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Matthew 8:28-34

Context
Healing the Gadarene Demoniacs

8:28 When he came to the other side, to the region of the Gadarenes, 1  two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were extremely violent, so that no one was able to pass by that way. 8:29 They 2  cried out, “Son of God, leave us alone! 3  Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 4  8:30 A 5  large herd of pigs was feeding some distance from them. 8:31 Then the demons begged him, 6  “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” 8:32 And he said, 7  “Go!” So 8  they came out and went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep slope into the lake and drowned in the water. 8:33 The 9  herdsmen ran off, went into the town, 10  and told everything that had happened to the demon-possessed men. 8:34 Then 11  the entire town 12  came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.

1 tc The textual tradition here is quite complicated. A number of mss (B C [Δ] Θ al sys,p,h) read “Gadarenes,” which is the better reading here. Many other mss (א2 L W Ë1,13 Ï [syhmg] bo) have “Gergesenes.” Others (892c latt syhmg sa mae) have “Gerasenes,” which is the reading followed in Luke 8:26. The difference between Matthew and Luke may be due to uses of variant regional terms.

sn The region of the Gadarenes would be in Gentile territory on the southeastern side of the Sea of Galilee across from Galilee. Luke 8:26 and Mark 5:1 record this miracle as occurring “in the region of the Gerasenes.” “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.

2 tn Grk “And behold, they cried out, saying.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1). The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant and has not been translated.

3 tn Grk “what to us and to you?” (an idiom). The phrase τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί (ti Jhmin 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 us alone….”

4 sn 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.

5 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

6 tn Grk “asked him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

7 tn Grk “And he said to them.”

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

9 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

10 tn Or “city.” But see the sn on “Gadarenes” in 8:28.

11 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).

12 tn Or “city.”



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