MARK 5
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[Corrected Translation of Mark 5: 1-20 - Herald, July 1854]

1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea [to the farther side of the lake], into the country of the Gadarenes.

2 And when he was come out of [had landed from] the ship, immediately there met [encountered] him out of [from] the tombs a man with an unclean spirit [ in a vicious spirit],

He dwelt among the tombs,  these being symbolic and expressive of his grim existence, and inevitable death without hope.



Disease and Mental Disorder

Mark in the foregoing text [Ch 5] speaks of only one man as issuing forth to meet Jesus. We learn, however, from Matthew, that "two demonized ones met him." Both accounts are correct; for if there were two, there must have been one: and as the conversation of Jesus was held with but one of them, and Mark's purpose was to record the dialogue as well as the wonderful cure, he confined his narrative to the one who replied, with only an incidental allusion to the other.

Having directed the reader's attention to one in particular, he tells him what was the matter with him. He says, he was "a man in a vicious spirit," or, as we should express it in English, "a man of a vicious spirit." Luke says, he was a man ὀς ειχε δαιμονια, who had demons; which he afterwards expresses in the singular number, by το πνευμα το αξαθαρτον, "The unclean spirit; and ὀ δαιμων, the demon.

Matthew then comes in, and in effect tells us why Luke uses the plural first, and then the singular. First, he informs us what a demon is; that is, such demons as afflicted the people whom Jesus cured. In his seventeenth chapter, he says, that a certain man brought his son to Jesus to be cured; and in telling him what sort of disease he was troubled with, says, that his boy σεληνιαζ εται, is moonized, (if I may be permitted to Grecize the supposed influence of the moon upon the human brain,) or, as in the common version, "lunatic;" and χαχως πασχει, badly affected.

This bad effect of the moon (which planet is styled σεληνη, Selēnē by the Greeks; hence the verb in the text rendered "moon-ized" in a succeeding verse Matthew styles το δαιμονιον, the demon. One sense of the word demon, therefore, is a morbid affection of the brain and nervous system, from whatever cause, and characterized by different effects. In this case it was attributed to the influence of the moon; and because it paralyzed the organs of speech, it is called in Mark 9:17, τνξνμα αλαλον, a dumb spirit.

Such are the pathological terms by which the people of those days designated their corporeal afflictions, which the gracious and benevolent Physician of their time, who "bore their infirmities," took upon himself. They were as ignorant of the real cause of disorder and disease as the most learned pathologists of our day themselves. They called them "demons," dumb, lunatic, &c.; also "unclean spirits," or spirits of uncleanness, unhealthy conditions of the affected; and therefore, Mosaically unclean.

The terms are not so "scientific" as ours are supposed to be; but certainly as expressive of the real cause of disease as our "Chorea Sancti Vili," the Dance of St. Vitus, is of the muscular twitchings which pass by that name. To say of a doctor, that he had cast St. Vitus out of a dancing girl, would neither prove the indwelling nor existence of such a saint; though the saying might be admitted on the ground that the disorder of the unnaturally possessed was "St. Vitus' Dance." But, St. Vitus has really as much to do with what is called "chorea," as six thousand "devils" have to do with intense madness, or a dumb disembodied ghost with lunacy and epilepsy. Their existence can no more be proved from the nomenclature of Hebrew pathology, than St. Vitus' from our fanciful designation of diseases.

The New Testament writers expressed themselves on the subject of disease in the language of the people, without undertaking to reveal to them more precise knowledge concerning it than they already possessed. The Jewish nation, however, admitted one truth, practically ignored by all others to this day-that

all diseases are laid upon mankind by the hand of God as corrections for their transgressions of his law.

As it is written in their law, "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of those diseases upon thee which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord that healeth thee."

From this, it is clear, that it is not disembodied ghosts of wicked men, or devils from hell, or the Devil, that cause lunacy, dumbness, madness, and so forth, which are referred to "demons," but Yahweh that puts diseases both on Jews and Gentiles.

"If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law, O Israel, then the Lord," says Moses, "will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses of long continuance. Moreover, he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which are not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord cause to ascend upon thee, until thou be destroyed."

Physical or natural evil is chastisement and punishment for sin; and because the Serpent was the cause of its introduction into the world, he stands as the symbol of what is inimical or adverse to human happiness. Hence, that system of evil within the flesh and in the world, which he originated, adverse to God, to righteousness, and to health, is surnamed "Satan," or Adversary, "that old Serpent." This is Sin's symbol: so that the Israelites dying from serpent bites, because of transgression, looked to the Serpent lifted up by Moses for their cure.

The serpent there exalted, represented sin to be condemned in the flesh of a crucified Messiah, for the cure of all believers of the gospel who looked to him. Hence, Serpent-sin, or Satan, and disease, are as cause and effect. Thus, the woman incurably diseased is said to have been bound of Satan for eighteen years. This is the case with Israel and the rest of the world to this day.

They are bound of Satan-a bondage from which none can free them, but "the Son of Man at Yahweh's right hand, whom he hath made strong for himself:" for "it is He that healeth thee," O World, as the Lord hath said. It was natural, then, that diseases being generally referred to Satan, particular affections should be designated by the word demon taken in an evil sense, instead of a good one, in which also it is sometimes used.

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, July 1854



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 12 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.

Consider the foreshadowing blue hem on the priestly garment and the blue interwoven into the fabric of the tabernacle covering.

Blue for holiness/ heavenliness productive of cleansing and healing. 'The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil' (Prov 20:30) Anticipating the prospect of the removal of the filthy raiment - the defilement of sin in the flesh represented by scarlet - 'thy faith hath made thee whole' - is the eternal blessing to the called, chosen and faithful - who are granted a change of raiment after the type of Joshua their redeemer .

'And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints' (Rev 19:8).



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

{The Law} specialized in denouncing sin, but could do absolutely nothing to remove it.

Now how strikingly different in the light of this is the treatment... received from Jesus! The Law chased them away and they fled before it: but, in contrast, they sought the presence of Jesus of their own accord.

The Law did" nothing for them because it could do nothing: Jesus on the other hand, took pity on them and delivered them from their plight... it would clearly be incongruous and grotesque to think of Jesus as contracting defilement by such contact.

... She came behind him, and "touched the hem of his garment". Now the Law decreed expressly, "Whomsoever he that hath the issue toucheth, without having rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even" (Lev. 15 : I I, R.v.).

This would hold good automatically for any woman also who had an issue, for with her too the rule was, "Whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even" (Lev. 15: 19)· There is no mention in any of the three records of the incident that the woman washed her hands. The reason is obvious: she felt no compulsion to do so because she had no fear of communicating uncleanness to Jesus: all she was concerned to do was to touch him, however slightly.

She had no doubt of the outcome: "for she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole" (Matt. 9 : 20-2 I). She was not mistaken. Once again the effect of the touch of Jesus made the idea of his contracting uncleanness seem too fantastic for words.

"Straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague" (Mark 5 : 29). Virtue in Jesus put an immediate end to defilement in her: it was defilement which recoiled before him, not he who recoiled before defilement as embodied in the woman. This was clearly a case for which the Law did not cater. Its prescription of uncleanness was simply inapplicable to such a man as this.

Law and Grace Ch 13