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Mark 4:35--5:43

Context
Stilling of a Storm

4:35 On that day, when evening came, Jesus 1  said to his disciples, “Let’s go across to the other side of the lake.” 2  4:36 So 3  after leaving the crowd, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat, 4  and other boats were with him. 4:37 Now 5  a great windstorm 6  developed and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was nearly swamped. 4:38 But 7  he was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. They woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to die?” 4:39 So 8  he got up and rebuked 9  the wind, and said to the sea, 10  “Be quiet! Calm down!” Then 11  the wind stopped, and it was dead calm. 4:40 And he said to them, “Why are you cowardly? Do you still not have faith?” 4:41 They were overwhelmed by fear and said to one another, “Who then is this? 12  Even the wind and sea obey him!” 13 

Healing of a Demoniac

5:1 So 14  they came to the other side of the lake, to the region of the Gerasenes. 15  5:2 Just as Jesus 16  was getting out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit 17  came from the tombs and met him. 18  5:3 He lived among the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 5:4 For his hands and feet had often been bound with chains and shackles, 19  but 20  he had torn the chains apart and broken the shackles in pieces. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5:5 Each night and every day among the tombs and in the mountains, he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 5:6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him. 5:7 Then 21  he cried out with a loud voice, “Leave me alone, 22  Jesus, Son of the Most High God! I implore you by God 23  – do not torment me!” 5:8 (For Jesus 24  had said to him, “Come out of that man, you unclean spirit!”) 25  5:9 Jesus 26  asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “My name is Legion, 27  for we are many.” 5:10 He begged Jesus 28  repeatedly not to send them out of the region. 5:11 There on the hillside, 29  a great herd of pigs was feeding. 5:12 And the demonic spirits 30  begged him, “Send us into the pigs. Let us enter them.” 5:13 Jesus 31  gave them permission. 32  So 33  the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs. Then the herd rushed down the steep slope into the lake, and about two thousand were drowned in the lake.

5:14 Now 34  the herdsmen ran off and spread the news in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 5:15 They came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man sitting there, clothed and in his right mind – the one who had the “Legion” – and they were afraid. 5:16 Those who had seen what had happened to the demon-possessed man reported it, and they also told about the pigs. 5:17 Then 35  they asked Jesus 36  to leave their region. 5:18 As he was getting into the boat the man who had been demon-possessed asked if he could go 37  with him. 5:19 But 38  Jesus 39  did not permit him to do so. Instead, he said to him, “Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you, 40  that he had mercy on you.” 5:20 So 41  he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis 42  what Jesus had done for him, 43  and all were amazed.

Restoration and Healing

5:21 When Jesus had crossed again in a boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he was by the sea. 5:22 Then 44  one of the synagogue rulers, 45  named Jairus, 46  came up, and when he saw Jesus, 47  he fell at his feet. 5:23 He asked him urgently, “My little daughter is near death. Come and lay your hands on her so that she may be healed and live.” 5:24 Jesus 48  went with him, and a large crowd followed and pressed around him.

5:25 Now 49  a woman was there who had been suffering from a hemorrhage 50  for twelve years. 51  5:26 She had endured a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet instead of getting better, she grew worse. 5:27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 52  5:28 for she kept saying, 53  “If only I touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 54  5:29 At once the bleeding stopped, 55  and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 5:30 Jesus knew at once that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 5:31 His disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing against you and you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 5:32 But 56  he looked around to see who had done it. 5:33 Then the woman, with fear and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 5:34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. 57  Go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

5:35 While he was still speaking, people came from the synagogue ruler’s 58  house saying, “Your daughter has died. Why trouble the teacher any longer?” 5:36 But Jesus, paying no attention to what was said, told the synagogue ruler, “Do not be afraid; just believe.” 5:37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James, 59  and John, the brother of James. 5:38 They came to the house of the synagogue ruler where 60  he saw noisy confusion and people weeping and wailing loudly. 61  5:39 When he entered he said to them, “Why are you distressed and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” 5:40 And they began making fun of him. 62  But he put them all outside 63  and he took the child’s father and mother and his own companions 64  and went into the room where the child was. 65  5:41 Then, gently taking the child by the hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up.” 5:42 The girl got up at once and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). They were completely astonished at this. 66  5:43 He strictly ordered that no one should know about this, 67  and told them to give her something to eat.

1 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn The phrase “of the lake” is not in the Greek text but is clearly implied; it has been supplied here for clarity.

3 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the response to Jesus’ request.

4 tn It is possible that this prepositional phrase modifies “as he was,” not “they took him along.” The meaning would then be “they took him along in the boat in which he was already sitting” (see 4:1).

sn A boat that held all the disciples would be of significant size.

