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. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. 19 But he would not permit him but told him instead, “Go home[f] to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.” 20 Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.
Jairus’s Daughter and the Woman with a Hemorrhage.[g]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.
- 5:19 Go home: Jesus did not accept the man’s request to remain with him as a disciple (Mk 5:18), yet invited him to announce to his own people what the Lord had done for him, i.e., proclaim the gospel message to his pagan family; cf. Mk 1:14, 39; 3:14; 13:10.
- 5:21–43 The story of the raising to life of Jairus’s daughter is divided into two parts: Mk 5:21–24; 5:35–43. Between these two separated parts the account of the cure of the hemorrhage victim (Mk 5:25–34) is interposed. This technique of intercalating or sandwiching one story within another occurs several times in Mk 3:19b–21; 3:22–30 3:31–35; 6:6b–13; 6:14–29; 6:30; 11:12–14; 11:15–19; 11:20–25; 14:53; 14:54; 14:55–65; 14:66–73.