The journey begins, 1:1-5:43

6. The powers defeated, 4:35-5:43

ii] Demons - Gerasene demoniac


Heaving weathered the storm on lake Galilee, Jesus and his disciples reach the eastern shore, possibly near a region today called Khersa. There they encounter a man suffering a severe case of demon possession. The legion of demons seek to barter with Jesus and finally gain approval to possess a heard of swine. In a frenzied rush, the swine dive into the sea and drown. The demoniac, now set free, expresses his desire to serve Jesus, but his neighbors, on the other hand, are less than impressed, given the loss of a valuable heard of swine.


Jesus is Lord over the dark powers that would enslave us.


i] Context: See 12:35-41. The context of this exorcism needs to be noted, particularly its association with the miracle on the lake. In the stilling of the storm Jesus subdues the dark powers welling up from the abyss. These same powers have possessed the demoniac and with the same word of authority Jesus subdues them, driving them back where they belong.


ii] Structure: This passage / episode, The demoniac healed, presents as follows:

Jesus and the demoniac, v1-10;

the swine, v11-13;

the townspeople, v14-17;

the freed man, v18-20.


The structure of this untypical exorcism story aligns with Taylor's four-act drama structure. Yet, in reality we just have an unfolding story with a introductory setting, v1-2, ending with the demoniac's response to Jesus, v18-20.


iii] Interpretation:

The story of the Gerasene demoniac again shows Jesus subduing dark powers with a word of authority. This time the dark powers demonstrate their destructive nature as they seek to distort and destroy the image of God in humanity. In the first part of the story the nature and power of Christ's word over the powers of darkness is revealed. In the second part of the story we witness the demoniac's response of faith, as compared to the crowd's limited response of amazement and fear, a response similar to that of the disciples when confronted by Jesus' stilling of the storm, 4:35-41.


Application: When preparing a sermon on this passage it is necessary to take note of the increasing influence of Animal Liberation in Western societies. Animal liberationists often quote this passage to suggest that Jesus happily participates in animal cruelty. To counter this charge it could be argued that the drowning was not planned, that it was an unforseen circumstance. It could also be argued that the frenzy of the swine was a natural reaction to the frenzy of the demoniac and so their drowning was accidental. It could even be argued that Jesus actually euthanized the pigs. He could have left the pigs in distress, infested with dark powers, but facilitated a swift and painless death in service of humanity.

Yet, a story like this must be considered within its cultural setting and apart from twenty-first century cultural sensitivities. For Jews, swine are unclean animals. For a first century Jew, a swine would be an appropriate animal to house a demon, rather than be let loose to infest another human. Again, for a first century Jew, there is great humor in a story where demons stir up the host to such a degree that they end up jumping into the sea, and in so doing find themselves entrapped in the deep, out of harms way. Jesus ministers within the cultural norms of his age. When we hear the story we may squirm, but when first century Jews hear the story they laugh. The story doesn't teach us that demons are entrapped in water under and around the earth, or that pigs serve well as a host for demons, etc. ...., but that Jesus is Lord over the dark powers that would enslave us.


iv] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage can be found in the pew-level sermon notes The Demoniac Healed.

Text: 5:1

The Gerasene demoniac, v1-20: i] Mark's account of Jesus' meeting with the demon-possessed man, v1-5. After the storm on the lake, Jesus and his disciples come ashore in the region of Gerasa. There they confront a demon-possessed man who lives in caves nearby, caves that once served as tombs. The people in the villages nearby had tried to subdue him with chains to protect themselves from his lunacy, but they had failed. He now wonders aimlessly, flaying himself with stones in an attempt to end his torment. He is in a state of total ruin, his personality possessed by dark powers. Mark takes great pains to describe his state of loss.

hlqon (ercomai) aor. pl. "They went" - The Plural indicating the presence of the disciples although they play no part in the story.

eiV + acc. "across" - to, toward. Spacial, expressing movement toward.

to peran "across [the lake]" - the other side [of the lake]. The neuter article to serves as a nominalizer turning the prepositional phrase "other side of the lake" into a substantive, "the other side of the lake", object of hlqon eiV. The adverb peran, "beyond, across", serving as a preposition + gen. answers the question where? Where does the action take place? "Across [the lake]." "They reached the opposite side of the lake", Moffatt.

eiV + acc. "to" - to, toward. Repeating eiV above to specify more clearly whereabouts across the lake.

