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Mark 5:7-13

Context
5:7 Then 1  he cried out with a loud voice, “Leave me alone, 2  Jesus, Son of the Most High God! I implore you by God 3  – do not torment me!” 5:8 (For Jesus 4  had said to him, “Come out of that man, you unclean spirit!”) 5  5:9 Jesus 6  asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “My name is Legion, 7  for we are many.” 5:10 He begged Jesus 8  repeatedly not to send them out of the region. 5:11 There on the hillside, 9  a great herd of pigs was feeding. 5:12 And the demonic spirits 10  begged him, “Send us into the pigs. Let us enter them.” 5:13 Jesus 11  gave them permission. 12  So 13  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.

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

2 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….”

3 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.

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

5 sn This is a parenthetical explanation by the author.

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

7 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.

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

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

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

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

12 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.

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



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