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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Mark 5

 

 

Verse 1

And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. [Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles read here and in the corresponding passage of Luke (Luke 8:26) "Gerasenes" - Geraseenoon (G1085a) - on ancient, but not, as we think sufficient authority to displace the received reading. In Matthew (Matthew 8:28) the received reading, "Gergesenes" would seem the true one, and not "Gerasenes" with Lachmann, not "Gadarenes" with Tischendorf and Tregelles. While the manuscript evidence for it is satisfactory, some recent geographical discoveries seem to favour it. Gadara perhaps denoted the general locality. Josephus (Ant. 17: 11, 4) speaks of it as the chief city of Perea, and a Greek city. It or its suburbs lay on the southern shore of the lake on the east side. Possibly the reading "Gergesenes," which seems a corrupted form of "Gadarenes," originated in that tract of country being still called after the "Girgashites" of ancient Canaan.]


Verse 2

And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

And when he was come out of the ship, immediately (see Mark 5:6) there met him a man with an unclean spirit - "which had devils (or 'demons') long time" (Luke 8:27). In Matthew (Matthew 8:28), "there met Him two men possessed with devils." Though there be no discrepancy between these two statements-more than between two witnesses, one of whom testifies to something done by one person, while the other affirms that there were two-it is difficult to see how the principal details here given could apply to more than one case.


Verse 3

Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

Who had his dwelling among the tombs. Luke says, "He ware no clothes, neither abode in any house." These tombs were hewn out of the rocky caves of the locality, and served for shelters and lurking-places (Luke 8:26).

And no man could bind him, no, not with chains:


Verse 4

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.

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. Luke says (Luke 8:29) that "often times it (the unclean spirit) had caught him;" and after mentioning how they had vainly tried to bind him with chains and fetters, because "he brake the bands," he adds, "and was driven of the devil (or 'demon') into the wilderness." The dark tyrant-power by which he was held clothed him with superhuman strength, and made him scorn restraint. Matthew (Matthew 8:28) says he was "exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way." He was the terror of the whole locality.


Verse 5

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

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.


Verse 6

But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him - not with the spontaneous alacrity which says to Jesus, "Draw me, we will run after thee," but inwardly compelled, with terrific rapidity, before the Judge, to receive sentence of expulsion.


Verse 7

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.

And cried with a loud voice, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not - or, as in Matthew 8:29, "Art thou come to torment us before the time?" See the note at Mark 1:24. Behold the tormentor anticipating, dreading, and entreating exemption from torment! In Christ they discern their destined Tormentor; the time, they know, is fixed, and they feel as if it were come already! (James 2:19).


Verse 8

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

(For he said unto him [that is, before the unclean spirit cried out], Come out of the man, unclean spirit!) Ordinarily, obedience to a command of this nature was immediate. But here, a certain delay is permitted, the more signally to manifest the power of Christ and accomplish his purposes.


Verse 9

And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

And he asked, What is thy name? The object of this question was to extort an acknowledgment of the virulence of demoniacal power by which this victim was enthralled.

And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many - or, as in Luke, "because many devils (or 'demons') were entered into him." A legion, in the Roman army, amounted, at its full complement, to six thousand; but here the word is used, as such words with us, and even this one, for an indefinitely large number-large enough however to rush, as soon as permission was given, into two thousand swine and destroy them.


Verse 10

And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.

And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. The entreaty, it will be observed, was made by one spirit, but in behalf of many - "he besought Him not to send them," etc.-just as in the former verse, "he answered we are many." But what do they mean by entreating so earnestly not to be ordered out of the country? Their next petition (Mark 5:12) will make that clear enough.


Verse 11

Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

Now there was there, nigh unto the mountains , [ pros (Greek #4314) ta (Greek #3588) oree (Greek #3735)] - rather, 'to the mountain' [ pros (Greek #4314) too (Greek #3588) orei (Greek #3735)], according to what is clearly the true reading. In Matt. they are said to have been "a good way off." But these expressions, far from being inconsistent, only confirm, by their precision, the minute accuracy of the narrative.

A great herd of swine feeding. There can hardly be any doubt that the owners of these were Jews, since to them our Lord had now come to proffer His services. This will explain what follows.