thn cwran (a) "the region" - place, country. Here possibly in a political, rather than geographical sense, so "the territory around the city / environs", Boring.

twn Gerashnwn gen. "the Gerasenes" - The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / local; "the region where the Gerasenes live." Variants exist, the least attested is "Gergesenes". Gergesa, now the modern village of Kursi, is situated on the edge of a plateau on the east bank of the Sea of Galilee. Gundry opts for this variant, see his notes 255/6. The best attested is "Gerasenes", Gerasa, now the modern city of Jerash, 35 miles south east of the Sea of Galilee, but not known to be territorially linked to the Sea of Galilee. Matthew's placement of the story at Gadara may be his own attempt to sort out the geography, Gadara being 5 miles south east of the lake with territorial links to the lake. Marcus opts for "Gerasenes" for symbolic reasons, the root meaning being "to banish". Guelich stays with the stronger reading suggesting that "the region of" solves the geographical problem. Boring goes with the stronger reading, suggesting that Origen was responsible for the entrance of "Gergesenes" into the MSS tradition.


exelqontoV autou gen. "when [Jesus] got" - he having come, gone. The genitive participle + the genitive pronoun forms a genitive absolute = a temporal clause, as NIV. A "clumsy use of the genitive absolute", Cranfield, given the inclusion of the subject autou. Note how Luke corrects the grammar having the participle agree with the dative pronoun autw/ following the verb "meet", see Zerwick #49.

ek + gen. "out of [the boat]" - Expressing source / origin.

euquV "-" - immediately. A typical expression used by Mark, possibly to heighten anxiety in the narrative, "immediately", or just to progress the narrative, "then ...." Not present in some manuscripts.

en + dat. [a man] with" - Expressing association, as NIV.

pneumati akaqartw/ "an evil spirit" - with an unclean spirit. A typically Jewish turn of phrase for a person possessed by a demon, possessed by one of Satan's minions. The term "unclean spirit" appears 11 times in Mark.

ek + gen. "came from [the tombs]" - out of [the tomb]. Expressing source / origin. Mark also uses the word mnhma for "tomb" instead of mnhmeion as here, but theories on source differences seem a bit far fetched. "People were often buried in cave-like openings dug into the rock, big enough for a person to enter on foot, and usually high enough inside to allow a person to stand upright. Such a place would provide shelter for a man who had no other place to live", Bratcher. The demoniac's dwelling in tombs possibly emphasizes Jesus confrontation with the powers, namely "the power of death", Gundry, but certainly illustrates his wretched condition under the power of demonic forces, forces which Jesus will now confront and defeat.

autw/ dat. pro. "[to meet] him" - [me] him. Dative of direct object after the uJpo prefix verb "to meet."


"Taken together, v3-5 contain the four characteristics of insanity in Judaism: a] running about at night; b] spending the night in a cemetery; c] tearing one's garments; and d] destroying what one has been given", Guelich.

eicen (ecw) imperf. "lived" - [who the dwelling] had. The imperfect is descriptive, used here to describe what was taking place in the past. "This man had his home among the tombs", Barclay.

en + dat. "in [the tombs]" - Local, expressing space.

oude ... ouketi oudeiV "no one [could bind him] any longer, not even [with a chain]" - not [with a chain] any longer no one [able to bind him]. Emphatic triple negative. Further describing the wretched condition of the man. "And not even with a chain could anyone any longer bind him", TH.

dhsai (dew) aor. inf. "[could] bind" - [was able] to bind. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "was able".

alusei (iV ewV) dat. "with a chain" - The dative is instrumental, expressing means, "by means of", as NIV.


dia to + inf. "for [he]" - because [he]. The preposition dia + the three articular infinitives, "had been bound / had been torn apart / had been smashed" technically forms a causal clause, "because of", but here expressing "past circumstances which explain the present situation", Taylor, cf. Burton #408. Cranfield notes that gar + ind. "would have been more natural." Lit. "On account of his having [often] been bound [with fetters and chains] and the chains having been burst [by him] and the fetters broken ..." = "he had often been bound ...... but had burst .....", Zerwick.

