New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac. 1 [a](A)They came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. 2 When he got out of the boat, at once a man[b] from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him. 3 The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. 4 In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. 6 Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, 7 crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me,[c] Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!” 8 (He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”) 9 [d]He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.”(B) 10 And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.
11 Now a large herd of swine[e] was feeding there on the hillside. 12 And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.” 13 And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. 14 The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened. 15 As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. 16 Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. 17 Then they began to beg him to leave their district.Read full chapter
- 5:1 The territory of the Gerasenes: the reference is to pagan territory; cf. Is 65:1. Another reading is “Gadarenes”; see note on Mt 8:28.
- 5:2–6 The man was an outcast from society, dominated by unclean spirits (Mk 5:8, 13), living among the tombs. The prostration before Jesus (Mk 5:6) indicates Jesus’ power over evil spirits.
- 5:7 What have you to do with me?: cf. Mk 1:24 and see note on Jn 2:4.
- 5:9 Legion is my name: the demons were numerous and the condition of the possessed man was extremely serious; cf. Mt 12:45.
- 5:11 Herd of swine: see note on Mt 8:30.
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
26 Then they sailed to the territory of the Gerasenes,[a] which is opposite Galilee. 27 When he came ashore a man from the town who was possessed by demons met him. For a long time he had not worn clothes; he did not live in a house, but lived among the tombs. 28 (A)When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him; in a loud voice he shouted, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me!” 29 For he had ordered the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (It had taken hold of him many times, and he used to be bound with chains and shackles as a restraint, but he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into deserted places.) 30 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”[b] He replied, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. 31 And they pleaded with him not to order them to depart to the abyss.[c]
32 A herd of many swine was feeding there on the hillside, and they pleaded with him to allow them to enter those swine; and he let them. 33 The demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. 34 When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. 35 People came out to see what had happened and, when they approached Jesus, they discovered the man from whom the demons had come out sitting at his feet.[d] He was clothed and in his right mind, and they were seized with fear. 36 Those who witnessed it told them how the possessed man had been saved. 37 The entire population of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them because they were seized with great fear. So he got into a boat and returned.Read full chapter
- 8:26 Gerasenes: other manuscripts read Gadarenes or Gergesenes. See also note on Mt 8:28. Opposite Galilee: probably Gentile territory (note the presence in the area of pigs—unclean animals to Jews) and an indication that the person who receives salvation (Lk 8:36) is a Gentile.
- 8:30 What is your name?: the question reflects the popular belief that knowledge of the spirit’s name brought control over the spirit. Legion: to Jesus’ question the demon replies with a Latin word transliterated into Greek. The Roman legion at this period consisted of 5,000 to 6,000 foot soldiers; hence the name implies a very large number of demons.
- 8:31 Abyss: the place of the dead (Rom 10:7) or the prison of Satan (Rev 20:3) or the subterranean “watery deep” that symbolizes the chaos before the order imposed by creation (Gn 1:2).
- 8:35 Sitting at his feet: the former demoniac takes the position of a disciple before the master (Lk 10:39; Acts 22:3).