Verse 12

And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

And all the devils besought him, saying ["if thou cast us out" (Matthew 8:31)], Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. Had they spoken out all their mind, perhaps this would have been it: 'If we must quit our hold of this man, suffer us to continue our work of mischief in another form, that by entering these swine and thus destroying the people's property, we may steel their hearts against Thee!


Verse 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.

And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. In Matthew this is given with majestic brevity - "Go!" The owners, if Jews, drove an illegal trade; if pagans, 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 [or 'rushed' hoormeesen (Greek #3729)] down a steep place [`down the hanging cliff' kata (Greek #2596) tou (Greek #3588) kreemnon (Greek #2911)], into the sea (they were about two thousand.)}] The number of them is given by our graphic Evangelist alone.

And were choked in the sea - or "perished in the waters" (Matthew 8:32).


Verse 14

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 that fed the swine fled, and told it - "told everything, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils" (Matthew 8:33),

In the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. Thus had they the evidence both of the herdsmen and of their own senses to the reality of both miracles.


Verse 15

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.

And they come to Jesus. Matthew (Matthew 8:34) says, "Behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus."

And see him that was possessed with the devil [`the demonized person' ton (G3588) daimonizomenon (G1139)], and had the legion, sitting - "at the feet of Jesus," adds Luke (Luke 8:35); in contrast with his former wild and wandering habits, "and clothed." Since our Evangelist had not told us that he "ware no clothes," the meaning of this statement could only have been conjectured but for "the beloved physician" (Luke 8:27), who supplies the missing piece of information here. This is a striking case of what are called "undesigned coincidences" among the different Evangelists; one of them taking a thing for granted, as familiarly known at the time, but which we should never have known but for one or more of the others, and without the knowledge of which some of their statements would be unintelligible. The clothing which the poor man would feel the want of, the moment his consciousness returned to him, was doubtless supplied to him by some of the Twelve.

And in his right mind - but now, O in what a lofty sense! (Compare an analogous, though a different kind of case, Daniel 4:34-37.)

And they were afraid. Had this been awe only, it had been natural enough; but other feeling, alas! of a darker kind, soon showed themselves.


Verse 16

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 that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil ('the demonized person') and also concerning the swine. Thus had they the double testimony of the herdsmen and their own senses.


Verse 17

And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.

And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. Was it the owners only of the valuable property now lost to them that did this? Alas, no! For Luke (Luke 8:37) says, "Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought Him to depart from them; because they were taken [or 'seized' - suneichonto (Greek #4912)] with great fear" The evil spirits had thus, alas! their object. Irritated, the people could not suffer His presence; yet awestruck, they dared not order Him off: so they entreat Him to withdraw, and-He takes them at their word.


Verse 18

And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil , [`he that had been demonized'-the word is not now daimonizomenos (Greek #1139), but daimonistheis (Greek #1139)]

Prayed him that he might be with him - the grateful heart, fresh from the hands of demons, clinging to its wondrous Benefactor. How exquisitely natural!


Verse 19

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. 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. To be a missionary for Christ, in the region where he was so well known and so long dreaded, was a far nobler calling than to follow Him where nobody had ever heard of Him, and where other trophies not less illustrious could be raised by the same power and grace.


Verse 20

And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

And he departed, and began to publish - not only among his friends, to whom Jesus more immediately sent him, but "in Decapolis" - so called, as being a region of ten cities. (See the note at Matthew 4:25.)

How great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel. Throughout that considerable region did this monument of mercy proclaim his new-found Lord; and some, it is to be hoped, did more than "marvel."

Remarks:

(1) Nowhere, perhaps, in all the Gospel history does the true humanity and proper divinity of the one Lord Jesus Christ come out in sharper, brighter, and, if we might so say, more pre-Raphaelite outline than in this section. Behold here the Prince of preachers. He has finished those glorious parables which He spoke from His beat to the multitudes that lined the shore. The people are dismissed; but though early evening has come, He rests not, but bids the Twelve put out to sea, as He has work to do on the other side. They push off, accordingly, for the eastern side; but have not gone very far when one of those storms to which the lake is subject, but of more than usual violence, arises; and the fishermen, who knew well the element they were on, expecting that their little wherry would upset and send them to the bottom, hasten to their Master. As for Him, the fatigues of the day have come upon Him; and having other occupation awaiting Him at Gadara, He has retired to the stern-end of the vessel, to give Himself up, during the passage across, to balmy sleep.