5 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

6 tn Or “a squall.”

sn The Sea of Galilee is located in a depression some 700 ft (200 m) below sea level and is surrounded by hills. Frequently a rush of wind and the right mix of temperatures can cause a storm to come suddenly on the lake. Storms on the Sea of Galilee were known for their suddenness and violence.

7 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

8 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.

9 tn Or “commanded” (often with the implication of a threat, L&N 33.331).

10 sn Who has authority over the seas and winds is discussed in the OT: Ps 104:3; 135:7; 107:23-30. When Jesus rebuked the wind and the sea he was making a statement about who he was.

11 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

12 sn Jesus’ authority over creation raised a question for the disciples about who he was exactly (Who then is this?). This verse shows that the disciples followed Jesus even though they did not know all about him yet.

13 sn This section in Mark (4:35-5:43) contains four miracles: (1) the calming of the storm; (2) the exorcism of the demon-possessed man; (3) the giving of life to Jairus’ daughter; (4) the healing of the woman hemorrhaging for twelve years. All these miracles demonstrate Jesus’ right to proclaim the kingdom message and his sovereign authority over forces, directly or indirectly, hostile to the kingdom. The last three may have been brought together to show that Jesus had power over all defilement, since contact with graves, blood, or a corpse was regarded under Jewish law as causing a state of ritual uncleanness.

14 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate a summary and transition in the narrative.

15 tc The textual tradition here is quite complicated. Most later mss (A C Ë13 Ï syp,h) read “Gadarenes,” which is the better reading in Matt 8:28. Other mss (א2 L Δ Θ Ë1 28 33 565 579 700 892 1241 1424 al sys bo) have “Gergesenes.” Others (א* B D latt sa) have “Gerasenes,” which is the reading followed in the translation here and in Luke 8:26. The difference between Matthew and Mark (which is parallel to Luke) may well have to do with uses of variant regional terms.

sn The region of the Gerasenes would be in Gentile territory on the (south)eastern side of the Sea of Galilee across from Galilee. Matthew 8:28 records this miracle as occurring “in the region of the Gadarenes.” “Irrespective of how one settles this issue, for the [second and] Third Evangelist the chief concern is that Jesus has crossed over into Gentile territory, ‘opposite Galilee’” (J. B. Green, Luke [NICNT], 337). The region of Gadara extended to the Sea of Galilee and included the town of Sennabris on the southern shore – the town that the herdsmen most likely entered after the drowning of the pigs.

16 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

17 sn Unclean spirit refers to an evil spirit.

18 tn Grk “met him from the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.” When this is converted to normal English word order (“a man met him from the tombs with an unclean spirit”) it sounds as if “with an unclean spirit” modifies “the tombs.” Likewise, “a man with an unclean spirit from the tombs met him” implies that the unclean spirit came from the tombs, while the Greek text is clear that it is the man who had the unclean spirit who came from the tombs. To make this clear a second verb, “came,” is supplied in English: “came from the tombs and met him.”

19 tn Grk “he had often been bound with chains and shackles.” “Shackles” could also be translated “fetters”; they were chains for the feet.

20 tn Grk “and.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

21 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

22 tn Grk What to me and to you?” (an idiom). The phrase τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί (ti emoi kai soi) is Semitic in origin, though it made its way into colloquial Greek (BDAG 275 s.v. ἐγώ). The equivalent Hebrew expression in the OT had two basic meanings: (1) When one person was unjustly bothering another, the injured party could say “What to me and to you?” meaning, “What have I done to you that you should do this to me?” (Judg 11:12, 2 Chr 35:21, 1 Kgs 17:18). (2) When someone was asked to get involved in a matter he felt was no business of his own, he could say to the one asking him, “What to me and to you?” meaning, “That is your business, how am I involved?” (2 Kgs 3:13, Hos 14:8). These nuances were apparently expanded in Greek, but the basic notions of defensive hostility (option 1) and indifference or disengagement (option 2) are still present. BDAG suggests the following as glosses for this expression: What have I to do with you? What have we in common? Leave me alone! Never mind! Hostility between Jesus and the demons is certainly to be understood in this context, hence the translation: “Leave me alone….”

23 sn Though it seems unusual for a demon to invoke God’s name (“I implore you by God”) in his demands of Jesus, the parallel in Matt 8:29 suggests the reason: “Why have you come to torment us before the time?” There was an appointed time in which demons would face their judgment, and they seem to have viewed Jesus’ arrival on the scene as an illegitimate change in God’s plan regarding the time when their sentence would be executed.

24 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

25 sn This is a parenthetical explanation by the author.

