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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

Mark 5

Verse 1

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

Ver. 1. See Trapp on " Mat 8:28 "

Verse 2

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

Ver. 2. A man with an unclean spirit ] Graece, εν πνευματι ακαθαρτω . In an unclean spirit, quod eum spiritus quasi inclusum teneret. (Beza.) So the flesh is called "the old man," as if it were the whole of a natural man; and the devil is said to "work effectually" in such, Ephesians 2:2 . See Trapp on " Mar 1:23 "

Verse 3

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

Ver. 3. Who had his dwelling among the tombs ] The burial places of the saints were anciently thought to have a kind of holiness in them. Hence grew that superstition of meeting and praying together at the saints’ sepulchres; and afterwards of praying for them, and to them. Which to foment, the devil usually haunted such places, there to play his pranks.

Verse 4

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.

Ver. 4. See Trapp on " Mat 8:28 "

Verse 5

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

Ver. 5. See Trapp on " Mat 8:28 "

Verse 6

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

Ver. 6. See Trapp on " Mat 8:28 "

Verse 7

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.

Ver. 7. I adjure thee by God ] Exemplum horrendum impudentiae sceleratorum spirituum, saith Beza. To adjure one is to take an oath of him for our own security. An oath is not rashly to be undertaken, but by a kind of necessity, when it is exacted. Hence the Hebrew Nishbang is a passive, and signifieth to be sworn, rather than to swear.

Verse 8

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

Ver. 8. For he said ] Or, For he had said: and so had put him into a new hell, as it were,

" Qui si non aliqua nocuisset mortuus esset. "

Verse 9

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

Ver. 9. My name is Legion ] That is, a multitude. A legion was commonly among the Romans, saith Isidore, 6000 armed soldiers: 6666, saith Hesychius. So many devils were gotten in one poor man. Let us in him see what the best of us have deserved; and, since we have escaped, offer a passover each for himself.

Verse 10

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

Ver. 10. He would not send them away, &c. ] Because, saith Cajetan, they have several regions where they most haunt, and do hurt; and are therefore loth to be put out of their old quarters.

Verse 11

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

Ver. 11. Nigh unto the mountains ] All this country was full of hills ( intercursantibus montibus Galaad ) and mountains of Gilead.

Verse 12

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

Ver. 12. See Trapp on " Mat 8:31 "

Verse 13

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.

Ver. 13. Jesus gave them leave ] If Christ condescended to the devils, though to the loss of others, will he not hear us?

Into the sea ] So that standing pool in Gadaris is called, which, Strabo saith, is of such a foul nature, that if beasts taste of it, they shed their hair, nails, hoofs, or horns.

Verse 14

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.

Ver. 14. See Trapp on " Mat 8:33 "

Verse 15

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.

Ver. 15. See Trapp on " Mat 8:33 "

Verse 16

16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.

Ver. 16. They come to Jesus ] And, amazed with the miracle, they expostulate not an injury; but, acknowledging him Lord of all, they beg him to be gone, lest they should sustain further loss by him. The devil shall have his dwelling again in themselves rather than in their pigs (as the martyr Bradford phrased it): they will rather lose Christ than their porkers.

And in his right mind ] Sanguis medici factus est medicina phrenetici. The surgeon’s blood was the sick man’s salve.

Verse 17

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

Ver. 17. And they began, &c. ] See Trapp on " Mat 8:34 "

Verse 18

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.

Ver. 18. Prayed him that he might be with him ] This poor man had tasted how good the Lord is, and desired therefore to abide with him; when his countrymen of Gadara had only seen his power, and were therefore glad to be rid of him.

Verse 19

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.

Ver. 19. Tell how great things, &c. ] This was all the fee Christ looked for for his cures. Words seem to be a slender and slight recompence; but Christ (saith Nazianzen) calleth himself the Word.

Verse 20

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

Ver. 20. Began to publish in Decapolis ] A great mercy to them to have such a preacher sent among them. Bethsaida was denied this favour, Mark 8:26 .

Verse 21

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.