So deep is that sleep, that neither howling winds nor dashing waves break in upon it; and in this profound repose the disciples find Him, when in their extremity they come to Him for help. What a picture of innocent humanity! Why did they disturb Him? Why were they so fearful? Was it possible that He should perish? or - "with Christ in the vessel" - could they? How was it that they had no faith? They were but training. Their faith as yet was but as a grain of mustard seed. But He shall do a thing now that will help it forward. He wakens up at their call; and He who but a moment before was in profound unconsciousness, under the care of His Father, looks around Him and just gives the word of command, and the raging elements are hushed into an immediate calm. This sleeping and waking Man, it seems, is the Lord of nature. It feels its Maker's presence, it hears His voice, it bows instant submission! The men marvel, but He does not.

He is walking among His own works, and in commanding them He is breathing His proper element. 'What aileth you?' He exclaims, with sublime placidity amidst their perturbation: 'Have I been so long time with you, and yet ye have not known Me? I have stilled this tempest with a word: Doth that amaze you? Ye shall see greater things than these.' And now they are at the eastern side. But who is that who, descrying Him from a distance as He steps ashore, runs to Him, as if eager to embrace Him? It is a poor victim of demoniacal malignity. The case is one of unusual virulence and protracted suffering. But the hour of deliverance has at length arrived. Demons, in frightful number, yet all marshalled obediently under one master-spirit, combine to inflict upon their victim all the evil he seems capable of suffering, in mind and in body. But the Lord of devils, stepping forth from that boat, has summoned them to His presence, and in their human victim they stand before Him.

Ere they are made to quit their hold, they are forced to tell their number, and while uttering a reluctant testimony to the glory of their destined Tormentor whom they see before them, they are constrained to avow that they have not a spark of sympathy with Him, and utter forth their dread of Him, as if the day of their final doom had come. But with all this-the malignity of their nature nothing abated-they ask permission, if they must quit the higher victim, to take possession of victims of another kind, thereby to gain the same end on even a larger scale and to more fatal purpose. What a spectacle is this! That legion of spirits that were able to defy all the power of men to restrain and to tame their victim, behold them now crouching before one Man, who had never been in that region before, trembling as in the presence of their Judge, conscious that His word, whatever it be, must be law to them, and meekly petitioning, as servants of a master, to be allowed to enter a lower class of victims on letting go their long-secure prey! But the majesty of that word "Go!" - what conscious power ever the whole kingdom of darkness does it display! Then their instant obedience, the perfect liberation of the poor demoniac, and the rage and rout with which they rushed upon the creatures they had selected to destroy-all at the word of this Man, newly arrived on the shores of Gadara! But this display of power and majesty divine was crowned and irradiated by the grace which brought the grateful captive, now set free, to the feet of his Deliverer.

What a spectacle was that, on which the eye of all heaven might have rested with wonder-the wild creature, "driven of the devil into the wilderness," whom no man could tame, "sitting at the feet of Jesus;" the man who walked naked, and was not ashamed-like our first parents in Paradise, but, ah! for how different a reason-now "clothed;" the frightful maniac, now "in his right mind," and in an attitude of mute admiration and gratitude and love, at his great Deliverer's feet! Blessed Saviour-fairer than the children of men, yet Thyself the Son of Man-we worship Thee, and yet are not afraid to come near unto Thee: we fall down before Thee, yet we embrace Thee. The Word is God, but the Word has been made flesh and dwells, and will forever dwell, among us; and of Thy fullness have all we received, who have tasted that Thou art gracious, and grace for grace!