dedesqai (dew) perf. pas. inf. "had often been chained" - had been bound. The causal construction dia to + inf. applies to this and two other perfect passive infinitives: diespasqai, "having been torn apart", and suntetrifqai, "having been crushed." Each of the three infinitives takes the usual accusative subject: auton, "he", taV aluseiV, "the chains", and taV pedaV, "the fetters." The use of the perfect tense increases the vividness of the description, as if the words of an eyewitnesses are being recorded. Note how Mark returns to the imperfect tense with "no one was strong enough to subdue him". The inability of people to constrain the man illustrates the power of the demons and therefore the necessary power that Jesus will need to employ to subdue them.

pedaiV kai alusesin dat. "hand and foot" - with fetters and chains. The dative is instrumental, expressing means, "bound by means of / with fetters and chains."

uJp (uJpo) + gen. "he [tore the chains apart]" - [the chains had been torn apart] by [him]. Expressing agency.

damasai (damazw) aor. inf. "[strong enough] to subdue [him]" - [no one was strong] to subdue [him]. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of "was strong / able."


dia + gen. "[night and day]" - through in time. "Temporal use of the preposition. "Throughout the night and day" = "all the time", "continually", Cranfield.

en + dat. "among" - in [the tombs and] in [the hills]. Local, expressing space.

krazwn (krazw) pres. part. "he would cry out" - he was crying out. This participle with the imperfect verb to-be h\n forms a periphrastic imperfect construction possibly emphasizing the degree of his "shrieking", Moffatt; "he roared and raged among the tombs", Junkins.

katakoptwn (katakoptw) pres. part. "cut himself" - Periphrastic imperfect as above. The verb "cut to pieces" can also take the meaning "beat / bruise", although most translations go with "cutting", "lacerating himself", Gundry, but possibly "bruising himself with stones", NAB. We can always cover all bases, eg. "slicing and bruising himself with sharp rocks", Junkins. However we take the word, the description is of self-destructive behavior.

liqoiV (oV) dat. "with stones" - The dative is instrumental, expressing means; "by means of."


ii] Jesus meets with the demoniac and exorcises him, v6-13. It is difficult to know whether the demoniac has some control over the situation, particularly his prosekunhsen, "bowing down before" Jesus, his doing obeisance. We are probably best served if we interpret the account as a revelation of the corrupt power of the demonic force as opposed to the superior power of the Son of Man. The subduing of demonic forces proclaims the coming kingdom; the day of judgment is at hand for the powers of darkness are even now being banished to the abyss. So, we are best to read the actions of the demoniac as attempts by the demons themselves to frustrate the exorcism, or at least to keep their options open for another time (ie. to be allowed to possess the pigs). The act of kneeling, the raised voice, a claim that Jesus has no right to interfere with them, a precise description of Jesus' person (the knowledge of a person gives power over them), an invocation in God's name, the evasive answer to Jesus' request for their name and the seeking of concessions (the pigs), are all most likely power-plays by the demonic forces.

idwn (eidon) aor. part. "when he saw [Jesus]" - seeing. The participle is adverbial, temporal, as NIV, but with a causal touch.

apo makroqen "from a distance" - from afar. Idiomatic construction; preposition + adverb = preposition + substantive; "from afar", ESV. This construction is used a number of times in Mark.

prosekunhsen (proskunew) aor + dat. "fell on his knees in front of" - did obeisance, worshipped, fell down before, prostrated before [him]. This word, usually followed by the dative in the NT, is often translated as "worship". Here in the sense of a reverential response to a superior, although as noted above, probably with deceptive intent (assuming that the action is prompted by the demonic forces and not the demoniac himself). "He ran and knelt before him", Phillips.

autw/ dat. pro. "him" - Dative of direct object after the proV prefix verb "to do obeisance."


kraxaV (kradzw) aor. part. "he shouted" - shouting. Attendant circumstance participle, redundant, expressing action accompanying the verb "he says = "he said (historic present). "On catching sight of Jesus from afar, he ran and knelt before him, shrieking aloud", Moffatt.

qwnh/ (h) dat. "[at the top of his] voice" - in a [loud] voice. The dative is adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of his shouting; "with a loud voice."

ti emoi kai soi "what do you want with me" - what to me and to you. The dative pronouns, emoi, "to me", soi, "to you", probably express reference / respect, "what is there with respect to me and to you?" = "what have I to do with you?" Zerwick. An interesting turn of phrase, somewhat idiomatic - expressing defensive hostility.

uJyistou gen. sup. adj. "[Jesus, Son of the] most high [God]" - [Jesus son of God] highest. Genitive in agreement with "God". The use of such a full description of Jesus' identity by the demonic powers probably serves as an attempt to control him - if you know the person you can control the person. Salespersons, even today, use the same technique!!!

