Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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MARK - Chapter 5

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Mark 5

Supplemental Commentary:

Note.  Only those words and passages which have no parallel in the First Gospel are commented upon here.  For the rest the reader should consult the Commentary on the parallel passages in Matthew.


3.  Second Period of the Ministry in Galilee and Across Its Lake  3, 20 -- 7, 23 (continued)

5, 1-20:  Expulsion of the Devils in Gerasa.  Parallels in Matt. 8, 28-34 and Luke 8, 26-39.    9.  Legion was the designation of the basic division of the Roman army; the Latin word is used here even in the Greek text; evidently at this time the word had come to signify "a large group."    13.  Mark alone, in his love of details, gives the number of the swine.    18-20.  At this time the Decapolis was inhabited almost entirely by Greek-speaking Gentiles.  Hence the cured demoniac also was probably a pagan.  This explains why Christ did not permit him to become one of His intimate followers during the public ministry; but He did allow him to publish the fact of his cure among his own people and so, in a sense, to become the first Christian missionary of the Decapolis.  This permission was contrary to our Lord's practice in Galilee, for there was no danger that the pagans of Decapolis would proclaim Jesus the political Messias of the Jews.

5, 21-43:  The Daughter of Jairus; the Woman with a Hemorrhage.  Parallels in Matt. 9, 1.18-26 and Luke 8, 40-56.    30.  Perceiving in himself: Jesus knew not only by His supernatural knowledge but also by His natural, experimental knowledge, that He had worked this miracle; for the miraculous power flowed in a certain mysterious way from His human nature, so that He could perceive, i.e., feel even in His body, that He was working a miracle.    31 f.  Although Jesus knew by His supernatural knowledge who it was whom He had cured, nevertheless, according to the conditions that He voluntarily imposed upon Himself during His mortal life (cf. Phil. 2, 5-8), He normally acted solely from His experimental knowledge like other men.    37.  The same three Apostles who were to witness the Transfiguration and the Agony in the Garden.    41.  Mark alone (as he learnt from St. Peter, of course) has preserved for us the very words which Jesus spoke in Aramaic.  Talitha is the usual Aramaic word for "girl."  But the for cumi is really Hebrew, for no Aramaic dialect at this period had preserved in pronunciation the archaic feminine ending of the imperative; the best Greek manuscripts give the correct Aramaic form cum, "arise."    42.  A rather peculiar place to mention the girl's age.  Luke gives it in a more natural place at the beginning of the narrative.  But lest the reader think that the revived girl was but an infant and that there was also something supernatural in her walking, Mark immediately adds her age here; the Greek reads, "For she was twelve years old."    43b.  Our Lord did not work miracles unnecessarily.  Therefore, in order to keep the girl alive, He directed that something be given her to eat.

Confraternity Bible:

Expulsion of the Devils in Gerasa  1 And they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes; 2* and as soon as he stepped out of the boat, there met him from the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.  3 This man lived in the tombs and no one could any longer bind him, even with chains; 4 for often he had been bound with fetters and chains, and he had rent the chains asunder and broken the fetters into pieces.  And no one was able to control him.  5 And constantly, night and day, he was in the tombs and on the mountains, howling and gashing himself with stones.

6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped him, 7 and crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have I to do with thee, Jesus, Son of the most high God?  I adjure thee by God, do not torment me!"  8 For he was saying to him, "Go out of the man, thou unclean spirit."

9 And he asked him, "What is thy name?"  And he said to him, "My name is Legion, for we are many."  10 And he entreated him earnestly not to drive them out of the country.

11 Now a great herd of swine was there on the mountainside, feeding.  12 And the spirits kept entreating him, saying, "Send us into the swine, that we many enter into them."  13 And Jesus immediately gave them leave.  And the unclean spirits came out and entered into the swine; and the herd, in number about two thousand, rushed down with great violence into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.

14 But the swineherds fled and reported it in the town and in the country; and people came out to see what had happened.  15 And they came to Jesus, and saw the man who had been afflicted by the devil, sitting clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.  16 And those who had seen it reported to them how it had happened to the possessed man, and about the swine.  17 And they began to entreat him to depart from their district.

18 And as Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been afflicted by the devil began to entreat him that he might remain with him.  19 And he did not allow him, but said to him, "Go home to thy relatives, and tell them all that the Lord has done for thee, and how he has had mercy on thee."  20 And he departed, and began to publish in the Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him.  And all marvelled.

The Daughter of Jairus  21 And when Jesus had again crossed over in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered together to him; and he was at the water's edge.  22 And there came one of the rulers of the synagogue named Jairus.  And seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet, 23 and entreated him much saying, "My daughter is at the point of death; come, lay thy hands upon her, that she may be saved and live."

24 And he went away with him, and a great crowd was following him and pressing upon him.  25 And there was a woman who for twelve years had had a hemorrhage, 26 and had suffered much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and found no benefit, but rather grew worse.  27 Hearing about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.  28 For she said, "If I touch but his cloak, I shall be saved."  29 And at once the flow of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

30 And Jesus, instantly perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, turned to the crowd, and said, "Who touched my cloak?"  31 And his disciples said to him, "Thou seest the crowd pressing upon thee, and dost thou say, 'Who touched me?'"  32 And he was looking around to see her who had done this.  33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened within her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.  34 But he said to her, "Daughter, thy faith has saved thee.  Go in peace, and be thou healed of thy affliction."

35 While he was yet speaking, there came some from the house of the ruler of the synagogue, saying, "Thy daughter is dead.  Why dost thou trouble the Master further?"  36 But Jesus, having heard what was being said, said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not be afraid, only have faith."  37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James, and John the brother of James.

38 And they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue and he saw a tumult, people weeping and wailing greatly.  39 And going in he said to them, "Why do you make this din, and weep?  The girl is asleep, not dead."  40 And they laughed him to scorn.  But he, putting them all out, took the father and mother of the girl and those who were with him, and entered in where the girl was lying.  41 And taking the girl by the hand, he said to her, "Talitha cumi," which is interpreted, "Girl, I say to thee, arise."  42 And the girl rose up immediately and began to walk; she was twelve years old.  And they were utterly amazed.  43 And he charged them strictly that no one should know of it, and directed that something be given her to eat.


2: The dead were commonly buried in rock tombs outside the town.  The outcasts of society, such as lepers and demoniacs, frequently sought shelter in them.