Mark 5:1-5

Mark 5:1 (KJB)
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

The country of the Gergesenes was located on the southeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was also known as Gergesa in the area ruled by Philip the Tetrarch. The trip would only have taken a couple of hours because in this instance they did not run into any storms on the sea. In the fourth century, Constantine’s mother, Helena, built a church to commemorate the site. Archaeologists have unearthed this site and today it is called Kursi.

Mark 5:2 (KJB)
And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

(Mat 8:28 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. Matthew tells us that there were two of these men who met Jesus, whereas Luke and Mark mention only one. It could be they only mention one because only one of them spoke. When they had exited the boat, two devil possessed men, who because of their possession, were extremely violent. Incredible strength also goes with possession and that is why no one would have been able to pass that way because maybe the strength of these two men could have killed some or possibly beat some people up who went that way. They had lived among the tombs which in those days were caves which were cut out of the hillsides whether they were natural or man made. This area was avoided because of the possession of these two men.

Mark 5:3 (KJB)
Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

The man who did the speaking lived among the tombs. Apparently the town burial ground was his home. Nothing is really known of this man concerning what nationality he was. (Luke 8:27 KJV) And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. According to Luke, this man had been possessed a long time and he wore no clothes and was unable to live in any house, so the only place he was able to abide was in the tombs. It was a common belief among the people that devils had lived in the caves just as today people believe that ghosts always live in graveyards. Not much has changed in the area of superstition in 2,000 years. Since he was indwelled by the devils, they had given him strength above and beyond that of a regular person and because of it, he was unable to be bound, not even with chains. Through the ages those who have been possessed with devils have been known to have super human strength.

Mark 5:4 (KJB)
Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

They had even tried to bind him with fetters which were iron bands placed on the wrists along with chains. His strength was so great that he was able to literally break in half the fetters that bound him. In fact the Greek word behind “broken in pieces” means “ to shatter” in which he would break the metal into fragments. Not only could they not physically bind him but they were unable to tame or subdue him. His possession by devils had caused him to be out of control and a very serious danger to anyone who would come close to him. He had the capability to completely destroy even the most strongest men who would try to tame him. The devils may have allowed some of these people to place fetters and chains on the man just to show how easy it was for them to break those into pieces.

Mark 5:5 (KJB)
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

Another tenet of being possessed by these devils was that the man continuously went from the mountains to the tombs crying out, that is, screaming loudly. Then we see something that is very common today. The devils were causing this man to cut himself in his body. The Greek word behind “cutting” carries with it the meaning of “lacerate, slash, or wound.” One of the evil things that many people are doing to their bodies is to cut themselves with razor blades. Many almost bleed out and die from this horrendous practice. We can see from this verse that it is a satanic practice and not something normal. This man had no rest, day or night because of the devils which possessed him. If they killed him, then they would go and find another body for a host. (Deu 14:1 KJV) Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. It was forbidden under the law for anyone to make cuts in their bodies. The heathens would make cuts in all parts of their body in remembrance of their dead.