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Luke 8:28-32

Context
8:28 When he saw 1  Jesus, he cried out, fell 2  down before him, and shouted with a loud voice, “Leave me alone, 3  Jesus, Son of the Most High 4  God! I beg you, do not torment 5  me!” 8:29 For Jesus 6  had started commanding 7  the evil 8  spirit to come out of the man. (For it had seized him many times, so 9  he would be bound with chains and shackles 10  and kept under guard. But 11  he would break the restraints and be driven by the demon into deserted 12  places.) 13  8:30 Jesus then 14  asked him, “What is your name?” He 15  said, “Legion,” 16  because many demons had entered him. 8:31 And they began to beg 17  him not to order 18  them to depart into the abyss. 19  8:32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 20  and the demonic spirits 21  begged Jesus 22  to let them go into them. He gave them permission. 23 

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

2 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.

3 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….”

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

5 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.

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

7 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.

8 tn Grk “unclean.”

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

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

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

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

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

14 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.

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

16 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.

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

18 tn Or “command.”

19 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).

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

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

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

23 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.



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