What was the country of the Gerasenes (or Gadarenes) and why is it significant in the account of the man with the "legion"?


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.

Clarify Share Report Asked December 18 2016 Mini john kiuta masuka

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Emilio 1992 Emo Tenorio Shomer
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

December 19 2016 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
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.

December 19 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Todd Vance
As Christians we believe that the Old Testament is constantly foreshadowing Jesus.
Joseph blessed his 12 sons and prophesied over each. Over his son GAD he said: "Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last."
Now WHERE in the New Testament do you remember hearing about something like a 'troop'? THAT's RIGHT, your set of verses. 
Luke 8:30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied.

And, as the story goes that Jesus commanded the legion to leave the man and he was freed.... so how does that apply to the prophesy?... CHECK THIS OUT - a few verses earlier you find out EXACTLY where Jesus was when He performed this miracle...
Luke 8:26 "They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, b" footnote b = "b 26 Some manuscripts Gadarenes; other manuscripts Gergesenes; also in verse 37"

Looking at a historical map of Galilee (such as this one https://www.bible-history.com/maps/galilee_north_palestine.html) and you see the area called 'Gadara' being the area that the tribe of GAD settled

Knowing that, read that prophesy from thousands of years earlier and you see JESUS all in it...
"Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last."

November 04 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Lawrence Valin Raised Lutheran MD former Family Physician
I googled "gadarene demoniac legion relationship to Roman totalitarianism" to find this question link.

I have seen the "demonic" explained" as a seemingly irrational response to a totalitarian system. In this case the Romans and their "legions". 

His symptoms were the only allowable response to totalitarian dominance.

The healing of the Gadarene was disruptive to the local economy and so Jesus was asked to leave.

Do most Christians consider the "demonic" to be mental illness today?

Jerome Neyrey addresses demonic from social science perspective. 


Social Science Perspectives on Healings

Jerome H. Neyrey

University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Can you add links to answers?

This is further study of the Gadarene. I added it as response to Todd Vance. Can i also add it here to keep in one place?

I like Todd's answer, but Tim seems to disagree with connection of Gadarene to Gad. He means Jacob's blessing of sons. I looked up Genesis 49.11 including Rashi, who refers to Genesis 30.11 and Daniel 4.11.

Gad can be from roots meaning to "attack" and "cut". H1464 & H1413.

Daniel 4.11 relates to Nebuchadnezzar being in wilderness 7 years, which is a type of 7 X 360=2520 years is believed to be Leviticus 26 seven times exile of Jews.

Daniel 4.11 "Cut down the tree" 4.12 "and in fetters of iron and copper" 4.13 "They will change his heart from a man's, and the heart of a beast will be given him, and seven periods will pass over him"

I have related Gerasene to Gershom, Moses' son--"a stranger there".and to "drive out" as in Deuteronomy 33.27 H1644.

July 19 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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