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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)

According to Mark 5:1-43

5  Then they came to the other side of the sea into the region of the Gerʹa·senes.+  And immediately after Jesus got out of the boat, a man under the power of an unclean spirit met him from among the tombs.  His haunt was among the tombs, and up to that time, absolutely no one was able to bind him securely, even with a chain.  He had often been bound with fetters and chains, but he snapped the chains apart and smashed the fetters; and nobody had the strength to subdue him.  And continually, night and day, he was crying out in the tombs and in the mountains and slashing himself with stones.  But on catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down to him.+  Then he cried out with a loud voice: “What have I to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I put you under oath by God not to torment me.”+  For Jesus had been saying to it: “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit.”+  But Jesus asked him: “What is your name?” And he replied: “My name is Legion, because there are many of us.” 10  And he kept pleading with Jesus not to send the spirits out of the country.+ 11  Now a great herd of swine+ was feeding there at the mountain.+ 12  So the spirits pleaded with him: “Send us into the swine, so that we may enter into them.” 13  And he gave them permission. With that the unclean spirits came out and went into the swine, and the herd rushed over the precipice* into the sea, about 2,000 of them, and were drowned in the sea. 14  But their herders fled and reported it in the city and in the countryside, and people came to see what had happened.+ 15  So they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who previously had the legion, sitting clothed and in his right mind, and they grew fearful. 16  Also, those who had seen it related to them how this had happened to the demon-possessed man and the swine. 17  So they began to plead with Jesus to go away from their region.+ 18  Now as he was boarding the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed pleaded to go with him.+ 19  However, he did not let him but said to him: “Go home to your relatives, and report to them all the things Jehovah has done for you and the mercy he has shown you.” 20  This man went away and started to proclaim in the De·capʹo·lis all the things Jesus had done for him, and all the people were amazed. 21  After Jesus had crossed again by boat to the opposite shore, a large crowd gathered together to him, and he was by the sea.+ 22  One of the presiding officers of the synagogue, named Jaʹi·rus, now came, and on catching sight of him, he fell at his feet.+ 23  He pleaded with him many times, saying: “My little daughter is extremely ill. Please come and put your hands on her+ so that she may get well and live.” 24  At that Jesus went with him, and a large crowd was following him and pressing against him. 25  Now there was a woman who had had a flow of blood+ for 12 years.+ 26  She had suffered much at the hands of many physicians and had spent all her resources, and she was no better but, rather, had become worse. 27  When she heard the reports about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his outer garment,+ 28  for she kept saying: “If I touch just his outer garments, I will get well.”*+ 29  And immediately her flow of blood dried up, and she sensed in her body that she had been healed of the grievous sickness. 30  Immediately Jesus realized in himself that power+ had gone out of him, and he turned around in the crowd and asked: “Who touched my outer garments?”+ 31  But his disciples said to him: “You see the crowd pressing in on you, and you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32  However, he was looking around to see who had done this. 33  The woman, frightened and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34  He said to her: “Daughter, your faith has made you well.* Go in peace,+ and be healed from your grievous sickness.”+ 35  While he was yet speaking, some men from the home of the presiding officer of the synagogue came and said: “Your daughter died! Why bother the Teacher any longer?”+ 36  But Jesus overheard their words and said to the presiding officer of the synagogue: “Have no fear,* only exercise faith.”+ 37  Now he did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.+ 38  So they came to the house of the presiding officer of the synagogue, and he saw the commotion and those weeping and wailing loudly.+ 39  After stepping in, he said to them: “Why are you weeping and causing this commotion? The child has not died but is sleeping.”+ 40  At this they began to laugh at him scornfully. But after sending them all outside, he took the child’s father and mother and those with him, and he went in where the child was. 41  Then, taking the hand of the child, he said to her: “Talʹi·tha cuʹmi,” which, when translated, means: “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”+ 42  And immediately the girl rose and began walking. (She was 12 years old.) And at once they were beside themselves with great ecstasy. 43  But he ordered them again and again* to let no one learn of this,+ and he said that something should be given her to eat.


Or “steep bank.”
Or “will be saved.”
Or “has saved you.”
Or “Stop being afraid.”
Or “he strongly ordered them.”

Study Notes

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.​—See App. A7, Map 3B, “Activity at the Sea of Galilee,” and App. B10.

