New Defender's Study Bible Notes
8:28 Gergesenes. Both the account in Mark 5:1 and that in Luke 8:26 say this was “the country of the Gadarenes,” and many manuscripts of Matthew have “Gadarenes.” Gadara was an important city about eight miles southeast of the sea of Galilee and apparently was the political center of the entire region. Some manuscripts have “Geresenes” in Mark and Luke (both Gergesa and Gerasa were distinct cities, like Gadara), but the most probable reading seems to be “Gadarenes,” which best fits the geographical implications in the three accounts.
8:28 two possessed with devils. Mark and Luke each speak of only one demoniac in their accounts, evidently emphasizing the one who was the spokesman and leader of the unfortunate pair.
8:29 Jesus, thou Son of God. These “devils” (actually demons, or evil spirits, probably the fallen angelic spirits that followed Satan in his primeval rebellion against God) could recognize Jesus for who He was, even though He was now also a man. In fact, both Satan and his demons, on various occasions, called Jesus “Son of God,” but they never called Him “Son of man.” They apparently refuse to acknowledge that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” (note I John 4:2-3).
8:31 cast us out. It seems that these demons intensely desire to function through a physical body. If they could not possess the body of the man living in the tombs, they still wanted at least to indwell the swine.
8:31 swine. Critics have charged Jesus with destroying private property by allowing the demons to drown the swine. However, God called these animals unclean (Leviticus 11:7-8), and forbade the Jews to use them as food; thus these swine ranchers were profiting illegally from their chosen occupation.