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Luke 8:26-39

Context
Healing of a Demoniac

8:26 So 1  they sailed over to the region of the Gerasenes, 2  which is opposite 3  Galilee. 8:27 As 4  Jesus 5  stepped ashore, 6  a certain man from the town 7  met him who was possessed by demons. 8  For a long time this man 9  had worn no clothes and had not lived in a house, but among 10  the tombs. 8:28 When he saw 11  Jesus, he cried out, fell 12  down before him, and shouted with a loud voice, “Leave me alone, 13  Jesus, Son of the Most High 14  God! I beg you, do not torment 15  me!” 8:29 For Jesus 16  had started commanding 17  the evil 18  spirit to come out of the man. (For it had seized him many times, so 19  he would be bound with chains and shackles 20  and kept under guard. But 21  he would break the restraints and be driven by the demon into deserted 22  places.) 23  8:30 Jesus then 24  asked him, “What is your name?” He 25  said, “Legion,” 26  because many demons had entered him. 8:31 And they began to beg 27  him not to order 28  them to depart into the abyss. 29  8:32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 30  and the demonic spirits 31  begged Jesus 32  to let them go into them. He gave them permission. 33  8:33 So 34  the demons came out of the man and went into the pigs, and the herd of pigs 35  rushed down the steep slope into the lake and drowned. 8:34 When 36  the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran off and spread the news 37  in the town 38  and countryside. 8:35 So 39  the people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus. They 40  found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 8:36 Those 41  who had seen it told them how the man who had been demon-possessed had been healed. 42  8:37 Then 43  all the people of the Gerasenes 44  and the surrounding region 45  asked Jesus 46  to leave them alone, 47  for they were seized with great fear. 48  So 49  he got into the boat and left. 50  8:38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go 51  with him, but Jesus 52  sent him away, saying, 8:39 “Return to your home, 53  and declare 54  what God has done for you.” 55  So 56  he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole town 57  what Jesus 58  had done for him.

1 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate a summary and transition in the narrative.

2 tc The textual tradition here is quite complicated. Most mss, especially later ones (A W Ψ Ë13 Ï sy), read “Gadarenes,” which is the better reading in Matt 8:28. Some mss (א L Θ Ξ Ë1 33 579 700* 1241 pc) have “Gergesenes.” But early and important representatives of the Alexandrian and Western texttypes (Ì75 B D latt) have “Gerasenes,” the reading followed in the translation. The difference between Matthew and Luke may well have to do with uses of variant regional terms.

sn The region of the Gerasenes would be in Gentile territory on the (south)eastern side of the Sea of Galilee across from Galilee. Matthew 8:28 records this miracle as occurring “in the region of the Gadarenes.” “Irrespective of how one settles this issue, for the Third Evangelist the chief concern is that Jesus has crossed over into Gentile territory, ‘opposite Galilee’” (J. B. Green, Luke [NICNT], 337). The region of Gadara extended to the Sea of Galilee and included the town of Sennabris on the southern shore – the town that the herdsmen most likely entered after the drowning of the pigs.

3 sn That is, across the Sea of Galilee from Galilee.

4 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

5 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Grk “stepped out on land.”

7 tn Or “city.”

8 tn Grk “who had demons.”

9 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the demon-possessed man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 tn Or “in.”

11 tn Grk “And seeing.” The participle ἰδών (idwn) has been taken temporally. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

12 tn Grk “and fell,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

13 tn Grk “What to me and to you?” (an idiom). The phrase τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί (ti emoi kai soi) is Semitic in origin, though it made its way into colloquial Greek (BDAG 275 s.v. ἐγώ). The equivalent Hebrew expression in the OT had two basic meanings: (1) When one person was unjustly bothering another, the injured party could say “What to me and to you?” meaning, “What have I done to you that you should do this to me?” (Judg 11:12; 2 Chr 35:21; 1 Kgs 17:18). (2) When someone was asked to get involved in a matter he felt was no business of his own, he could say to the one asking him, “What to me and to you?” meaning, “That is your business, how am I involved?” (2 Kgs 3:13; Hos 14:8). These nuances were apparently expanded in Greek, but the basic notions of defensive hostility (option 1) and indifference or disengagement (option 2) are still present. BDAG suggests the following as glosses for this expression: What have I to do with you? What have we in common? Leave me alone! Never mind! Hostility between Jesus and the demons is certainly to be understood in this context, hence the translation: “Leave me alone….”

14 sn On the title Most High see Luke 1:35.