(2) Observe the complicated evil which the powers of darkness inflicted on their victim. They deprived him of the exercise of his rational powers; they so lashed his spirit that he could not suffer even a garment upon his body, but went naked, and could not endure the sight of living men and social comfort, but dwelt among the tombs, as if the sepulchral gloom had a mysterious congeniality with the wretchedness of his spirit; they allowed him not a moment's repose even there, because "always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying" - his ceaseless misery venting itself in wild wailing cries; nay, so intolerable was his mental torture, that he "kept cutting himself with stones!" - the natural explanation of which seems to be, that one in this state is fain to draw off his feelings from the mind, when its anguish grows unendurable, by trying to make the body, thus lacerated and smarting, to bear its own share.

One other feature of the evil, thus diabolically inflicted, is very significant - "No man could tame him; for he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces!" And now suppose ye that this man was a sinner above all sinners, because he suffered such things? Nay (see Luke 13:2-3); but thus was it designed that on the theater of the body we should see affectingly exhibited what the powers of darkness are, when uncontrolled, and what men have to expect from them when once given into their hand! Human reason they cannot abide, because it is a light shining full upon their own darkness. Human liberty, which is one with law, in its highest state - "the perfect law of liberty" - this they hate, substituting for it a wild anarchy, that can submit to no rational control. Human peace they cannot endure, because they have lost their own - "There is no peace to the wicked." For the same reason, human comfort, in any the least and lowest of its forms, they will never leave, if they can take it away. And over the howlings and self-inflicted tortures of their maddened victims they sing the dance of death, saying to all their complaints and appeals for sympathy, with the chief priests to Judas, "What is that to us? see thou to that!"

(3) Is it so? Then, O the blessedness of being delivered from the power of darkness, and "translated into the Kingdom of God's dear Son"! (Colossians 1:13). Until then we are as helpless captives of "the rulers of the darkness of this world, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience," as was this poor demoniac before Jesus came to him. The strong man armed guardeth his palace, and his goods are in peace, until the Stronger than he doth come upon him and taketh from him all his armour, dividing his spoil (Luke 11:21-22). It is a deadly struggle between Heaven and Hell for the possession of man. Only, since demoniacal possession deprives its victims of their personal consciousness, rational considerations are not in the least instrumental to their deliverance, which must come by a sheer act of divine power, whereas the soul is rescued from the tyranny of Satan by the eyes of the understanding being divinely opened to see its wretched condition and descry the remedy, and the heart being drawn willingly to embrace it. "The God of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. But God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shines in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 4:6). Thus are we in our deliverance from the power of Satan and of sin, sweetly voluntary, while the deliverance itself is as truly divine as when Jesus uttered His majestic "Go" to the demons of darkness and the demoniac was freed.

(4) In this grateful soul's petition to be with Jesus, we see the clinging feeling of all Christ's freed-men toward Himself; while in his departure, when Jesus suggested something better, and in his itineracy through Decapolis with the story of his deliverance, himself a living story of the grace and power of the Lord Jesus, we may read these words: The liberated believer a missionary for Christ!

(5) As Christ took those wretched Gadarenes at their word, when they besought Him to depart out of their coasts, so it is to be feared He still does to not a few who, when He comes to them in mercy, bid Him away. Will not awakened sinners dread this, and welcome Him while it is called Today?

The occasion of this scene will appear presently.


Verse 21

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 when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side - from the Gadarene side of the lake, where He had parted with the healed demoniac, to the west side, at Capernaum --

Much people gathered unto him - who "gladly received Him; for they were all waiting for Him" (Luke 8:40). The abundant teaching of that day (Mark 4:1, etc., and Matthew 13:1-58) had only whetted the people's appetite; and disappointed, as would seem, that He had left them in the evening to cross the lake, they remain hanging about the beach, having gotten a hint, probably through some of His disciples, that He would be back the same evening. Perhaps they witnessed at a distance the sudden calming of the tempest. The tide of our Lord's popularity was now fast rising.

And he was nigh unto the sea.


Verse 22

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, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue - of which class there were but few who believed in Jesus (John 7:48). One would suppose from this that the ruler had been with the multitude on the shore, anxiously awaiting the return of Jesus, and immediately on His arrival had accosted Him as here related. But Matthew (Matthew 9:18) tells us that the ruler came to Him while He was in the act of speaking at his own table on the subject of fasting; and as we must suppose that this converted publican ought to know what took place on that memorable occasion when he made a feast to his Lord, we conclude that here the right order is indicated by the First Evangelist alone.

