Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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ST. MARK - Chapter 5

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Mark v.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. Ven. Bede gives a beautiful explanation of this miracle. He says that it represents the Gentiles, who were converted to the faith by the apostles. The legion represents the innumerable vices to which they were subject, neither restrained by the laws of God nor man, but breaking through every restraint, and wallowing in all kinds of uncleanness. (Ven. Bede) --- The three evangelists agree in the expulsion of the legion of devils, except that St. Matthew makes mention of two demoniacs, and Sts. Mark and Luke only of one. The difficulty is thus solved by St. Augustine. St. Mark and St. Luke only mention one, as being more generally known, and particularly frightful in the neighbourhood. (St. Augustine)

Ver. 7. I adjure thee by God. The same is, I earnestly beg of thee not to torment me, by sending me into hell, and confining me in the abyss, there to be more tormented than I am at present. See St. Luke viii. 31. (Witham)

Ver. 9. My name is Legion. Spirits have no names, only with respect to our language. These devils say their name is Legion, because they are many. (Witham)

Ver. 13. Jesus Christ permitted the devil to destroy these swine, that from their destruction, the men of that country might take the alarm, and be converted. (Ven. Bede)

Ver. 17. Astonished at the miracle that had been performed, and displeased with the loss of their herds, they refused the Saviour of the world entrance into their country. (Theophylactus) --- It is observed that all Christ's miracles, except this, and the blasted fig-tree, were of the beneficent kind. We cannot but pity the wretched blindness of the Gerasens, in driving Jesus from their coasts. As a just judgment of God, their city was the first that fell into the hands of the Romans, in the fatal war under Vespasian.

Ver. 18. That he might be with him; i.e. as one of his disciples. St. Ambrose says Christ did not grant his request, lest they might think that he sought to be glorified by men, in having always in his company a man out of whom he had cast so many devils. Christ himself seems to give us another reason, that the man might go, and publish in his own country the miracles done by Jesus. (Witham)

Ver. 19. And he admitted him not: By Christ's conduct on this occasion, he teaches his disciples that they ought sometimes to make known their own good works, when either the glory of God or the edification of their neighbour were likely to be advanced by such a manifestation: otherwise they ought to conceal them, out of a spirit of humility. (Denis the Carthusian)

Ver. 20. Decapolis, a territory on the eastern borders of the sea of Tiberias, and is so called, from ten principal towns that compose it. (Bible de Vence)

Ver. 23. St. Matthew says: my daughter is even now dead. The sense in both is exactly the same. St. Matthew attended rather to the thoughts of Jairus, than to his words; for, as he left her dying, he could not reasonably hope to find her still in the same state; and, as he expected she was already dead, when he spoke this to Jesus, St. Matthew relates what the man thought at that instant, not what he said. (St. Augustine)

Ver. 28. Touch his garment. Almighty God is pleased to give occasionally to the relics and clothes of his pious and faithful servants, a degree of virtue. See Acts v, and xix, where the very shadow of St. Peter, and the handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched the body of St. Paul, and were brought to the sick, cured their diseases, and banished the wicked spirits. See St. Chrysostom, T. 5. contra Gent. in vit. Babylœ. St. Basil saith: "he that toucheth the bone of a martyr, receiveth in some degree holiness of the grace or virtue that is therein. (St. Basil in Psalm cxv.)

Ver. 30. Virtue that hath proceeded from him. Virtue to heal this woman's malady proceeded from Christ, though she touched but his coat: so when the saints by their relics and garments perform miracles, the grace and force thereof cometh from our Saviour; they being but the means of instruments of the same. (Bristow)

Ver. 35. Ruler of the synagogue. His house is understood.

Ver. 36. Only believe. Dissenters grossly abuse this and other similar texts of Scripture, to prove that faith alone will suffice for justification; whereas God only declares, that he requires a faith in his almighty power for the performance of miracles, and that without this necessary predisposition, he will not do any miracles. See ver. 5, of the following chapter.

