in wine to the woman that has an issue of blood. If this does not benefit, take of Persian onions three logs (pints); boil them in wine, and give her to drink, and say, 'Arise from thy flux.' If this does not cure her, set her in a place where two ways meet, and let her hold a cup of wine in her right hand, and let some one come behind and frighten her, and say, ' Arise from thy flux.' But if that do no good, take a handful of cummin (a kind of fennel), a handful of crocus, and a handful of fenugreek (another kind of fennel). Let these be boiled in wine and give them her to drink, and say, ' Arise from thy flux !'" If these do no good, other doses, over ten in number, are prescribed, among them this: "Let them dig seven ditches, in which let them burn some cuttings of vines, not yet four years old. Let her take in her hand a cup of wine, and let them lead her away from this ditch, and make her sit down over that. And let them remove her from that, and make her sit down over another, saying to her at each remove, 'Arise from thy flux!'" (Quoted from Lightfoot by Geikie, "Life and Words of Christ").

Of many physicians (ὑπὸ)

Lit., under; i.e., under the hands of.

And was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse

Luke's professional pride as a physician kept him from such a statement. Compare Luke 8:43.

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.
For she said (ἔλεγεν)

Imperfect tense. She was or kept saying as she pressed through the crowd, either to herself or to others.

And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
She knew - she was healed

Note the graphic change in the tenses. ἔλνω, she knew; ἰάται, she is healed.


See on Mark 3:10.

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?
Knowing (ἐπιγνοὺς)

Rev., perceiving. Lit., having fully known.

That virtue had gone out of him (τὴν ἐξ αὐτοῦ δύναμιν ἐξελθοῦσαν)

More correctly as Rev., that the power proceeding from him had gone forth. The object of the Saviour's knowledge was thus complex: 1st, his power; 2d, that his power had gone forth. This and the following sentence are peculiar to Mark.

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.
He looked round about (περιεβλέπετο)

Imperfect tense. He kept looking around for the woman, who had hidden herself in the crowd.

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.
In peace (εἰς εἰρήνην)

Lit., into peace. Contemplating the peace in store for her. Mark alone adds, Be whole of ray 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?
From the ruler of the synagogue

From his house; for the ruler himself is addressed.

Troublest (σκύλλεις)

See on Matthew 9:36. Compare Luke 11:22, where occurs the cognate word σκῦλα, spoils, things torn or stripped from an enemy. Wyc., travailest. Tynd., diseasest.

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

This is from the reading ἀκούσας, (Luke 8:50). The correct reading is παρακούσας, which may be rendered either not heeding, as Rev. (compare Matthew 18:17), or over-hearing, as Rev. in margin, which, on the whole, seems the more natural. Disregarding would be more appropriate if the message had been addressed to Jesus himself; but it was addressed to the ruler. Jesus overheard it. The present participle, λαλούμενον, being spoken, seems to fall in with this.

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.
Seeth (θεωρεῖ)

Rev., beholdeth. See on Mark 5:15.

Wailing (ἀλαλάζοντας)

A descriptive word of the hired mourners crying al-a-lai!

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.
Put them out

"Wonderful authority in the house of a stranger. He was really master of the house" (Bengel). Only Mark relates the taking of the parents with the three disciples into the chamber.

And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
Maid (κοράσιον)

Not a classical word, but used also by Matthew.

And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.
Astonishment (ἐκστάσει)

Better Rev., amazement, which carries the sense of bewilderment. Ἔκστασις, of which the English ecstasy is a transcript, is from ἐκ, out of, and ἵστημι, to place or put. Its primitive sense, therefore, is that of removal; hence of a man removed out of his senses. In Biblical Greek it is used in a modified sense, as here, Mark 16:8; Luke 5:26; Acts 3:10, of amazement, often coupled with fear. In Acts 10:10; Acts 11:5; Acts 22:17, it is used in the sense of our word ecstasy, and is rendered trance.

And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.
Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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