Matthew 8:28 KJV
And when he was come to the other side
into the country of the Gergesenes¹,
there met him two possessed with devils,
coming out of the tombs,
so that no man might pass by that way.
¹) Gadarenes — Γαδαρηνῶν (Gadarēnōn) — Adjective – Genitive Masculine Plural — From Gadara; a Gadarene or inhabitant of Gadara.
Berean Literal Bible
And He having come to the other side, to the region of the Gadarenes, two being possessed by demons met Him, coming forth out of the tombs, extremely violent, so that no one was able to pass by that way.
New King James Version
When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.
New American Standard Bible
And when He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men confronted Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way.
Young’s Literal Translation
And he having come to the other side, to the region of the Gergesenes, there met him two demoniacs, coming forth out of the tombs, very fierce, so that no one was able to pass over by that way.
The Gadarene demoniacs
Parallel passages: Mark 5:1-20; and Luke 8:26-39.
Matthew is much less detailed.
Matthew mentions two demoniacs; the parallel passages, one; the reason may be either that one was less fierce than the other, or that only one came from Gerasa (Nosgen).
But in our present knowledge of the extent of inspiration, we cannot confidently affirm that the evangelists were kept from errors in numbers, and that the addition of the second demoniac is not due’ to some misunderstanding, perhaps of the use of the plural in the demoniac’s answer in the parallel passage, Mark 5:9 (cf. Weiss, ‘Marcus-ev.,’ p. 172).
For a similar difficulty, cf. Matthew 9:27-31.
With regard to this mysterious narrative generally, the explanation of its details can be little more than empirical in our present knowledge of psychology and of spiritual influences.
And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes; Revised Version, Gadarenes, which is certainly right here, as is “Gerasenes” in the parallel passages (cf. Westcott and Hort, it. ‘App.’).
Gergesa (Textus Receptus here, and Alexandrian authorities in parallel passages) and Gerasa (unless, with Origen on John 1:28, we understand by this the Arabian Gerasa fifty miles away) are probably forms of the same name now represented by Khersa, a village discovered (? in 1857) by Thomson (‘The Land and the Book,’ pp. 375, sqq., edit. 1880) on the eastern side of the lake, and lying “within a few rods of the shore,” with “an immense mountain” rising directly above it, “in which are ancient tombs, out of some of which the two men possessed of the devils may have issued to meet Jesus.
The lake is so near the base of the mountain that the swine, rushing madly down it, could not stop, but would be hurried on into the water and drowned.”
To this Origen’s description corresponds: “Gergesa, to which the Gergesenes belong, is an ancient city by what is now called the Lake of Tiberias, by which is a steep place adjacent to the lake, and down this, as is pointed out, the swine were cast headlong by the demons.”
Gadara, in some sense the capital of Peraea (Josephus, ‘Bell. Jud.,’ 4:07. 3), and one of the towns of the Decapolis confederacy (Matthew 4:25), was some twelve miles distant from Khersa, and six miles from the nearest part of the lake, to which, in fact (as the stamp of a ship on its coins shows), its territory extended (cf. Schiirer, II. 1. p. 100, sqq.).
Matthew describes the locality, not by the little-known village, but by the well-known city of the district, to which (as we may gather from the parallel passage, Mark 5:20) the news of the miracle afterwards spread.
But since he leaves the expression, “the city,” in Matthew 8:33, 34 as he fontal it in his sources, i.e. Khersa, the result is at first misleading There met him (ὑπήντησαν; occurrerunt, Vulgate).
Matthew (contrast vers. 2, 5, 19) omits the nearer approach recorded in the parallel passages, Mark 5:6 and Luke 8:28.
Two (vide supra) possessed with devils (Matthew 4:24), coming out of the tombs; Revised Version, coming forth out.
The Greek shows that they did not merely come from among the tombs, but actually out of them (cf. the experience of Warburton, as quoted in Trench on this miracle).
Exceeding fierce, so that no man might (Revised Version, could) pass by that way.
This is mentioned by Matthew only. It deepens the contrast to their present behaviour.
Perhaps “that way” refers to the Roman road by the side of the lake (cf. Thomson, op. cit., p. 378).
The Christ has not only power over the winds and the sea, but He is also able to destroy the power that Satan exercises over a man.
The demon-possessed man, under the direct influence of Satan, came to the Savior.
Satan ruled. But that dominion was broken by the Saviour.
The power of the devils must yield to the Almighty.
The power of hell cannot reverse this.
The devils are cast out and are allowed to go into the herd of swine. Here we see a glimpse of the great victory that the Savior would gain over Satan.
Though we are not possessed by Satan,
we have all become willing slaves of Satan through the fall in Adam.
We have opened our hearts to him.
Are you burdened by that?
Have all attempts to redeem yourself come to nothing?
Are all roads cut off?
The Almighty alone can deliver,
The Almighty alone can break the rule of Satan, so you can serve Him freely.
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