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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.

Luke 11:14-23

Context
Jesus and Beelzebul

11:14 Now 59  he was casting out a demon that was mute. 60  When 61  the demon had gone out, the man who had been mute began to speak, 62  and the crowds were amazed. 11:15 But some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, 63  the ruler 64  of demons, he casts out demons.” 11:16 Others, to test 65  him, 66  began asking for 67  a sign 68  from heaven. 11:17 But Jesus, 69  realizing their thoughts, said to them, 70  “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, 71  and a divided household falls. 72  11:18 So 73  if 74  Satan too is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? I ask you this because 75  you claim that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 11:19 Now if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons 76  cast them 77  out? Therefore they will be your judges. 11:20 But if I cast out demons by the finger 78  of God, then the kingdom of God 79  has already overtaken 80  you. 11:21 When a strong man, 81  fully armed, guards his own palace, 82  his possessions are safe. 83  11:22 But 84  when a stronger man 85  attacks 86  and conquers him, he takes away the first man’s 87  armor on which the man relied 88  and divides up 89  his plunder. 90  11:23 Whoever is not with me is against me, 91  and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 92 

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.

59 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

60 tn The phrase “a demon that was mute” should probably be understood to mean that the demon caused muteness or speechlessness in its victim, although it is sometimes taken to refer to the demon’s own inability to speak (cf. TEV, “a demon that could not talk”).

61 tn Grk “And it happened that when.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Here δέ (de) has not been translated either.

62 sn This miracle is different from others in Luke. The miracle is told entirely in one verse and with minimum detail, while the response covers several verses. The emphasis is on explaining what Jesus’ work means.

63 tn Grk “By Beelzebul.”

sn Beelzebul is another name for Satan. So some people recognized Jesus’ work as supernatural, but called it diabolical.

64 tn Or “prince.”

65 tn Grk “testing”; the participle is taken as indicating the purpose of the demand.

66 tn The pronoun “him” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

67 tn Grk “seeking from him.” The imperfect ἐζήτουν (ezhtoun) is taken ingressively. It is also possible to regard it as iterative (“kept on asking”).

68 sn What exactly this sign would have been, given what Jesus was already doing, is not clear. But here is where the fence-sitters reside, refusing to commit to him.

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

70 sn Jesus here demonstrated the absurdity of the thinking of those who maintained that he was in league with Satan and that he actually derived his power from the devil. He first teaches (vv. 17-20) that if he casts out demons by the ruler of the demons, then in reality Satan is fighting against himself, with the result that his kingdom has come to an end. He then teaches (v. 21-22) about defeating the strong man to prove that he does not need to align himself with the devil because he is more powerful. Jesus defeated Satan at his temptation (4:1-13) and by his exorcisms he clearly demonstrated himself to be stronger than the devil. The passage reveals the desperate condition of the religious leaders, who in their hatred for Jesus end up attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan.

71 tn Or “is left in ruins.”

72 tn Grk “and house falls on house.” This phrase pictures one house collapsing on another, what is called today a “house of cards.”

73 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate that the clause that follows is a logical conclusion based on the preceding examples.

74 tn This first class condition, the first of three “if” clauses in the following verses, presents the example vividly as if it were so. In fact, all three conditions in these verses are first class. The examples are made totally parallel. The expected answer is that Satan’s kingdom will not stand, so the suggestion makes no sense. Satan would not seek to heal.

75 tn Grk “because.” “I ask you this” is supplied for the sake of English.

76 sn Most read your sons as a reference to Jewish exorcists (cf. “your followers,” L&N 9.4; for various views see D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 2:1077-78), but more likely this is a reference to the disciples of Jesus themselves, who are also Jewish and have been healing as well (R. J. Shirock, “Whose Exorcists are they? The Referents of οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν at Matthew 12:27/Luke 11:19,” JSNT 46 [1992]: 41-51). If this is a reference to the disciples, then Jesus’ point is that it is not only him, but those associated with him whose power the hearers must assess. The following reference to judging also favors this reading.

77 tn The pronoun “them” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

78 sn The finger of God is a figurative reference to God’s power (L&N 76.3). This phrase was used of God’s activity during the Exodus (Exod 8:19).

79 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21.

80 tn The phrase ἔφθασεν ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς (efqasen efJuma") is important. Does it mean merely “approach” (which would be reflected in a translation like “has come near to you”) or actually “come upon” (as in the translation given above, “has already overtaken you,” which has the added connotation of suddenness)? The issue here is like the one in 10:9 (see note there on the phrase “come on”). Is the arrival of the kingdom merely anticipated or already in process? Two factors favor arrival over anticipation here. First, the prepositional phrase “upon you” suggests arrival (Dan 4:24, 28 Theodotion). Second, the following illustration in vv. 21-23 looks at the healing as portraying Satan being overrun. So the presence of God’s authority has arrived. See also L&N 13.123 for the translation of φθάνω (fqanw) as “to happen to already, to come upon, to come upon already.”

81 tn The referent of the expression “a strong man” is Satan.

82 tn The word αὐλή (aulh) describes any building large and elaborate enough to have an interior courtyard, thus “dwelling, palace, mansion” (L&N 7.6).

83 tn Grk “his goods are in peace.”

84 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

85 tn The referent of the expression “a stronger man” is Jesus.

86 tn Grk “stronger man than he attacks.”

87 tn Grk “his”; the referent (the first man mentioned) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

88 tn Grk “on which he relied.”

89 tn Or “and distributes.”

90 sn Some see the imagery here as similar to Eph 4:7-10, although no opponents are explicitly named in that passage. Jesus has the victory over Satan. Jesus’ acts of healing mean that the war is being won and the kingdom is coming.

91 sn Whoever is not with me is against me. The call here is to join the victor. Failure to do so means that one is being destructive. Responding to Jesus is the issue.

92 sn For the image of scattering, see Pss. Sol. 17:18.



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