Ver. 41. Only three resurrections from the dead are mentioned as performed by our Saviour: one just dead; one carried out to be buried; and Lazarus, already in his tomb. These represent the different states of sinners dead in sin, some more desperate than others. To such as have been for years in sin, and have none to intercede for them, we must apply the words of Christ, suffer the dead to bury the dead. (Ven. Bede, and St. Augustine, de verb. Dom. serm. 44.)

 


Bible Text & Cross-references:

Christ casts out a legion of devils: he heals the issue of blood, and raises the daughter of Jairus to life.

1 And *they came over the strait of the sea into the country of the Gerasens.

2 And as he went out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit:

3 Who had his dwelling in the tombs, and no man now could bind him, not even with chains:

4 For having been often bound with fetters and chains, he had burst the chains, and broken the fetters in pieces, and no one could tame him.

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

6 And seeing Jesus, afar off, he ran and adored him:

7 And crying with a loud voice, he 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.

8 For he said to him: Go out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

9 And he asked him: What is thy name? And he saith to him: My name is Legion, for we are many.

10 And he besought him much, that he would not drive him away out of the country.

11 And there was there near the mountain a great herd of swine, feeding.

12 And the spirits besought him, saying: Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

13 And Jesus immediately gave them leave. And the unclean spirits going out, entered into the swine: and the herd with great violence was carried headlong into the sea, being about two thousand, and were stifled in the sea.

14 And they that fed them fled, and told it in the city, and in the fields. And they went out to see what was done:

15 And they came to Jesus, and they see him that was troubled with the devil, sitting, clothed, and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

16 And they that had seen it, told them in what manner he had been dealt with who had the devil; and concerning the swine.

17 And they began to pray him to depart from their coasts.

18 And when he went up into the ship, he that had been troubled with the devil, began to beseech him that he might be with him.

19 And he admitted him not, but saith to him: Go into thy house to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had mercy on thee.

20 And he went his way, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men wondered.

21 And when Jesus had passed again in the ship over the strait, a great multitude assembled together unto him, and he was nigh unto the sea.

22 *And there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, named Jairus: and seeing him, falleth down at his feet;

23 And he besought him much, saying: My daughter is at the point of death; come, lay thy hand upon her, that she may be safe, and may live.

24 And he went with him, and a great multitude followed him, and they thronged him.

25 And a woman who was under an issue of blood twelve years,

26 And had suffered many things from many physicians: and had spent all that she had, and was nothing the better, but rather worse:

27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the crowd behind him, and touched his garment.

28 For she said: If I shall but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

29 And forthwith the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the evil.

30 And immediately Jesus knowing in himself the virtue that had proceeded from him, turning to the multitude, said: Who hath touched my garments?

31 And his disciples said to him: Thou seest the multitude thronging thee; and sayest thou, Who hath touched me?

32 And he looked about to see her who had done this.

33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

34 And he said to her: *Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole: go in peace, and be thou whole of the disease.

35 While he was yet speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue, saying: Thy daughter is dead: why dost thou trouble the master any farther?

36 But Jesus having heard the word that was spoken, saith to the ruler of the synagogue: Fear not: only believe.

37 And he admitted not any man to follow him, but Peter, and James, and John, the brother of James.

38 And they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue; and he seeth a tumult, and people weeping and wailing much.

39 And going in, he saith to them: Why make you this outcry, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.

40 And they laughed him to scorn. But he having put them all out, taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying:

41 And taking the damsel by the hand, he saith to her: Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted; damsel, (I say to thee) arise.

42 And immediately the damsel rose up, and walked: now she was twelve years old: and they were astonished with a great astonishment.

43 And he charged them strictly that no man should know it: and commanded that something should be given her to eat.

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*

1: about the year A.D. 31.; Matthew viii. 28.; Luke viii. 26.

22: Matthew ix. 18.; Luke viii. 41.

34: Luke vii. 50. and viii. 48.