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],

Dwelling Among the Tombs

The sanctity of the tomb, and the facility for concealment afforded by its construction, rendered cave-sepulchres favourite places of refuge. The catacombs at Rome are instances of this. The caves did not always serve exclusively for tombs, but were frequently altered and enlarged so as to adapt them to the purposes of residences for the living.

The habits of the Horite or cave-dwelling aborigines of the country, have not yet died out, and numerous instances are to be found in which caves, with a little rude addition of masonry in front, are still used as houses.

The village of Silwan, or Siloam, in the Kedron valley, is entirely composed of such structures. The gloomy recesses of a cave tomb also offer peculiar attractions for a gloomy and diseased mind, and we accordingly find that the demoniac (Mark 5:2)

"had his dwelling among the tombs."

The Christadelphian, June 1874

[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

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

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

It seems incredible that any should beg him to depart, after seeing a demonstration of his healing power. But they were afraid-afraid of the implications that that power carried with it. For it worked both ways. He not only healed the maniac, but he destroyed the swine; therefore, knowing themselves, they wanted him to leave them alone.

With such a power among them, there was no knowing where it would stop, or what it would search out. The works of darkness could not live within the circle of his light. Wherever he went, the issue of right and wrong-righteousness and evil-was joined and could not be evaded. He would not let it rest.

He came proclaiming righteousness and the power of God; the loving and perfect and self-sacrificing way of the spiritual mind. All the specious arguments and attempt to confound the issue and justify the flesh that were put forward were gently but relentlessly exposed.

The common people heard him gladly-though few comprehended the depth of his teaching. But those who began to perceive the full implication of his words, and did not want to face it, begged him to go away and leave them alone. And the vested interests and ruling classes persistently sought to discredit and destroy him, because in quiet, everyday words he preached a revolution that was deeper, more fundamental and more searching than man has ever conceived.

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.22.

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

The woman having the issue of blood cured

25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood 12 years,

Consider this woman's faith. She felt that, though she knew not how, if she could only get close enough to Christ, the evil would of itself disappear. 

"If I may but touch him"! 

And that indeed is true, and is the simple, universal solution to all our problems. Other solutions may be quite logical and convincing, but they are lifeless, and we find when the issue comes that they lack the power to carry us through. We are convinced, and confess it, but we are not moved, transformed and regenerated. As Paul says, law merely convinces us of sin, and leads to the exclamation,

"O, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death?" (Rom. 7:24).

We must have the personal impetus that comes of a vivid loving perception of and close proximity to Christ, as a living person. Otherwise the path of right, as opposed to the path of pleasure, is an intolerable and seemingly meaningless burden. Paul found his incentive in his affection for Christ, and his desire to approach him (Phil. 3:8)-

"I count all things but loss that I may win Christ . . . I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

He expressed unlimited confidence in this power-more than equal to all circumstances (Rom. 8:35-6)-

...For thy sake we are killed all the day long."

That is the keynote-"For thy sake." We must have a living, personal reason; someone we love and are striving to please. We are constituted that way.

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.22

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

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?

He had been touched in a way that was not mechanical. He was conscious of healing virtue having passed out of him in response to a touch that was a touch of faith. He knew who had done it. It was not for information that he asked the question, but to call attention to one of the many "works" by which God was manifested and glorified in him.

He looked round on the crowd, and fixed his eyes on a woman. She cowered beneath his calm searching gaze. She knew what had happened, and she now felt that he knew, and that it was no use concealing the matter.

...In this we have an insight into what might be called the physical aspect of Christ's miracles, and of all miracles. Though above nature, they are operations of real power acting upon and in nature. They are not magical. There was material "virtue" in the person of Christ, with which his very clothes became charged, so that in the performance of works of healing,

"there went virtue out of him and healed them all" (Lu. vi. 19).

The same thing is observable in the case of Paul afterwards, who was filled with the same spirit:

"God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul, so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them" (Acts ix. 11, 12).

In the case of Peter also, we read that

"they brought forth the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might over-shadow some of them ... and they were healed every one" (Acts v. 15, 16).

This was the fulfilment of Christ's promise:

"The works that I do, ye (the apostles) shall do also, and greater works than these shall ye do because I go unto my Father" The works in both cases were done by the same power. "The power of the Lord was present to heal" (Lu. v. 17).

The power of the Lord is real power. It is the power out of which all things have been made... the working of the energy that produced nature, and can therefore control nature so absolutely that

"nothing is impossible with God." **

**Nazareth Revisited Ch 20