tou qeou (oV) gen. "of [the Most High] God" - The genitive is adjectival, relational.

orkizw pres. "swear [to God] / in [God's] name" - I implore, adjure, entreat, implore [you] / I put [you] under an oath .... [by God]. Followed by a double accusative, "you" and "God", the second accusative indicating under whose authority the entreaty is made, an accusative of oath; "that by which one swears", Zerwick. Possibly, "for God's sake, don't torture me", Barclay, or maybe a more aggressive "before God / under God's name / authority, I demand that you not meddle with me."

mh basanish/V (basanizw) aor. subj. "that you won't torture [me]" - do not torment, examine by torture [me]. Hortatory subjunctive / subjunctive of prohibition, cf.. Wallace p469. The NIV has formed a dependent statement, but better as Barclay above. Possibly a plea that Jesus not act in judgment against them before the time of the eschatological judgment, cf. Marcus, possibly just "a fear of banishment from the spirit's home", cf. Guelich, but better a demand not to be banished, before time, from the world of human existence and eternally incarcerated in the underworld, the primeval bog of the dark leviathan, ie. hell, cf. Rev.14:11, 20:10, cf. Gundry. Luke certainly seems to express the view that "what the demons fear is imprisonment before their destruction", Taylor, cf. Lk.8:31. "Do not torture me", Moffatt.


gar "for" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why the protest, "because ...." "The shout represents the unclean spirit's attempts to resist exorcism", Gundry.

elegen (legw) imperf. "Jesus had said" - The imperfect is possibly inceptive, best translated as a pluperfect, "he had begun saying", Taylor. Jesus had begun the exorcism with the words as quoted, but the demons have interrupted with their plea, so presumably Jesus halts the exorcism and starts to converse with them. Probably best expressed by "he was about to say", Gunrdy.

autw/ dat. pro. "to him" - Dative of indirect object.

exelqe (exercomai) aor. imp. "come out" - The aorist imperative expresses punctiliar action and is followed by a nominative of address, to pneuma to akaqarton, "you unclean spirit."

ek + gen. "of [this man]" - from [the man]. Expressing source / origin. Stylistic repartition of source / origin already expressed in the ex prefix of the verb "come out."

to akaqarton adj. "evil [spirit] / impure [spirit]" - unclean. The Canon of Apollonius applies with both "evil" and "spirit" taking an article, and in v2 both without an article. Either construction is correct. "Come out of this man you many wicked, dirty spirits", Junkins.


Jesus halts the exorcism and asks the demon's their name, but receives an evasive reply. To give their name is to hand power over to Jesus. The term "Legion" is probably a desperate attempt to resist Jesus; a kind of "we are many." Recognizing that the gig is up, the demons beg that they not be sent from the world of human affairs to the confinement of the abyss, the dark primeval bog prepared for Satan and his minions.

ephrwta (eperwtaw) imperf. "[Jesus] asked [him]" - asked, enquired. Imperfect is again possibly inceptive, or just stylistic, "Jesus began to ask him."

soi dat. pro. "[what is] your [name]" - [what name] to you. The dative here may be classified as a dative of possession or interest, advantage; "what name belongs to you." It is very unlikely that Jesus needs to know the name of the demonic powers to exercise authority over them. So, Jesus' request is probably nothing more than a "who are you". Possibly "asked the man his identity", Junkins, as if to help the man himself recall his identity, but it is more likely that Jesus is conversing with the demonic powers, even though the masculine "asked him" is used by Mark. The man might be uttering the words, but it is the demonic powers who are doing the communicating.

moi dat. pro. "my [name is]" - [name] to me. Dative of possession / interest, advantage.

legiwn "Legion" - A legion was a term used of a Roman military formation of "4,000 to 6,000 men", Cranfield, but it is very doubtful that the story is an allegory of Roman occupation, cf. Boring p151. The demonic powers are probably lying, even evading the question (just a collective noun rather than a name, so Gundry), but it is possible that they have answered as directed, even explaining why their name is "Legion" - because "there are many of us", Cassirer. What we probably have here is an evasive description of a demonic coven, with a warning to Jesus that "we are many".

autw/ dat. pro. "he replied" - [he says (historic present)] to him. Dative of indirect object.

oJti "for" - Here serving to introduce a causal clause expressing why the name "legion"; "because we are many."