Jairus by name , [ Iaeiros (Greek #2383)] - or 'Jaeirus.' It is the same name as Jair, in the Old Testament (Numbers 32:41; Judges 10:3; Esther 2:5).

And when he saw him, he fell at his feet - in Matthew ( ), "worshipped Him." The meaning is the same in both.


Verse 23

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.

And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter , [ thugatrion (Greek #2365)]. Luke (Luke 8:42) says, "He had one only daughter, about twelve years of age." According to a well-known rabbi, quoted by Lightfoot, a daughter, until she had completed her 12th year, was called 'little,' or 'a little maid;' after that, 'a young woman.'

Lieth at the point of death. Matthew gives it thus: "My daughter is even now dead" [ arti (Greek #737) eteleuteesen (Greek #5053)] - 'has just expired.' The news of her death reached the father after the cure of the woman with the issue of blood; but Matthew's brief account gives only the result, as in the case of the centurion's servant, (Matthew 8:5, etc.)

Come and lay thy hands on her that she may be healed; and she shall live [ zeesetai (Greek #2198)] or Come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live , [ zeesetai (Greek #2198)] - or, 'that she may be healed and live' [ zeesee (Greek #2198)], according to a fully preferable reading. In one of the class to which this man belonged, so steeped in prejudice, such faith would imply more than in others.


Verse 24

And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.

And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him , [ sunethlibon (Greek #4918)]. The word in Luke is stronger [ sunepnigon (Greek #4846)] - 'choked,' 'stifled Him.'


Verse 25

And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 26

And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

And had suffered many things of many physicians , [ polla (Greek #4183) pathousa (Greek #3958)]. The expression perhaps does not necessarily refer to the suffering she endured under medical treatment, but to the much varied treatment which she underwent.

And had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. Pitiable case, and affectingly aggravated; emblem of our natural state as fallen creatures (Ezekiel 16:5-6), and illustrating the worse than vanity of all human remedies for spiritual maladies (Hosea 5:13). The higher design of all our Lord's miracles of healing irresistibly suggests this way of viewing the present case, the propriety of which will still more appear as we proceed.


Verse 27

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

When she had heard of Jesus, came. This was the right experiment at last. What had she "heard of Jesus"? No doubt it was His marvelous cures she had heard of; and the hearing of these, in connection with her bitter experience of the vanity of applying to any other, had been blessed to the kindling in her soul of a firm confidence that He who had so willingly performed such cures on others was able and would not refuse to heal her also.

In the press behind (shrinking, yet seeking), and touched his garment. According to the ceremonial law, the touch of anyone having the disease which this woman had would have defiled the person touched. Some think that the recollection of this may account for her stealthily approaching Him in the crowd behind, and touching but the hem of His garment. But them was an instinct in the faith which brought her to Jesus, which taught her, that if that touch could set her free from the defiling disease itself, it was impossible to communicate defilement to Him, and that this wondrous Healer must be above such laws.


Verse 28

For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

For she said - "within herself" (Matthew 9:21), If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole - that is, if I may but come in contact with this glorious Healer at all. Remarkable faith this!


Verse 29

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

And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up. Not only was "her issue of blood stanched" (Luke 8:44), but the cause of it was thoroughly removed, insomuch that by her bodily sensations she immediately knew herself perfectly cured.

And she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.


Verse 30

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?

And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue (or 'efficacy' [ dunamin (G1411)]) had gone out of him. He was conscious of the forthgoing of His healing power, which was not-as in prophets and apostles-something foreign to Himself and imparted merely, but what He had dwelling within Him as "His own fullness."

Turned him about in the press - `or crowd' [ en (Greek #1722) too (Greek #3588) ochloo (Greek #3793)] - and said, Who touched my clothes?


