King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Mark 5

The demoniac healed. (1-20) A woman healed. (21-34) The daughter of Jairus raised. (35-43)

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The demoniac healed

1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.

11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.

15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.

17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.

18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

A woman healed

21 And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.

22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,

23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.

25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.

33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

The daughter of Jairus raised

35 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?

36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.

39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.

40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.

41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.

42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

43 And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Ven. Bede gives a beautiful explanation of this miracle. He says that it represents the Gentiles, who were converted to the faith by the apostles. The legion represents the innumerable vices to which they were subject, neither restrained by the laws of God nor man, but breaking through every restraint, and wallowing in all kinds of uncleanness. Ven. Bede. — The three evangelists agree in the expulsion of the legion of devils, except that S. Matt. makes mention of two demoniacs, and SS. Mark and Luke only of one. The difficulty is thus solved by S. Austin. S. Mark and S. Luke only mention one, as being more generally known, and particularly frightful in the neighbourhood. S. Aug.

Ver. 7. I adjure thee by God. The same is, I earnestly beg of thee not to torment me, by sending me into hell, and confining me in the abyss, there to be more tormented than I am at present. See S. Luke viii. 31. Wi.

Ver. 9. My name is Legion. Spirits have no names, only with respect to our language. These devils say their name is Legion, because they are many. Wi.

Ver. 13. Jesus Christ permitted the devil to destroy these swine, that from their destruction, the men of that country might take the alarm, and be converted. Ven. Bede.

Ver. 17. Astonished at the miracle that had been performed, and displeased with the loss of their herds, they refused the Saviour of the world entrance into their country. Theophy. — It is observed that all Christ’s miracles, except this, and the blasted fig-tree, were of the beneficent kind. We cannot but pity the wretched blindness of the Gerasens, in driving Jesus from their coasts. As a just judgment of God, their city was the first that fell into the hands of the Romans, in the fatal war under Vespasian.

Ver. 18. That he might be with him; i.e. as one of his disciples. S. Amb. says Christ did not grant his request, lest they might think that he sought to be glorified by men, in having always in his company a man out of whom he had cast so many devils. Christ himself seems to give us another reason, that the man might go, and publish in his own country the miracles done by Jesus. Wi.

Ver. 19. And he admitted him not: By Christ’s conduct on this occasion, he teaches his disciples that they ought sometimes to make known their own good works, when either the glory of God or the edification of their neighbour were likely to be advanced by such a manifestation: otherwise they ought to conceal them, out of a spirit of humility. Dion. Carth.

Ver. 20. Decapolis, a territory on the eastern borders of the sea of Tiberias, and is so called, from ten principal towns that compose it. V.

Ver. 23. S. Matt. says: my daughter is even now dead. The sense in both is exactly the same. S. Matt. attended rather to the thoughts of Jairus, than to his words; for, as he left her dying, he could not reasonably hope to find her still in the same state; and, as he expected she was already dead, when he spoke this to Jesus, S. Matt. relates what the man thought at that instant, not what he said. S. Aug.

Ver. 28. Touch his garment. Almighty God is pleased to give occasionally to the relics and clothes of his pious and faithful servants, a degree of virtue. See Acts v, and xix, where the very shadow of S. Peter, and the handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched the body of S. Paul, and were brought to the sick, cured their diseases, and banished the wicked spirits. See S. Chrysostom, T. 5. contra Gent. in vit. Babylœ. S. Basil saith: “he that toucheth the bone of a martyr, receiveth in some degree holiness of the grace or virtue that is therein. Bas. in Psalm cxv.

Ver. 30. Virtue that hath proceeded from him. Virtue to heal this woman’s malady proceeded from Christ, though she touched but his coat: so when the saints by their relics and garments perform miracles, the grace and force thereof cometh from our Saviour; they being but the means of instruments of the same. B.

Ver. 35. Ruler of the synagogue. His house is understood.

Ver. 36. Only believe. Dissenters grossly abuse this and other similar texts of Scripture, to prove that faith alone will suffice for justification; whereas God only declares, that he requires a faith in his almighty power for the performance of miracles, and that without this necessary predisposition, he will not do any miracles. See v. 5, of the following chapter.

Ver. 41. Only three resurrections from the dead are mentioned as performed by our Saviour: one just dead; one carried out to be buried; and Lazarus, already in his tomb. These represent the different states of sinners dead in sin, some more desperate than others. To such as have been for years in sin, and have none to intercede for them, we must apply the words of Christ, suffer the dead to bury the dead. Ven. Bede, and S. Aug. de verb. Dom. serm. 44.