And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
And behold, the whole city,.... The inhabitants of it, not every individual person, but the greater number of them, or, at least, a very great number of them. Luke says, "the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about": for as the news was carried both into the city and country, great numbers flocked from all parts,
and came out to meet Jesus: not out of any love and respect to him, and in order to invite him, and conduct him into their city, and there receive him kindly, and treat him with due honour and reverence; but either out of curiosity to see such an extraordinary person, which, doubtless, was the case of many; or, else being terrified at the report concerning him, and distressed with their present loss, which was the case of others, went out to prevent his coming any further, lest they should suffer something worse: accordingly,
when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts; which was done not as though they thought themselves unworthy the presence of so great a person, as did the "centurion", in the former part of this "chapter", or, as Peter, when he said, "depart from me, I am a sinful man"; but as fearing, lest some greater punishment should be inflicted on them for their sins, of which they were conscious; and therefore make no complaint of any injustice being done them by the loss of their swine; though these they preferred to the presence of Christ, and even to any cures wrought, or which might have been wrought, either upon the bodies, or souls of men.