Verse 31

And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

And his disciples said unto him. Luke says (Luke 8:45), "When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him, said, Master" [ Epistata (Greek #1983)],

Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 'Askest thou, Lord, who touched Thee? Rather ask who touched Thee not in such a throng.' "And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me" - `a certain person hath touched Me [ Heepsato (Greek #680) mou (Greek #3450) tis (Greek #5100)] "for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me" (Luke 8:46). Yes, the multitude "thronged and pressed Him" - they jostled against Him, but all involuntarily; they were merely carried along; but one, one only - "a certain person-TOUCHED HIM," with the conscious, voluntary, dependent touch of faith, reaching forth its hand expressly to have contact with Him. This and this only Jesus acknowledges and seeks out. Even so, as Augustine said long ago, multitudes still come similarly close to Christ in the means of grace, but all to no purpose, being only sucked into the crowd. The voluntary, living contact of faith is that electric conductor which alone draws virtue out of Him.


Verse 32

And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.

And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing - not for the purpose of summoning forth a culprit, but, as we shall presently see, to obtain from the healed one a testimony to what He had done for her.


Verse 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.

But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her - alarmed, as a humble, shrinking female would naturally be, at the necessity of so public an exposure of herself, yet conscious that she had a tale to tell which would speak for her.

Came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. In Luke (Luke 8:47) it is, "When the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had to touched Him, and how she was healed immediately." This, though it tried the modesty of the believing woman, was just what Christ wanted in dragging her forth, her public testimony to the facts of her case-the disease with her abortive efforts at a cure, and the instantaneous and perfect relief which her touching the Great Healer had brought her.


Verse 34

And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

And he said unto her, Daughter ["be of good comfort" (Luke 8:48)], thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. Though healed as soon as she believed, it seemed to her a stolen cure-she feared to acknowledge it. Jesus therefore sets His royal seal upon it. But what a glorious dismissal from the lips of Him who is "our Peace" is that, "Go in peace!"


Verse 35

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?

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 - `the Teacher' [ ton (Greek #3588) Didaskalon (Greek #1320)] - "any further?"


Verse 36

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

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. Jesus knowing how the heart of the agonized father would sink at the tidings, and the reflections at the delay which would be apt to rise in his mind, hastens to reassure him, and in His accustomed style; "Be not afraid, only believe" - words of unchanging preciousness and power! How vividly do such incidents bring out Christ's knowledge of the human heart and tender sympathy! (Hebrews 4:15).

And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. See the note at Mark 1:29.


Verse 37

And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 38

And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.

And he cometh - rather 'they come' [ erchontai (Greek #2064) has much better support than erchetai (Greek #2064)] - to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly} - "the minstrels and the people making a noise" (Matthew 9:23) - lamenting for the dead. (See 2 Chronicles 35:25; Jeremiah 9:20; Amos 5:16.)


Verse 39

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 when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth - so brief her state of death as to be more like a short sleep.


Verse 40

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.

And they laughed him to scorn , [ kategeloon (Greek #2606) autou (Greek #846)] - rather, simply, 'laughed at Him' - "knowing that she was dead." (Luke 8:53); an important testimony this to the reality of her death.

But when he had put them all out. The word is strong [ ekbaloon (Greek #1544)].-`when he had put,' or 'turned them all out;' meaning all those who were making this noise, and any others that may have been there from sympathy, that only those might be present who were most nearly concerned, and those whom He had Himself brought as witnesses of the great act about to be done.

He taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him (Peter, and James, and John), and entereth in where the damsel was lying.


Verse 41

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

And he took the damsel by the hand [as He did Peter's mother-in-law (Mark 1:31)] and said unto her, Talitha cumi. The words are Aramaic, or Syro-Chaldaic, the then language of Palestine. Mark loves to give such wonderful words just as they were spoken. See Mark 7:34; Mark 14:36. [`Cum' is evidently the true reading, being the popular form of the other, to which it has been corrected as the more accurate form Taaiytaa'(See Taaleh (Hebrew #2924) quwmiy (Hebrew #6965)].


Verse 42

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

And straightway the damsel , [ to (Greek #3588) korasion (Greek #2877)]. The word here is different from that in Mark 5:39-41 [ to (Greek #3588) paidion (Greek #3813)], and signifies 'young maiden,' or 'little girl.'

Arose, and walked - a vivid touch evidently from an eye-witness - for she was of the age of 12 years.

