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Matthew 8:28

    Matthew 8:28 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, there met him two possessed with demons, coming forth out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man could pass by that way.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And when he had come to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, there came out to him from the place of the dead, two who had evil spirits, so violent that no man was able to go that way.

    Webster's Revision

    And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, there met him two possessed with demons, coming forth out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man could pass by that way.

    World English Bible

    When he came to the other side, into the country of the Gergesenes, two people possessed by demons met him there, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that nobody could pass that way.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming forth out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man could pass by that way.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 8:28

    The country of the Gergesenes - This word is variously written in the MSS, and versions; Gergasenes, Gerasenes, Gadarenes, Gergesions, and Gersedonians, The three first are supported by the greater authorities. They might have all been names of the same place or district; but, if we depend on what Origen says, the people mentioned here could not have been the inhabitants of Gerasa, which, says he, is a city of Arabia, ουτε θαλασσαν, ουτε λιμνην πλησιον εχοντα, which has neither sea nor lake nigh to it. "Gadara was, according to Josephus, the metropolis of Perea, or the region beyond Jordan: both the city and villages belonging to it lay in the country of the Gergasenes; whence Christ going into the country of the Gadarenes, Mark 5:1, is said to go into the region of the Gergasenes, Matthew 8:28." Whitby.

    Two possessed with devils - Persons possessed by evil demons. Mark and Luke mention only one demoniac, probably the fiercer of the two.

    Coming out of the tombs - It is pretty evident that cupolas were generally builded over the graves among the Jews, and that these demoniacs had their dwellings under such: the evil spirits which were in them delighting more in these abodes of desolation and ruin, as being more congenial to their fierce and diabolic nature, and therefore would drive the possessed into them.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 8:28

    The same account of the demoniacs substantially is found in Mark 5:1-20, and Luke 8:26-38.

    Matthew 8:28

    The other side - The other side of the Sea of Tiberias.

    Country of the Gergesenes - Mark Mar 5:1 says that he came into the country of the "Gadarenes." This difference is only apparent.

    "Gadara" was a city not far from the Lake Gennesareth, one of the ten cities that were called "Decapolis." See the notes at Matthew 4:25. "Gergesa" was a city about 12 miles to the southeast of Gadara, and about 20 miles to the east of the Jordan. There is no contradiction, therefore, in the evangelists. He came into the region in which the two cities were situated, and one evangelist mentioned one, and the other another. It shows that the writers had not agreed to impose on the world; for if they had, they would have mentioned the same city; and it shows. also, they were familiar with the country. No men would have written in this manner but those who were acquainted with the facts. Impostors do not mention places or homes if they can avoid it.

    There met him two - Mark and Luke speak of only one that met him. "There met him out of the tombs a man," Mark 5:2. "There met him out of the tombs a certain man," Luke 8:27. This difference of statement has given rise to considerable difficulty. It is to be observed, however, that neither Mark nor Luke say that there was no more than one. For particular reasons, they might have been led to fix their attention on the one that was more notorious, and furious, and difficult to be managed. Had they denied plainly that there was more than one, and had Matthew affirmed that there were two, there would have been an irreconcilable contradiction. As it is, they relate the affair as other people would. It shows that they were honest witnesses. Had they been impostors; had Matthew and Luke agreed to write books to deceive the world, they would have agreed exactly in a case so easy as this. They would have told the story with the same circumstances. Witnesses in courts of law often differ in unimportant matters; and, provided the main narrative coincides, their testimony is thought to be more valuable.

    Luke has given us a hint why he recorded only the cure of one of them. He says there met him "out of the city, a man, etc.; or, as it should be rendered, "a man of the city" a citizen. Yet the man did not dwell in the city, for he adds in the same verse, "neither abode he in any house, but in the tombs." The truth of the case was, that he was born and educated in the city. He had probably been a man of wealth and eminence; he was well known, and the people felt a deep interest in the case. Luke was therefore particularly struck with his case; and as his cure fully established the power of Jesus, he recorded it. The other person that Matthew mentions was probably a stranger, or one less notorious as a maniac, and he felt less interest in the cure. Let two persons go into a lunatic asylum and meet two insane persons, one of whom should be exceedingly fierce and ungovernable, and well known as having been a man of worth and standing; let them converse with them, and let the more violent one attract the principal attention, and they would very likely give the same account that Matthew and Luke do, and no one would doubt the statement was correct.

    Possessed with devils - See the notes at Matthew 4:24.

    Coming out of the tombs - Mark and Luke say that they lived among the tombs. The sepulchres of the Jews were frequently caves beyond the walls of the cities in which they dwelt, or excavations made in the sides of hills, or sometimes in solid rocks. These caves or excavations were sometimes of great extent. They descended to them by flights of steps. These graves were not in the midst of cities, but in groves, and mountains, and solitudes. They afforded, therefore, to insane persons and demoniacs a place of retreat and shelter. They delighted in these gloomy and melancholy recesses, as being congenial to the wretched state of their minds. Josephus also states that these sepulchres were the haunts and lurking-places of those desperate bands of robbers that infested Judea. For further illustration of this subject see my notes at Isaiah 14:9; Isaiah 22:16; Isaiah 65:4. The ancient Gadara is commonly supposed to be the present Umkeis. "Near there Burckhardt reports that he found many sepulchres in the rocks, showing how naturally the conditions of the narrative respecting the demoniacs could have been fulfilled in that region. Reliable writers state that they have seen lunatics occupying such abodes of corruption and death." - Hackett's "Illustrations of Scripture," p. 109.

    Dr. Thomson, however ("The Land and the Book," vol. ii. pp. 34-37), maintains that Gadara could not have been the place of the miracle, since that place is about "three hours" (some 10 or 12 miles) to the south of the extreme shore of the lake in that direction. He supposes that the miracle occurred at a place now called "Kerza" or "Gersa." which he supposes was the ancient "Gergesa." Of this place he says: "In this Gersa or Chersa we have a position which fulfills every requirement of the narratives, and with a name so near that in Matthew as to be in itself a strong corroboration of the truth of this identification. It is, within a few rods of the shore, and an immense mountain rises 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. The place is one which our Lord would be likely to visit, having Capernaum in full view to the north, and Galilee 'over against it,' as Luke says it was. The name, however, pronounced by Bedouin Arabs is so similar to Gergesa, that, to all my inquiries for this place, they invariably said it was at Chersa, and they insisted that they were identical, and I agree with them in this opinion."

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 8:28

    8:28 The country of the Gergesenes - Or of the Gadarenes - Gergesa and Gadara were towns near each other. Hence the country between them took its name, sometimes from the one, sometimes from the other. There met him two demoniacs - St. Mark and St. Luke mention only one, who was probably the fiercer of the two, and the person who spoke to our Lord first. But this is no way inconsistent with the account which St. Matthew gives. The tombs - Doubtless those malevolent spirits love such tokens of death and destruction. Tombs were usually in those days in desert places, at a distance from towns, and were often made in the sides of caves, in the rocks and mountains. No one could pass - Safely. Mark 5:1; Luke 8:26.