parekalei (parakalew) imperf. "he begged [Jesus]" - he was begging, imploring, urging. The imperfect is durative, possibly iterative. Note, "he", singular, again identifies the man as doing the actual speaking for "them", plural. "They begged him earnestly ...", Moffatt, although "earnestly" is a bit off the mark; "made strong entreaty of Jesus", Cassirer.

polla adj. "again and again" - greatly. The adjective serves as an adverb, possibly with an iterative sense, "repeatedly", or to express intensity, "he begged him earnestly", ESV.

iJna + subj. "-" - that. Introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech, entreating, expressing what they begged; "he begged ... that he not send them ..."

exw + gen. "out of [the area]" - outside, out of [the country]. Expressing separation. There seems to be the idea that demons like their own area of operation, cf. Lk.11:24f. It is sometimes understood that they ask Jesus not drive them off into a lonely place, this resting on the folk idea that demons were usually sent to uninhabited mountains, the ends of the earth, the sea, and particularly deserts, where they can no longer harm people. As already noted, what they fear is confinement in the abyss and that may be the point of their requrest.


de "-" - but, and. Introducing the next phase in the story.

coirwn (oV) gen. "[herd] of pigs" - The genitive is adjectival, of content; "a herd consisting of / made up of pigs.

boskomenh (boskw) pres. pas. part. "feeding" - [there was there, near the mountain, a great heard of pigs] feeding. The participle may be treated as adjectival, attributive, limiting pigs, "there was there, on the hillside, a great hear of pigs which were feeding", but it may also be treated as a periphrastic imperfect construction; h\n .... boskomenh, "there was feeding there." A heard of pigs indicates that the region is Gentile, given that Jewish law prohibits the keeping of pigs.

proV + dat. "on the nearby [hillside]" - at [the mountain]. The use of this preposition for proximity, "at / close to / nearby", is not common, although Cranfield suggests that here it means "on [the hill]." The "mountain", indicates steep terrain and links with the stampede of the pigs down "the steep bank".


The gig is up and so the demons employ their last strategy by seeking a concession. So, we see unfold a tricked devil story, cf. Bultman, rather than a gentle-Jesus meek and mild story, a story which seeks to soften Jesus' responsibility.

parekalesan (parakalew) aor. "[The demons] begged [Jesus]" - they urged, exhorted. Note now the plural is used for the demoniac as he speaks, although we shouldn't make much of it given the difficulty of handling the "he/them" situation. "And they appealed to him", Berkeley.

legonteV (legw) pres. part. "-" - saying. Redundant attendant circumstance participle.

pemyon (pempw) aor. imp. "send" - The aorist expressing punctiliar action, also possibly expressing "a particular request", Cranfield.

iJna + subj. "allow" - that [we may enter them]. Probably introducing a purpose, or result (intended) clause, "that we may enter them", Moffatt, or possibly a rare example of the imperatival use of iJna, cf Moule p144, so NIV, Cassirer, Barclay, ... "So that we may enter them", Marcus.


The concession granted, the demons bring about their own destruction / encasement in the abyss, by startling the pigs and driving them into the sea. As already noted, the folk motif of tricking the demons would prompt great humor, but above all, the story proclaims the realization / inauguration of the kingdom of God with the messiah's defeat of hostile powers.

autoiV dat. pro. "[he gave] them [permission]" - [he allowed, permitted] them. Dative of direct object after the epi prefix verb "to allow."

exelqonta (exercomai) aor. part. "[and the evil spirits] came out" - having come out. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal; "then came out the unclean spirits", Moffatt.

wJV "about [two thousand in number]" - about [two thousand]. With numbers this particle expresses approximation; "there were about two thousand of them", Barclay.

wJrmhsen (oJrmaw) aor. "rushed" - Meaning "set in motion", but usually intransitive, so "rush". Used of the "unreasoning onrush of a crowd", Swete. Driven mad, the pigs rushed to their destruction. "With a great birre the folk was cast doun", Wycliffe.

kata + gen. "down" - down. Spacial. "Sent the hogs over the cliff and into the sea where they were drowned", Junkins.

tou krhmnou (oV) "the steep bank" - precipice, steep bank. "The overhanging bank", Taylor.

en + dat. "in" - [and were drowned] in [the lake]. Local, expressing space.