And they were astonished with a great astonishment , [ exesteesan (Greek #1839) ekstasei (Greek #1611) megalee (Greek #3173)]. The language here is the strongest.


Verse 43

And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.

And he charged them straitly (or strictly), that no man should know it. The only reason we can assign for this is His desire not to let the public feeling regarding Him come too precipitately to a crisis.

And commanded that something should be given her to eat - in token of perfect restoration.

Remarks:

(1) Burdened soul, wearied and wasted with an inward malady which has baffled every human specific, and forced thee to say from bitter experience of those who have recommended change of air and scene, business, pleasure, travel, and the like-`Miserable comforters are ye all, forgers of lies, physicians of no value!' hast thou not "heard of Jesus" - what miracles of healing, what wonders of transformation He has performed in some of the most obstinate and hopeless cases; opening blind eyes, casting out devils, cleansing lepers, making the lame man to leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb to sing? Bring thy case to Him at last, and doubt not His power to bring thee a perfect cure who said to such as Thou, "They that be whole need not a physician: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." But thou art afraid to show thyself, test they who knew thy reckless life should say of thee jeeringly, Is Saul also among the prophets? Come then, in the press behind, and do but touch Him, and thou shalt instantly feel the virtue that has gone out of Him. It needeth not a close embrace, or vehement handling, or much ado. It is living contact, the simple touch of faith, that fetches out the healing virtue. And it will tell its own tale. Thou shalt know the difference between Christ and all other healers; and when Jesus calls for thy testimony to His power and grace, thou shalt have something to say, thou shalt have a tale to tell, which will glorify His name and be His desired reward; thou shalt be fain to say, "Come all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul."

(2) Mute debtors to healing mercy, be rebuked by the narrative of the Lord's procedure toward this healed woman. He suffered her not, as doubtless she would have preferred, to depart in silence, to pour out her secret thanksgivings, or at some private meeting to testify her love to Jesus. He would have her, in spite of her shrinking modesty to come forward before all and declare what she had done and how she had sped. Thus, in her own way, was she a preacher of Christ. And such witness will He have from all His saved ones. "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

(3) Amidst the multitudes who crowds-with no spiritual desires and to no saving purpose-around the Saviour, in the services of His house and the profession of His name, He discerns the timid, tremulous touch of faith in even one believing soul, and is conscious of the healing virtue which that touch has drawn resistlessly forth from Him. What encouragement this to such as fear that their worthless feelings and poor exercises will have no interest for Him; and what a warning to those who, without wanting anything from Him, suffer themselves to be sucked into the current of those who follow Him and crowd about Him-not to set any store by this, as if it would draw more of Christ's regard toward them at the great day than if they had never heard of His name. (See the notes at Luke 13:26-27.) For see how, taking no notice of all that thronged Him and pressed upon Him on this occasion, He exclaimed of this humble believing woman, "Some one hath touched Me."

(4) If the Lord Jesus was so tender and considerate of human feelings as to anticipate this believing ruler's regret that by being so slow of coming to him his darling child had been allowed to die-bidding him, "Fear not, only believe" - just as He had before quelled the storm before He rebuked the unbelief of His disciples in the view of it (see the note at Mark 5:24) - we may rest well assured that on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens "we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities," and that still, as in the days of His flesh, "He will not break the bruised reed."

(5) Of the three resuscitations to life, recorded in the Gospel History it is worthy of notice that one was newly dead-Jairus' daughter; another, on his way to the grave-the widow of Nain's son; and the third-Lazarus-was dead four days, was in his grave, insomuch that his sister said, "By this time he stinketh:" as if to teach us that it matters not how long we have lain in the state of death-whether three or four score years in spiritual death, or thousands of years in death temporal-the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is as able to quicken us at one stage as at another. "Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and he that liveth and believeth in Me shall never die."

(6) Though when the classical writers (euphemistically) liken death to a sleep, we my please ourselves with the hope that the gleams of a future state were never quite extinguished in the pagan mind, it is only in the light of this incomparable Gospel History, interpreted by the teaching of the Pentecostal Gift, that faith hears Jesus saying of every dead believer of the one sex, "The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth," and of the other, "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep."

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Mark 5:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/mark-5.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, June 25th, 2019
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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