1 And they went across the sea into the region of the Gerasenes. 2 And after he got out of the boat, immediately, from the tombs, a man with an unclean spirit1 met him, 3 who was living among the tombs2. And no one was able to bind him any longer3, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been bound with fetters and chains, but he tore the chains apart4 and the fetters were broken into pieces. And no one was strong enough to control him; 5 for he was continually5 crying out night and day among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones. 6 And seeing Jesus at a distance6, he ran and bowed down to him7 7 and crying out in a great voice says, “What to me and to you8, Jesus son of the most high God9? I demand that you take an oath by God, not to torture me.” 8 For he had been saying to him, “Come out of the man unclean spirit!” 9 And he was asking him, “What is your name? 10” And he says to him, “My name is Legion11 , for we are many.” 10 And he appealed to him over and over again12 so that he would not send them13 outside of the region14. Mark 5:1-10
1 ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ (with an unclean spirit)
Greek: “in an unclean spirit”. It means that the man was under the influence of the unclean spirit. This also occurs in 1:23-24.
2 ὃς τὴν κατοίκησιν εἶχεν ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν (who was living among the tombs)
Greek: “who was having his home among the tombs”.
3 οὐκέτι (any longer)
Greek: “no longer”. The text suggest that the man possibly was bound as an earlier time, but had grown more powerful and couldn’t be controlled now.
4 καὶ διεσπάσθαι ὑπ ̓ αὐτοῦ τὰς ἁλύσεις (but he tore the chains apart)
Greek: “and to tear apart the chains by him”. This just indicates that Mark wasn’t using very good Greek in this passage (my opinion), but was using day-to-day common Greek. Although the Greek is not so good, we can still see what was going on in the narrative.
5 διὰ παντὸς (continually)
6 ἀπὸ μακρόθεν (from a distance)
Greek: “from a far off".
7 προσεκύνησεν αὐτῷ (bowed down to him)
This could also mean “worshipped him”, but that is not very likely the meaning here. This does show that the demons were bowing down to a superior person, but it doesn’t mean that they were worshipping Jesus in doing so. They were probably trying to gain some favor from Jesus.
8 τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί (What to me and to you)
An idiom. In ancient times, this was a Jewish idiom that people used when someone was doing something to them that they believe wasn’t deserved. You would certainly here it in the courts. It really means “what have I done to you that you would do this to me?” You will see it translated “What do you have to do with me?”, “Leave me alone.”, and in other ways. This occurs is 1:24 as well.
9 τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ὑψίστου (of the most high God)
Greek: “of the highest God”.
10τί ὄνομά σοι; (What is your name?)
Greek: “What name is to you?"
11λεγιὼν ὄνομά μοι (My name is Legion)
Greek: “Legion is the name to me”. A legion was a group of Roman Soldiers that had 5000 to 6000 troops.
12πολλὰ (over and over again)
Notice how the passage moves from the singular (he appealed) to the plural (them). Mark is trying to bring out that the demons (plural) were speaking with one voice through the one man. This gives us a good look at how demon possession was viewed in the 1st century.
14 ἔξω τῆς χώρας (outside the region)
We don’t know exactly why the demons didn’t want to be sent away from the area. Some scholars think that demons were assigned to geographical regions and that they would lose their power if they were relocated to another area. Other scholars think that Jesus could have sent them to a remote place where they could no longer do any harm to people and that’s why the demons didn’t what to leave the area. In either case, the demons did not want to leave the area.
Μάρκον 5·1 Καὶ ἦλθον εἰς τὸ πέραν τῆς θαλάσσης εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν. 2 καὶ ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ πλοίου εὐθὺς ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἄνθρωπος ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ, 3 ὃς τὴν κατοίκησιν εἶχεν ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν, καὶ οὐδὲ ἁλύσει οὐκέτι οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο αὐτὸν δῆσαι 4 διὰ τὸ αὐτὸν πολλάκις πέδαις καὶ ἁλύσεσιν δεδέσθαι καὶ διεσπάσθαι ὑπ ̓ αὐτοῦ τὰς ἁλύσεις καὶ τὰς πέδας συντετρῖφθαι, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἴσχυεν αὐτὸν δαμάσαι· 5 καὶ διὰ παντὸς νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὄρεσιν ἦν κράζων καὶ κατακόπτων ἑαυτὸν λίθοις. 6 καὶ ἰδὼν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπὸ μακρόθεν ἔδραμεν καὶ προσεκύνησεν αὐτῷ 7 καὶ κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγει· τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, Ἰησοῦ υἱὲ τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ὑψίστου; ὁρκίζω σε τὸν θεόν, μή με βασανίσῃς. 8 ἔλεγεν γὰρ αὐτῷ· ἔξελθε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἀκάθαρτον ἐκ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. 9 καὶ ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν· τί ὄνομά σοι; καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· λεγιὼν ὄνομά μοι, ὅτι πολλοί ἐσμεν. 10 καὶ παρεκάλει αὐτὸν πολλὰ ἵνα μὴ αὐτὰ ἀποστείλῃ ἔξω τῆς χώρας.