15 sn The demons’ plea “do not torment me” is a recognition of Jesus’ inherent authority over evil forces. The request is that Jesus not bother them. There was an appointed time in which demons would face their judgment, and they seem to have viewed Jesus’ arrival on the scene as an illegitimate change in God’s plan regarding the time when their sentence would be executed.

16 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

17 tc ‡ Although the external evidence favors the aorist παρήγγειλεν (parhngeilen, “he commanded”; Ì75 B Θ Ξ Ψ Ë13 579 700 1241 1424 2542 pm), the internal evidence favors the imperfect παρήγγελλεν (parhngellen, here translated “he had started commanding”; א A C K L W Γ Δ 1 33 565 892 pm). The aorist is suspect because it can more easily be taken as a single command, and thus an immediate exorcism. The imperfect would most likely be ingressive (BDF §§328; 329; 331), suggesting that Jesus started to command the evil spirit to depart, and continued the command.

18 tn Grk “unclean.”

19 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so,” introducing a clause that gives the result of the man being seized by the demon.

20 tn Or “fetters”; these were chains for the feet.

21 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

22 tn Grk “into the deserts.” The plural use here has been translated as “deserted places,” that is, uninhabited areas.

23 sn This is a parenthetical, explanatory comment by the author.

24 tn Grk “And Jesus.” Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to pick up the sequence of the narrative prior to the parenthetical note by the author.

25 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

26 sn The name Legion means “thousands,” a word taken from a Latin term for a large group of soldiers. The term not only suggests a multiple possession, but also adds a military feel to the account. This is a true battle.

27 tn One could also translate the imperfect tense here with a repetitive force like “begged him repeatedly.”

28 tn Or “command.”

29 tn This word, ἄβυσσος (abusso"), is a term for the place where the dead await the judgment. It also could hold hostile spirits according to Jewish belief (Jub. 5:6-7; 1 En. 10:4-6; 18:11-16).

30 tn Grk “mountain,” but this might give the English reader the impression of a far higher summit.

31 tn Grk “they”; the referent (the demonic spirits) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

32 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

33 sn Many have discussed why Jesus gave them permission, since the animals were destroyed. However, this is another example of a miracle that is a visual lesson. The demons are destructive: They were destroying the man. They destroyed the pigs. They destroy whatever they touch. The point was to take demonic influence seriously, as well as Jesus’ power over it as a picture of the larger battle for human souls. There would be no doubt how the man’s transformation had taken place.

34 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate a conclusion and transition in the narrative.

35 tn The words “of pigs” are supplied because of the following verb in English, “were drowned,” which is plural.

36 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

37 tn Or “reported it.” This verb is used three times in the next few verses (vv. 36, 37), showing how the healing became a major topic of conversation in the district.

38 tn Or “city.”

39 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the people’s response to the report.

40 tn Grk “Jesus, and they.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

41 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

42 tn Or “had been delivered”; Grk “had been saved.” This should not be understood as an expression for full salvation. They were only discussing the healing.

43 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

44 tc See the tc note on “Gerasenes” in v. 26 for the same geographical options for the textual variants.

45 tn Grk “all the people of the surrounding region of the Gerasenes,” but according to L&N 1.80, “περίχωρος may include not only the surrounding region but also the point of reference, for example…‘the Gerasenes and the people living around them’ Lk 8:37.”

46 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

47 tn Or “to depart from them.”

48 sn Again there is great fear at God’s activity, but there is a different reaction. Some people want nothing to do with God’s presence. Mark 5:16 hints that economic reasons motivated their request.

49 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate that Jesus’ departure was the result of the Gerasenes’ response. A new sentence was started in the translation at this point for stylistic reasons.

50 tn Grk “returned,” but the effect is that he departed from the Gerasene region.

51 tn Grk “be,” that is, “remain.” In this context that would involve accompanying Jesus as he went on his way.

52 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

53 tn Grk “your house.”

54 tn Or “describe.”

55 sn Jesus instructs the man to declare what God has done for him, in contrast to the usual instructions (e.g., 8:56; 9:21) to remain silent. Here in Gentile territory Jesus allowed more open discussion of his ministry. D. L. Bock (Luke [BECNT], 1:781) suggests that with few Jewish religious representatives present, there would be less danger of misunderstanding Jesus’ ministry as political.

56 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the man’s response to Jesus’ instructions.

57 tn Or “city.”

58 sn Note that the man could not separate what God had done from the one through whom God had done it (what Jesus had done for him). This man was called to witness to God’s goodness at home.



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