8:29 For Jesus 1 had started commanding 2 the evil 3 spirit to come out of the man. (For it had seized him many times, so 4 he would be bound with chains and shackles 5 and kept under guard. But 6 he would break the restraints and be driven by the demon into deserted 7 places.) 8 8:30 Jesus then 9 asked him, “What is your name?” He 10 said, “Legion,” 11 because many demons had entered him. 8:31 And they began to beg 12 him not to order 13 them to depart into the abyss. 14
1 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
2 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.
3 tn Grk “unclean.”
4 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so,” introducing a clause that gives the result of the man being seized by the demon.
5 tn Or “fetters”; these were chains for the feet.
6 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
7 tn Grk “into the deserts.” The plural use here has been translated as “deserted places,” that is, uninhabited areas.
8 sn This is a parenthetical, explanatory comment by the author.
9 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.
10 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
11 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.
12 tn One could also translate the imperfect tense here with a repetitive force like “begged him repeatedly.”
13 tn Or “command.”
14 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).