Ver. 21. He was nigh unto the sea ] Here, and now, it was that Levi made him a great feast; whereof see Mark 2:15-16 .

Verse 22

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,

Ver. 22. See Trapp " Mat 9:18 "

Verse 23

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.

Ver. 23. See Trapp on " Mat 9:18 "

Verse 24

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

Ver. 24. See Trapp on " Mat 9:19 "

Verse 25

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

Ver. 25. And a certain woman ] This history happened fitly, that Jairus might be confirmed, and the different degrees of faith in several saints the better discerned.

Verse 26

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

Ver. 26. And had spent all that she had ] Physicians are many of them crumenimulgae, et sordida poscinummia. (Plaut.) They call their drugs δοσεις , gifts; yet we pay dear for them, besides that they sometimes give their patient a "decipe" for a "recipe," which made Chaucer say, Farewell, physic.

" Iurisconsultorum idem status et Medicorum:

Damna quibus licito sunt aliena lucro,

Hi morbis aegrorum, agrorum litibus ill;

Dant Tatienter opem, dum potiantur opum. "

(Owen Epigr.)

Howbeit their greedy desire of money seldom prospereth with them.

" Dicis te medicum, nos te plus esse fatemur;

Una tibi plus est littera quam medico. "

(Mendico sc.)

Verse 28

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

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

Ver. 28. If I may but touch ] See Trapp on " Mat 9:21 "

Verse 30

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

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?

Ver. 30. That virtue had gone out of him ] As heat goeth out of the sun into the air, water, earth, earthly bodies, and yet remains in the sun; so here. Salient; aquarum font; undas si tollas, nec exhauritur, nec extenuatur, sed dulcescit; scientia, etiam docendi officio, dulcedinem sentiat, non sentiat minutias. A fountain is not drawn dry, but cleared; so skill is not lost by communicating it to others, but increased.

Verse 32

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

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

Ver. 32. And he looked round about ] He confuted the rashness of his disciples, not with words, but looks. We may more fitly sometimes signify our dislike of sin by frowns than by speeches. As the north wind drives away rain, &c.

Verse 33

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.

Ver. 33. Came and fell down ] sc. Upon her knees, and at his knees, as suppliants used also to do among the heathens; who therefore consecrated the knees to mercy. Genua miseriae consignavit antiquitas. Γουνουμαι ς ’ εγωγε . Hom.

Verse 34

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

Ver. 34. Daughter, thy faith, &c. ] They that can shame themselves to honour Christ, shall receive much settlement and inward satisfaction.

Verse 35

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?

Ver. 35. Thy daughter is dead ] Christ commonly reserves his holy hand for a dead lift.

Verse 36

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

Ver. 36. Be not afraid, only believe ] Faith quelleth and killeth distrustful fear; but awful dread it breedeth, feedeth, fostereth, and cherisheth.

Verse 37

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

Ver. 37. Save Peter, and James, and John ] Still Andrew is excluded, though Peter’s brother, an apostle of equal standing, and a good man: yet he is not offended, but content to be accounted a loyal subject for the general, though he was no favourite in these particulars.

Verse 38

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

Ver. 38. See Trapp on " Mat 9:23 " See Trapp on " Mat 9:24 "

Verse 39

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.

Ver. 39. See Trapp on " Mat 9:23 " See Trapp on " Mat 9:24 "

Verse 40

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.

Ver. 40. See Trapp on " Mat 9:24 "

Verse 41

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.

Ver. 41. Tabitha cumi ] The Syriac was then the vernacular or common tongue; for the Jews had lost their ancient language, in that seventy years’ continuance in Babylon.

Verse 42

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.

Ver. 42. They were astonished with a great astonishment ] Gr. εξεστησαν εκστασει μεγαλη. With an ecstasy of admiration: they were even carried out of themselves, vix sui compotes.

Verse 43

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

Ver. 43. That no man should know it ] Lest he should be too soon known and acknowledged by the people. But when he knew that he was shortly to die, he openly restored to life Lazarus, and the widow’s son. Everything is beautiful in its season.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Mark 5". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.