And they that fed the swine
Not the owners, but the keepers of them, the swine herds, "fled"; being astonished at the power of Christ, affrighted at the noise of the devils, and terrified at the sight and loss of the swine:
and told it in the city and country;
or "in the fields": they went into the city of Gadara, and told the story of the dispossession of the devils out of the man, that had been for some time troublesome in those parts; and of their entrance into the swine, and the destruction of them: and they went into the fields, or country adjacent; they went to the "villages" thereabout, as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions render the word; or to those houses that were in the fields, scattered about, here, and there one, and where perhaps the owners of the herd lived: and they not only hasted away to the owners of the swine, to acquaint them with what had happened, in order to remove all blame from themselves, and any suspicion of negligence in them; to make it appear that it was not their fault, or owing to any carelessness of theirs the swine perished; as that they suffered them to go too near the sea side, and did not keep a good lookout, and were not, as they should have been, between them and the sea, to have prevented such an accident: this they not only did, but the affair, in all its circumstances, being such an amazing one; as the dispossession of the devils out of the man; the health, the calmness, and happy condition the dispossessed was in; the entrance of the devils into the swine; their madness, and precipitant running into the sea, and suffocation there; that they told it to every body they met with, whether in the fields belonging to Gadara, or in the city itself; which drew out a large concourse of people to see what was done to the man that had been possessed, and to the swine, and also to see the person who had done all this; and which made the miracle the more notorious; city and country rung of it: so that, as Matthew says, "the whole city came out to meet Jesus", ( Matthew 8:34 ) ; and Luke observes, that "the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart", &c. ( Luke 8:37 ) . So we sometimes read, in the Jewish writings, of the men, or inhabitants of the field, as opposed to the men, or inhabitants of the city, who differed both in their clothes and diet.
``The garments, (azwxm ynbd) , "of the children", or "inhabitants of the city", who live deliciously, and do no work, are broad, like women's; but the garments, (atylqx) (ynbd) , "of the children of the field"; such as do business in the field, are short F9:''and so of their food, it is observed F11, that the bread, (yalqxd) , "of the men of the field", which the gloss explains by (rpk ynb) , "the children", or "inhabitants of a village", is what they put much flour into; but the bread, (azwxmd) , "of a city", which the gloss interprets of (Krk ynb) , "the children", or "inhabitants of a walled town", or "city", is what they do not put much flour into.
And they went out to see what it was that was done:
that is, the inhabitants of the city of Gadara, and those that dwelt in the villages, and in lone houses in the fields, went forth to the places where the possessed man used to be, and where Jesus and he now were, and where the swine used to feed, to see with their own eyes, and satisfy themselves of the truth of the narration the swineherds gave them.
F9 Bab. Sabbat, fol. 12. 1. & Gloss. in ib.
F11 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 37. 2.