iii] The focus of the story now moves to the reaction of the crowd which hears of the exorcism and comes out to witness what has occurred, v14-17. As with the disciples in the story of the stilling of the storm, the response of the crowd is one of "fear". "They realize that they are in the presence of someone for whom .... the world is not the unchangeable, unnoticed givenness of everyday life, and this is scary indeed", Boring. "Fear" is not "faith", but it can be a step toward faith.

oiJ boskonteV (boskw) pres. part. "those tending [the pigs]" - the ones feeding [them]. The participle serves as a substantive. "The herdsmen", Barclay.

eiV + acc. "in [the town and countryside]" - to [the town and hamlets]. An example of en + dat. being replaced by eiV + acc. (some + dat.), a process now complete in modern Gk. See Zerwick #99. "Spreading the story in the city ...", Cassirer.

idein (eidon) aor. inf. "to see" - The infinitive is adverbial, expressing purpose, "in order to see".

ti estin to gegonoV (ginomai) perf. part. "what had happened" - what is the happening. Indirect question in the tense and mood of direct speech, see Porter p274/5, "what is happening?" = "and they came to see what was happening." The articular participle serves as a substantive forming an object clause; "what it was that had taken place", Wuest.


ercontai (ercomai) pres. "when they came [to Jesus]" - they come. Historic / narrative present, although in the narrative discourse the change in tense indicates new players. See Decker, Mk.1:21. They came to "have a good look at" the former demoniac.

ton daimonizomenon (daimonizomai) pres. part. "the man [who had] been possessed" - the one being demon possessed. The participle serves as a substantive; "the demon-possessed man".

ton eschkota (ecw) perf. part. "by [the legion of demons]" - the one having had [the legion]. The participle serves as a substantive standing in apposition to "the one being possessed", but it may also be treated as adjectival, attributive, limiting "the one being possessed"; "They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac, who had been possessed of the legion", Berkeley. The perfect tense may express the continuing state of being no longer possessed, or it may be a dramatic perfect, used for effect.

kaqhmenon (kaqhmai) pres. part. "sitting there" - sitting [having been clothed and being of sound mind]. The participle, as with "having been clothed" and "being of sound mind", serves as an object complement (a quadruple accusative construction), making a statement about the object, "the man". "They saw the lunatic sitting down, clothed and in his sober senses", Moffatt.

efobhqhsan (fobew) aor. pas. "they were afraid" - The word can take a natural sense, meaning "fainthearted / scared / fearful", and certainly there is evidence of this sense in its usage in the synoptics, yet the religious sense of "awe" is also present. Whether it be the disciples, as in the stilling of the storm, or the crowds, either Jews, or as here, Gentiles, Jesus' miracles prompt a response that is best described as a "scary wonderment", a breathtaking trembling amazement. Most people continue with their unease, but some move on to faith. In fact, given the ending of the gospel with the women leaving the tomb in "terror and amazement", it is clear that Mark intentionally leaves his readers in a state of wonderment that they might consider a move from "fear" to "faith".


oiJ idonteV (eidon) aor. part. "those who had seen it" - the ones having seen. The participle serves as a substantive. Referring to the herdsmen.

autoiV dat. pro. "[told] the people" - [described] to them. Dative of indirect object.

pwV "what" - how. Here this interrogative participle virtually serves to introduce a dependent statement of indirect speech explaining what they told the people; how it (all these things] had happened to the demoniac and also the pigs, how it had happened to them. Not "what had happened", as in v14, but "how" it had happened, ie. the exercise of Jesus' power, cf. Gundry. "Everyone who had seen what had happened (the herdsmen), told about the man and the pigs", CEV.

tw/ daimonizomenw/ (daimonizomai) dat. pres. mid. part. "to the demon-possessed man" - to the one being possessed. Dative of reference / respect.

peri + gen. "[and] told about [the pigs as well]" - [and] about, concerning [the pigs]. Reference / respect.


hrxanto (arcw) aor. "[then] the people began" - [and] they began. The subject is unclear, either the herdsmen, or the villagers.

parakalein (parakalew) pres. inf. "to plead to" - to urge, exhort. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "began". It is "urge / plead", not "command". Mark continues to display Jesus' power and authority. Jesus is someone who "can only be besought, not ordered about", Gundry.

