Demon Possessed Man

The story of the Demon Possessed Man happens after the disciples get out of the boat. The story links prophetically to Noah’s flood and a period in history when the same demon was cast out.

Bible Story of the Demon Possessed Man

1They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" 8For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"

9Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"

"My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." 10And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

11A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." 13He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

14Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man -- and told about the pigs as well. 17Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. Mark 5:1-20 NIV

1And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 2And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4Because 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. 5And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. 6But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, 7And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. 8For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 9And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 10And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 12And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. 14And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. 15And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 16And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. 17And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. 18And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. 19Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. 20And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel. Mark 5:1-20 KJV


In this area Jesus and the disciples encounter a man possessed by a demon. The man sees Jesus from afar and runs to Jesus, begging with Jesus that he not torment the demon, which is what the demon has been doing to the man. In all cases of deliverance the words that a demon speaks are related to the sin that gives them power and their nature or character that drives how they attack their victims.

In this case the demon easily acknowledges that Jesus is the son of the Most High God, suggesting the man has problems in this area. The demon does not want to leave the country, suggesting a problem relative to geography.

Finally, Jesus demands the name of the demon and from that dialog the demon’s name is revealed: Legion.

Demons gain their right of entry into people based on the sins of the individual. Delivering someone of a demon involves a process of discovery where the enabling sins are discovered and repented of. The full process of delivering this man is likely not covered in detail by Mark because he is telling a parable about some event in world history. That event is dated by the number of pigs that head down the mountain: about 2000.

Jesus and his disciples crossed the sea by boat, prophetically matching Noah’s ark. Now, following the standard rules for parables and time, 2000 pigs rush into the sea and are drowned. Those 2000 pigs represent 2000 years, the 2 millennium between Noah’s flood and the Tower of Babel. The account says there was about 2000 pigs,[1] so the exact number of years from Noah’s flood to this event is likely close, but not exactly, 2000 years.

Exact Math

Noah's flood was in Noah's 600th year, or 6020 AA. So a 2000 year interval forward from there is 6020 AA + 2000 = 8020 AA. Remembering, of course, Mark's story says about 2000.

We can inspect the chronology from Adam to Abraham and see 8020 AA lands in the life of Peleg.

We know from the story of Peleg[2] that he is called this because in his day the world is divided. That term appears to be the link to when the tower of Babel story sits on the timeline. Here in Mark a more precise interval is supplied.

The account of the Tower of Babel is at the start of Genesis 11, but is undated. That account is then followed by a general chronology from after the flood down to Abraham.

Mark is giving us a parable of the timing of the Tower of Babel, and supplying some commentary on that historical event.

Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel is one of the times when Jesus came down in person before his birth 2000 years ago. His goal at the tower of Babel was to break up a large group of people who were at the time attempting to build a city and a tower that reached into heaven. What he wanted mankind doing at that point in history was spreading out across the world, forming many countries. The way he did it at the Tower of Babel was to confuse the languages of the people so they would stop working together. This also forced the people to congregate in smaller groups, today called countries.

That linkage allows a complete explanation of the rest of this parable.

At the Tower of Babel, the people building the tower did not want to be sent out over the whole world. Here the demon does not want to be forced out of the country. These two thoughts are the same, only differs by the scale of the perspective.

The scattering of the people at the time of the Tower of Babel lead to what the Bible calls the Gentile nations. The pig is often a symbol of Gentiles. The Seas are also a symbol of the gentile peoples, or peoples around the world. When Jesus gives the demons permission to leave this man and enter the pigs and thus enter the sea, the parable is exactly following the historical account of the Tower of Babel.

When the people in the area learn of what has happened with the demoniac and the 2000 pigs, they beg Jesus to leave their area. They are asking Jesus to do what the demon did not want. Likely the people of the area are possessed by the same spirit, only without the same overt problems exhibited by the demoniac.

At the end of the parable the man does want to leave his country, confirming he has been set free of the demon. In the historical account of Babel Jesus had come down to earth. Everyone saved knows they will eventually leave the planet, but not until it is the right time. Before leaving with Jesus eventually we must go and tell others about our encounters with him. Eventually we will get in the boat with him and leave for the New Jerusalem. Until then...

Demoniac’s Commission

Jesus commanded the man to go and share with others how he had been delivered. He did this in the area of the Decapolis. This was a region along the south east shore of the Sea of Galilee, in the tribal allotment that was once the eastern half of the tribe of Manasseh. Manasseh, the western half, had also controlled the city of Samaria, which was the capital of the northern kingdom of ancient Israel. The northern kingdom was known as "The Ten" because when civil war divided the kingdom after Solomon’s reign 10 tribes who’s capital was eventually Samaria were separated from two tribes who’s capital was Jerusalem. Everywhere in scripture that "Ten" is used the prophetic story is pointing in some way at the northern kingdom of ancient Israel.

The northern kingdom was deported at the time of the Assyrian invasion, when they lost control of their historical tribal lands. Their exact locations are considered a mystery by the majority of Christians. The Bible explains that the first location where the Assyrians hauled the northerners was Halah, Gozan, Hara, the Habor River area and the cities of the Medes. This last location is important because 200 years after the Assyrian deportation the Medes controlled ancient Babylon and would eventually supply the Babylonian Kings.

One of the most famous stories in the Bible is Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a statue. That statue describes the general flow of human history from that point and ends with a period before the return of Jesus when the world is depicted as being in a season of "Ten Toes" The Ten are still the northern kingdom’s 10, but have now spread around the whole world.

This parable connects the Ten Cities to the story of the Tower of Babel, itself a story involving the entire world. The linkage is deliberate, explaining that the Lost Tribes are linked directly to the entire world.

1. Mark 5:13
2. Genesis 10:25