26 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

27 sn The name Legion means “thousands,” a word taken from a Latin term for a large group of soldiers. The term not only suggests a multiple possession, but also adds a military feel to the account. This is a true battle.

28 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

29 tn Grk “mountain,” but this might give the English reader the impression of a far higher summit.

30 tn Grk “they”; the referent (the demonic spirits) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

31 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

32 sn Many have discussed why Jesus gave them permission, since the animals were destroyed. However, this is another example of a miracle that is a visual lesson. The demons are destructive: They were destroying the man. They destroyed the pigs. They destroy whatever they touch. The point was to take demonic influence seriously, as well as Jesus’ power over it as a picture of the larger battle for human souls. There would be no doubt how the man’s transformation had taken place.

33 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate a conclusion and transition in the narrative.

34 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate a transition to the response to the miraculous healing.

35 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

36 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

37 tn Grk “be,” that is, “remain.” In this context that would involve accompanying Jesus as he went on his way.

38 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

39 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

40 sn Jesus instructs the man to declare what the Lord has done for him, in contrast to the usual instructions (e.g., 1:44; 5:43) to remain silent. Here in Gentile territory Jesus allowed more open discussion of his ministry. D. L. Bock (Luke [BECNT], 1:781) suggests that with few Jewish religious representatives present, there would be less danger of misunderstanding Jesus’ ministry as political.

41 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “So” to indicate the conclusion of the episode in the narrative.

42 sn The Decapolis refers to a league of towns (originally consisting of ten; the Greek name literally means “ten towns”) whose region (except for Scythopolis) lay across the Jordan River.

43 sn Note that the man could not separate what God had done from the one through whom God had done it (what Jesus had done for him). This man was called to witness to God’s goodness at home.

44 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

45 tn That is, “an official in charge of the synagogue”; ἀρχισυνάγωγος (arcisunagwgo") refers to the “president of a synagogue” (so BDAG 139 s.v. and L&N 53.93; cf. Luke 8:41).

sn The synagogue was a place for Jewish prayer and worship, with recognized leadership. See also the note on synagogue in 1:21.

46 tc Codex Bezae (D) and some Itala mss omit the words “named Jairus.” The evidence for the inclusion of the phrase is extremely strong, however. The witnesses in behalf of ὀνόματι ᾿Ιάϊρος (onomati Iairos) include {Ì45 א A B C L Ï lat sy co}. The best explanation is that the phrase was accidentally dropped during the transmission of one strand of the Western text.

47 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

48 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

49 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

50 tn Grk “a flow of blood.”

51 sn This story of the woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years is recounted in the middle of the story about Jairus’ daughter. Mark’s account (as is often the case) is longer and more detailed than the parallel accounts in Matt 9:18-26 and Luke 8:40-56. Mark’s fuller account may be intended to show that the healing of the woman was an anticipation of the healing of the little girl.

52 tn Grk “garment,” but here ἱμάτιον (Jimation) denotes the outer garment in particular.

53 tn The imperfect verb is here taken iteratively, for the context suggests that the woman was trying to muster up the courage to touch Jesus’ cloak.

54 tn Grk “saved.”

sn In this pericope the author uses a term for being healed (Grk “saved”) that would have spiritual significance to his readers. It may be a double entendre (cf. parallel in Matt 9:21 which uses the same term), since elsewhere he uses verbs that simply mean “heal”: If only the reader would “touch” Jesus, he too would be “saved.”

55 tn Grk “the flow of her blood dried up.”

sn The woman was most likely suffering from a vaginal hemorrhage, in which case her bleeding would make her ritually unclean.

56 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

57 tn Or “has delivered you”; Grk “has saved you.” This should not be understood as an expression for full salvation in the immediate context; it refers only to the woman’s healing.

58 sn See the note on synagogue rulers in 5:22.

59 tn Grk “and James,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

60 tn Grk “and,” though such paratactic structure is rather awkward in English.

61 sn This group probably includes outside or even professional mourners, not just family, because a large group seems to be present.

62 tn Grk “They were laughing at him.” The imperfect verb has been taken ingressively.

63 tn Or “threw them all outside.” The verb used, ἐκβάλλω (ekballw), almost always has the connotation of force in Mark.

64 tn Grk “those with him.”

65 tn Grk “into where the child was.”

66 tn The Greek word εὐθύς (euqus, often translated “immediately” or “right away”) has not been translated here. It sometimes occurs with a weakened, inferential use (BDAG 406 s.v. 2), not contributing significantly to the flow of the narrative. For further discussion, see R. J. Decker, Temporal Deixis of the Greek Verb in the Gospel of Mark with Reference to Verbal Aspect (SBG 10), 73-77.

67 sn That no one should know about this. See the note on the phrase who he was in 3:12.



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