Gerasenes: In the parallel accounts of this event (Mt 8:​28-​34; Mr 5:​1-​20; Lu 8:​26-​39), different names are used for where this event took place. For each account, there are also different readings in ancient manuscripts. According to the best available manuscripts, Matthew originally used “Gadarenes,” whereas Mark and Luke employed “Gerasenes.” However, as shown in the study note on region of the Gerasenes in this verse, both of these terms refer to the same general region.

region of the Gerasenes: A region on the other (the eastern) shore of the Sea of Galilee. The exact limits of this region are unknown today, and the identification is uncertain. Some link “the region of the Gerasenes” with the area around Kursi, near the steep slopes on the E shore of the sea. 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 study note on Gerasenes in this verse and study note on Mt 8:​28.) Although different names are used, they refer to the same general area of the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, and the regions may have been overlapping. So the accounts are not contradictory.​—See also App. A7, Map 3B, “Activity at the Sea of Galilee,” and App. B10.

tombs: Or “memorial tombs.” (See Glossary, “Memorial tomb.”) These tombs were evidently caves or chambers cut into the natural rock and usually located outside the cities. These burial places were avoided by the Jews because of the ceremonial uncleanness connected with them, making them an ideal haunt for crazed or demonized people.

a man: The Gospel writer Matthew (8:​28) mentions two men, but Mark and Luke (8:​27) 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.​—Mr 5:​18-​20.

tombs: See study note on Mt 8:​28.

why is that of concern to me and to you?: When Mary told Jesus: “They have no wine” (Joh 2:3), she was no doubt suggesting that he do something about it. This is noteworthy, since Jesus had performed no miracles up to that point. The Semitic idiom used in response, which is literally “what to me and to you?” basically indicates some objection and must be understood according to context. While it sometimes expresses hostility and repulsion (Mt 8:29; Mr 1:24; 5:7; Lu 4:34; 8:28), it appears to be a gentle objection in this instance. (Examples of the milder use of this idiom can be found in the Hebrew Scriptures, such as at 2Sa 16:9, 10 and 1Ki 17:18, ftn.) Jesus’ following words indicate why he was hesitant: My hour has not yet come. Still, Jesus’ response to her suggestion must have indicated that he was not opposed to providing help, as Mary’s reaction in verse 5 shows.

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:​13; 2Ch 35:21; Ho 14:8), and a corresponding Greek phrase is used in the Christian Greek Scriptures (Mt 8:​29; Mr 1:​24; 5:7; Lu 4:​34; 8:​28; Joh 2:4). The exact meaning may vary, depending on context. In this verse (Mr 5:7), the idiom expresses hostility and repulsion, and some have suggested such a rendering as: “Do not bother me!” or “Leave me alone!” In other contexts, it is used to express a difference in viewpoint, or opinion, or to refuse involvement in a suggested action without indicating disdain, arrogance, or hostility.​—See study note on Joh 2:4.

torment me: 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.

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.​—See study note on Mt 26:53.

swine: Pigs were unclean according to the Law (Le 11:7), but there was a market for pork among the many non-Jews living in the Decapolis region; both Greeks and Romans considered pork a delicacy. The account does not state whether the herders were Jews who were violating the Law.​—Mr 5:​14.

report to them: In contrast with Jesus’ usual instructions not to publicize his miracles (Mr 1:​44; 3:​12; 7:​36), 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; it would also serve to counteract unfavorable reports that might circulate over the loss of the swine.

Jehovah: Although Greek manuscripts use the word Kyʹri·os (Lord) here, there are good reasons for using the divine name in the main text. The context shows that Kyʹri·os is used with reference to God. Speaking to the man who had been healed, Jesus is attributing the miracle, not to himself, but to his heavenly Father. This conclusion is supported by Luke’s use of the Greek word The·osʹ (God) in recording the same event. (Lu 8:​39) Also, a number of Bible translations use such renderings as Jehovah, Yahveh, יהוה (YHWH, or the Tetragrammaton), LORD, and ADONAI in the main text or in footnotes and marginal notes to indicate that this is a reference to Jehovah God, and a number of reference works support this view. (See App. C.) Additionally, the phrases “the things . . . done for you” and “mercy . . . shown you” have a bearing on the matter, as corresponding Hebrew verbs are often used in the Hebrew Scriptures, along with the divine name, with reference to Jehovah’s dealings with humans.​—Ge 21:1; Ex 13:8; De 4:​34; 13:17; 30:3; 1Sa 12:7; 25:30; 2Ki 13:23.

