Mark 5:1 - 20
AMP - 1 THEY CAME to the other side of the sea to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 And as soon as He got out of the boat, there met Him out of the tombs a man [under the power] of an unclean spirit.
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I humbly submit that this region was the home turf of the Hellenistic Jews and their various temples. The business plan and economy was dependent on the flow of visitors or worshipers to the temple of Zeus. (Isaiah 2:6) These Jewish Hellenists made various idols for sale working in wood, stone, or jewelry while others raised unclean animals for the temple sacrifice. (Isaiah 2:8; Isaiah 44:9; Isaiah 44:19) The supreme god of all Hellenic theology was known as the "king of gods and man," or Zeus Olympus (Greek) or Jupiter Capitolinus (Roman), and swine (pigs) were the required sacrifice on their altars in their temples. (1 Corinthians 8:1; Isaiah 2:20) The significance: I submit that the Lord traveled the 180 degrees opposite the Galilee to set one nameless captive free from his tormentors and bring light into this stronghold of darkness, but the foolish people chose the temporal profits of darkness instead. (Isaiah 2:5; Isaiah 2:22; Isaiah 61:1) Not only was He bad for their business plan by dinging many local pocket books, He also showed them that their supreme god didn't seem to be too supreme after all, even on his own stronghold turf. (Zechariah 4:6; Isaiah 2:11) In the Lord's freedom and amazement always................warrior on
As I understand the geography of the region, this location was situated on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee, and was at that time part of Syria, rather than of Israel. Gergasa (modern name Kersa) was a small village nearby, and Gadara was the larger region of which the village was a part, with Gerasa as the regional capital. That is why the inhabitants of the area are referred to variously in different Bible manuscripts as Gergasenes, Gadarenes, or Gerasenes. In any event, they were not Israelites, as indicated by the fact that a herd of swine was being kept nearby, which would have been forbidden by the Mosaic Law, since swine were unclean animals (Leviticus 11:7-8). (The name Gadarenes also has no association with the Jewish tribe of Gad, which was descended from one of the twelve sons of Jacob.) I view the significance of the naming and location of this country in the passage from Mark cited in the question as indicating that Jesus extended God's mercy to both people and locations that were outside of Israel (as He instructed the possessed man whom He had healed to proclaim (Mark 5:19-20), and as He also did when healing the son of the Syrophoenecian woman in Mark 7:25-30), as an example and foreshadowing of the manner in which salvation through faith in Christ was later to be offered to Gentiles as well as Jews.
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