The man with the unclean spirit (Mk 5:2-5:3)

“When Jesus

Stepped out of the boat,

Immediately,

A man

Out of the tombs,

With an unclean spirit,

Met him.

He lived

Among the tombs.

No one could restrain him

Any more,

Even with chains.”

 

καὶ ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ πλοίου, εὐθὺς ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἄνθρωπος ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ,

ὃς τὴν κατοίκησιν εἶχεν ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν, καὶ οὐδὲ ἁλύσει οὐκέτι οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο αὐτὸν δῆσαι

 

All three synoptic gospels. Matthew, chapter 8:28 and Luke, chapter 8:26-27, have Jesus travel to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  Mark, like Luke, said that Jesus met a man as he stepped out of the boat (καὶ ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ πλοίου).  Matthew had Jesus meet 2 people possessed by the devil, who were menacing people as they passed by.  Here Mark has Jesus immediately meet one person coming out of the tombs (εὐθὺς ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἄνθρωπος) with an unclean spirit (ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ).  This demonic person lived among the tombs (ὃς τὴν κατοίκησιν εἶχεν ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν).  No one could restrain or bind him (οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο αὐτὸν δῆσαι), even with chains (καὶ οὐδὲ ἁλύσει οὐκέτι).  This was a strong violent possessed person.

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The man with the unclean spirit (Mk 1:23-1:24)

“Just then,

There was,

In their synagogue,

A man

With an unclean spirit.

He cried out.

‘What have you

To do with us?

Jesus of Nazareth!

Have you come

To destroy us?

I know

Who you are!

The Holy One of God!’”

 

Καὶ εὐθὺς ἦν ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ αὐτῶν ἄνθρωπος ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ, καὶ ἀνέκραξεν

λέγων Τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί, Ἰησοῦ Ναζαρηνέ; ἦλθες ἀπολέσαι ἡμᾶς. οἶδά σε τίς εἶ, ὁ Ἅγιος τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Matthew, chapter 8:29, has something similar, but it was not in a Capernaum synagogue, but in Gadarenes and it was 2 demonic spirits, not one as here.  Mark, chapter 5:7, as well as Luke, chapter 8;28 had these demoniacs speak to Jesus with somewhat similar words.  However, this is closer to Luke, chapter 4:33, where it is almost word for word.  Here Mark and Luke said that just then in their synagogue, (Καὶ εὐθὺς ἦν ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ αὐτῶν) a man with an unclean spirit (ἄνθρωπος ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ,) cried out or shouted out to Jesus (καὶ ἀνέκραξεν).  He asked Jesus of Nazareth (Ἰησοῦ Ναζαρηνέ) what he had to do with them (λέγων Τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί).  Had Jesus come to destroy or kill them (ἦλθες ἀπολέσαι ἡμᾶς)?  He said that he knew who he was (οἶδά σε τίς εἶ), the Holy One of God (ὁ Ἅγιος τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Matthew had them say that Jesus had come to torment them, not destroy them, since the time of the final judgment day had not arrived.  This unclean spirit world was alive and active in first century Israelite culture.  The term “Holy One of God” had been applied to the prophet Elisha in 2 Kings, chapter 4:9, as another name for a prophet, which was not as strong as the “Son of God,” a more powerful term.  Thus, the evil spirits were able to recognize Jesus of Nazareth as a special person.