the Decapolis: Or “the Ten City Region.”​—See Glossary and App. B10.

a certain ruler: The name of this “ruler” (Greek, arʹkhon), Jairus, is given in Mark’s and Luke’s parallel accounts, where he is called a presiding officer of the synagogue.​—Mr 5:22; Lu 8:41.

presiding officers of the synagogue: The Greek term ar·khi·sy·naʹgo·gos literally means “ruler of a synagogue.”​—See study note on Mt 9:​18.

is extremely ill: Or “is near her end,” that is, at the point of dying.

flow of blood: Likely a chronic menstrual flow. According to the Mosaic Law, this condition would render the woman ceremonially unclean. As such, she was not supposed to touch others.​—Le 15:19-27.

flow of blood: See study note on Mt 9:​20.

your grievous sickness: Lit., “your scourging.” The literal meaning of this word refers to a form of whipping often used as torture. (Ac 22:24; Heb 11:36) Here used in its figurative meaning, it vividly describes the suffering caused by the woman’s illness.

grievous sickness: Lit., “scourging.”​—See study note on Mr 5:​34.

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:​33; Lu 8:​47) By using this term of endearment, a form of address that signifies nothing about the woman’s age, Jesus emphasizes his tender concern for her.

Go in peace: This idiomatic expression is often used in both the Greek and the Hebrew Scriptures with the meaning “May it go well with you.” (Lu 7:​50; 8:​48; Jas 2:​16; compare 1Sa 1:​17; 20:42; 25:35; 29:7; 2Sa 15:9; 2Ki 5:​19.) The Hebrew word often rendered “peace” (sha·lohmʹ) has a broad meaning. It refers to the state of being free from war or disturbance (Jg 4:​17; 1Sa 7:​14; Ec 3:8) and can also convey the idea of health, safety, soundness (1Sa 25:6, ftn.; 2Ch 15:5, ftn.; Job 5:​24, ftn.), welfare (Es 10:3, ftn.), as well as friendship (Ps 41:9). In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the Greek word for “peace” (ei·reʹne) was used with the same broad connotations as the Hebrew word to express the ideas of well-being, salvation, and harmony, in addition to the absence of conflict.

your grievous sickness: Lit., “your scourging.” The literal meaning of this word refers to a form of whipping often used as torture. (Ac 22:24; Heb 11:36) Here used in its figurative meaning, it vividly describes the suffering caused by the woman’s illness.

only exercise faith: Or “just keep exercising faith.” The Greek verb form used here may indicate continuous action. Jairus had shown a degree of faith when he first approached Jesus (Mr 5:​22-​24), and he is now urged to hold on to his faith in the face of his daughter’s death.

has not died but is sleeping: In the Bible, death is often likened to sleep. (Ps 13:3; Joh 11:11-​14; Ac 7:​60; 1Co 7:​39; 15:51; 1Th 4:​13) Jesus was going to bring the girl back to life, so he may have said this because he would demonstrate that just as people can be awakened from a deep sleep, they can be brought back from death. Jesus’ power to resurrect the girl came from his Father, “who makes the dead alive and calls the things that are not as though they are.”​—Ro 4:​17.

Ephphatha: A Greek transliteration thought by some to derive from a Hebrew root word that is rendered “be unstopped” at Isa 35:5. Jesus’ use of this expression must have made an indelible impression on an eyewitness, possibly Peter, who may have related it verbatim to Mark. Like the expression “Talitha cumi” (Mr 5:​41), it is one of the few times that Jesus is quoted verbatim.

Talitha cumi: Matthew and Luke also record the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter (Mt 9:​23-​26; Lu 8:​49-​56), but only Mark includes these words of Jesus and translates them. This Semitic expression reads Talitha cum in some Greek manuscripts. While some scholars classify these words as Aramaic, others feel that they could be either Hebrew or Aramaic.​—See study note on Mr 7:​34.


Cliffs on the Eastern Side of the Sea of Galilee
Cliffs on the Eastern Side of the Sea of Galilee

It was along the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee that Jesus expelled demons from two men and sent the demons into a herd of swine.