apelqein (apercomai) aor. inf. "to leave [their region]" - to leave, depart [from the region of them]. The infinitive forms a dependent statement / indirect speech of entreating, "they began to plead that Jesus leave their district." This request is obviously prompted by their fear. See intro. v14, for "fear" in terms of "a confrontation with Jesus' supreme authority", Anderson. The fear of economic loss is a very unlikely theme for Mark, eg. "offended, it seems, by the loss of their property, they ask Jesus to leave them", Cranfield, also Guelich.

apo + gen. "-" - from. Expressing separation; "away from their shores."


iv] We now come to the end of Mark's extended exorcism story - the crowd has responded with "fear," but the demoniac responds in "faith", v18-20. The account has a number of unusual features: the demoniac asks to follow Jesus, but is refused; Jesus tells the demoniac to go and tell what the Lord had done rather than maintain the messianic secret as elsewhere. Both features can be explained by the demoniac being a Gentile, although Mark does not settle the matter for us. Certainly Decapolis was a predominately a Gentile area, but there was a small Jewish population.

embainontoV (embainw) pres. "as [Jesus] was getting [into the boat]" - [he] entering, embarking [into the boat]. The participle, part of a genitive absolute construction, is temporal, as NIV. "When Jesus was getting on board the boat", Barclay.

parekalei (parakalew) imperf. "begged" - exhorted. The imperfect is probably durative (progressive) expressing ongoing action; "pleaded to be allowed to stay with him", Barclay.

iJna + subj. "-" - that [he might be]. Introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech / entreating, expressing what the demoniac begged Jesus; "begged that he might be with him". "Be with him" is not quite "follow him", but surely discipleship is implied and therefore his response serves as an expression of faith.

met (meta) + acc. "with [him]" - Expressing association / accompaniment.


ouk afhken (afihmi) "[Jesus] did not let him" - he did not allow, permit.

alla "but" - Adversative / contrastive, as NIV.

autw/ dat. pro. "[said]" - [said] to him. Dative of indirect object.

eiV ton oikon "[to your] family / [to your] own people" - [to] the house [of you]. Spacial; "Go home to your family."

touV souV "-" - [to] the ones of you. The articular possessive pronoun, "the ones of you", probably extends the demoniac's witness beyond his family; "to your people / the people of your area (region, so "countrymen)", Guelich.

apaggeilon (apaggelw) aor. imp. "tell" - tell, report, announce. Variant diaggeilon "used of missionary activity in Lk.9:60, ....", Taylor, but most likely not original so here "informal report". None-the-less, the man is certainly to function as one of Jesus' sent-ones bearing witness to the exorcism (sign) which he experienced, although not as a witness of the gospel as such.

autoiV dat. pro. "them" - [and announce .........] to them. Dative of indirect object.

o{sa pro. "how much" - as much as. Accusative direct object of the verb "has done." Neuter = "all that."

oJ kurioV "the Lord" - Obviously "God" is intended, not Jesus.

pepoihken (poiew) perf. "has done" - The perfect tense expresses the past act of exorcism with its ongoing effect of being free from possession.

soi dat. pro. "for you" - Dative of interest, advantage.

hlehsen (eleew) aor. "he has shown mercy on [you]" - he had mercy upon [you]. The aorist being punctiliar, indicates that one act of mercy, namely the exorcism, is in mind. So kai here has the force of corelating what was done for the demoniac and the mercy shown toward him. "tell them everything the Lord has done for you, how he had mercy on you."


khrussein (khrussw) pres. inf. "[began] to preach" - to proclaim, announce, tell, The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "began". This word certainly has missionary precedence, telling of what Jesus (not God) had done. "Began to spread ..... the story", Phillips.

en + dat. "in" - Local; expressing space / sphere.

th/ Dekapolei (iV ewV) dat. "the Decapolis" - "Throughout the entire area of the land of ten cities", Junkins.

IhsouV "Jesus" - "[how much] Jesus" - Nominative subject of the verb "has done." Decker notes Mark's correlation here between "Jesus" and "Lord", v19, a designation which applies to both God and Jesus.

autw/ "[had done] for him" - to him. Dative of interest, advantage, so "for him", as NIV.

eqaumazon (qaumazw) imperf. "[the people] were amazed" - [all] were amazed, astonished, marveled. The imperfect expresses durative action. As already noted, this "fear / amazement" word is very important for Mark, functioning as a precursor to faith. The central point of this story, namely, Jesus power and authority over the dark powers, is maintained not only in the response of the herdsmen and the people from the surrounding villages, but of the people of Decapolis who respond with amazement on hearing the story from the demoniac.


Mark Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]