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The Gerasene Demoniac

They came to the [a]other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes.(A) When Jesus got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him, and the man lived in the [b]tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with chains. For he had often been bound with shackles [for the feet] and with chains, and he tore apart the chains and broke the shackles into pieces, and no one was strong enough to subdue and tame him. Night and day he was constantly screaming and shrieking among the tombs and on the mountains, and cutting himself with [sharp] stones. Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him [in homage]; and screaming with a loud voice, he said, “[c]What business do we have in common with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore you by God [swear to me], do not torment me!”(B) For Jesus had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 And he began begging Him repeatedly not to send them out of the region. 11 Now there was a large herd of pigs grazing there on the mountain. 12 And the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the pigs so that we may go into them!” 13 Jesus gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out [of the man] and entered the pigs. The herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea; and they were drowned [one after the other] in the sea.

14 The herdsmen [tending the pigs] ran away and reported it in the city and in the country. And the people came to see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the man who had [previously] had the “legion” [of demons]; and they were frightened. 16 Those who had seen it described [in detail] to the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man, and [told them all] about the pigs. 17 So the people began to beg with Jesus to leave their region. 18 As He was stepping into the boat, the [Gentile] man who had been demon-possessed was begging with Him [asking] that he might go with Him [as a disciple]. 19 Jesus did not let him [come], but [instead] He said to him, “Go home to your family and tell them all the great things that the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” 20 So he [obeyed and] went away and began to publicly proclaim in Decapolis [the region of the ten Hellenistic cities] all the great things that Jesus had done for him; and all the people were astonished.

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Footnotes

  1. Mark 5:1 The southeastern region of the Sea of Galilee.
  2. Mark 5:3 These probably were burial places built above the ground, or natural caves in the hillside. Cave tombs often had two chambers, one of which remained empty as long as relatives were still alive. Such tombs frequently were used as shelter by lepers, demoniacs, and the poor.
  3. Mark 5:7 See note 1:24.

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