preaching: The Greek word basically means “to make proclamation as a public messenger.” It stresses the manner of the proclamation: usually an open, public declaration rather than a sermon to a group.
Mary who was called Magdalene: The woman often called Mary Magdalene is first mentioned here in the account of Jesus’ second year of preaching. Her distinguishing name, Magdalene (meaning “Of, or Belonging to, Magdala”), likely stems from the town of Magdala. This town was located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, about halfway between Capernaum and Tiberias. It has been suggested that Magdala was this Mary’s hometown or place of residence. Mary Magdalene is mentioned most prominently in connection with the death and resurrection of Jesus.—Mt 27:55, 56, 61; Mr 15:40; Lu 24:10; Joh 19:25.
ministering: Or “serving.” Related to the Greek verb di·a·ko·neʹo, used here, is the noun di·aʹko·nos (minister; servant), which refers to one who does not let up in humbly rendering service in behalf of others. The term is used to describe Christ (Ro 15:8); ministers or servants of Christ, both male and female (Ro 16:1; 1Co 3:5-7; Col 1:23); ministerial servants (Php 1:1; 1Ti 3:8); as well as household servants (Joh 2:5, 9) and government officials.—Ro 13:4.
Chuza: Herod Antipas’ man in charge, or steward, possibly of domestic affairs.
were ministering to them: Or “were supporting (providing for) them.” The Greek word di·a·ko·neʹo can refer to caring for the physical needs of others by obtaining, cooking, and serving food, and so forth. It is used in a similar sense at Lu 10:40 (“attend to things”), Lu 12:37 (“minister”), Lu 17:8 (“serve”), and Ac 6:2 (“distribute food”), but it can also refer to all other services of a similar personal nature. Here it describes how the women mentioned in verses 2 and 3 supported Jesus and his disciples, helping them to complete their God-given assignment. By doing so, these women glorified God, who showed his appreciation by preserving in the Bible a record of their merciful generosity for all future generations to read. (Pr 19:17; Heb 6:10) The same Greek term is used about women at Mt 27:55; Mr 15:41.—See study note on Lu 22:26, where the related noun di·aʹko·nos is discussed.
region of the Gadarenes: A region on the other (the eastern) shore of the Sea of Galilee. It may have been the region extending from the sea to Gadara, which was 10 km (6 mi) from the sea. Supporting this idea, coins from Gadara often depict a ship. Mark and Luke call the area “the region of the Gerasenes.” (See study note on Mr 5:1.) The different regions may have been overlapping.
region of the Gerasenes: A region on the side opposite, that is, the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The exact limits of this region are unknown today, and its identification is uncertain. Some link “the region of the Gerasenes” with the area around Kursi, near the steep slopes on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Others think that it was the large district radiating from the city of Gerasa (Jarash), which was 55 km (34 mi) SSE of the Sea of Galilee. Mt 8:28 calls it “the region of the Gadarenes.” (See the study note on Gerasenes in this verse and the study note on Mt 8:28.) Although different names are used, they refer to the general area of the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, and the regions may have been overlapping. Thus, there is no contradiction between the accounts.—See also App. A7, Map 3B, “Activity at the Sea of Galilee,” and App. B10.
Gerasenes: In the parallel accounts of this event (Mt 8:
a demon-possessed man: Matthew (8:28) mentions two men, but Mark (5:2) and Luke refer to one. Mark and Luke evidently drew attention to just one demon-possessed man because Jesus spoke to him and because his case was more outstanding. Possibly, that man was more violent or had suffered under demon control for a longer time. It could also be that after the two men were healed, only one of them wanted to accompany Jesus.—Lu 8:37-39.
What have I to do with you, . . . ?: Or “What is there in common between me and you?” Literally translated, this rhetorical question reads: “What to me and to you?” This Semitic idiom is found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Jg 11:12, ftn.; Jos 22:24; 2Sa 16:10; 19:22; 1Ki 17:18; 2Ki 3:
legions: Principal units of the Roman army. In the first century C.E., one legion usually consisted of some 6,000 soldiers. Here “12 legions” apparently denotes an indefinite, large number. Jesus is saying that if he asked, his Father would send more than enough angels to protect him.
Legion: Likely, this was not the demon-possessed man’s actual name, but it indicates that the man was possessed by many demons. Possibly, the chief one of these demons caused this man to say that his name was Legion. In the first century C.E., a Roman legion usually consisted of some 6,000 men, which may indicate that a large number of demons were involved.
torment us: A related Greek term is used of “the jailers” at Mt 18:34, so in this context, the “torment” would seem to refer to a restraining or a confining to “the abyss” mentioned in the parallel account at Lu 8:31.
the abyss: Or “the deep.” The Greek word aʹbys·sos, meaning “exceedingly deep” or “unfathomable, boundless,” refers to a place or condition of confinement or imprisonment. It occurs nine times in the Christian Greek Scriptures—here, at Ro 10:7, and seven times in the book of Revelation. The account at Re 20:1-3 describes the future casting of Satan into the abyss for a thousand years. The legion of demons who entreated Jesus not to send them “into the abyss” may have had that future event in mind. In verse 28, one of the demons asked Jesus not to “torment” him. In the parallel account at Mt 8:29, the demons asked Jesus: “Did you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” So the “torment” the demons feared would seem to refer to their being confined or imprisoned in “the abyss.”—See Glossary and study note on Mt 8:29.
keep on relating what God did for you: In contrast with Jesus’ usual instructions not to publicize his miracles (Mr 1:44; 3:12; 7:36; Lu 5:14), he instructed this man to tell his relatives what had happened. This may have been because Jesus was asked to leave the region and would not personally give them a witness. The man’s testimony would also serve to counteract unfavorable reports that might circulate over the loss of the swine.
only: The Greek word mo·no·ge·nesʹ, traditionally rendered “only-begotten,” has been defined as “the only one of its kind; one and only; the only one or member of a class or kind; unique.” The term is used in describing the relation of both sons and daughters to their parents. In this context, it is used in the sense of an only child. The same Greek word is also used of the “only” son of a widow in Nain and of a man’s “only” son whom Jesus cured of a demon. (Lu 7:12; 9:38) The Greek Septuagint uses mo·no·ge·nesʹ when speaking of Jephthah’s daughter, concerning whom it is written: “Now she was his one and only child. Besides her, he had neither son nor daughter.” (Jg 11:34) In the apostle John’s writings, mo·no·ge·nesʹ is used five times with reference to Jesus.—For the meaning of the term when used about Jesus, see study notes on Joh 1:14; 3:16.
Daughter: The only recorded instance in which Jesus directly addressed a woman as “daughter,” perhaps because of her delicate situation and her “trembling.” (Mr 5:
yielded up his spirit: Or “expired; ceased to breathe.” The term “spirit” (Greek, pneuʹma) may here be understood to refer to “breath” or “life force,” which is supported by the use of the Greek verb ek·pneʹo (lit., “to breathe out”) in the parallel account at Mr 15:37 (where it is rendered “expired” or, as in the footnote, “breathed his last”). Some suggest that the use of the Greek term rendered “yielded up” means that Jesus voluntarily stopped struggling to stay alive, since all things had been accomplished. (Joh 19:30) He willingly “poured out his life even to death.”
spirit: Or “life force; breath.” The Greek word pneuʹma here likely refers to the life force that is active in an earthly creature or simply to breath.—See study note on Mt 27:50.
A 1985/1986 drought caused the water level in the Sea of Galilee to fall, exposing part of the hull of an ancient boat that was buried in the mud. The remains of the boat are 8.2 m (27 ft) long and 2.3 m (7.5 ft) wide and have a maximum height of 1.3 m (4.3 ft). Archaeologists say that the boat was built sometime between the first century B.C.E. and the first century C.E. This video animation reconstructs the boat, which is now displayed in a museum in Israel, showing what it may have looked like as it traversed the waters some 2,000 years ago.