Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Swine Demons

Faire and noble nights. I need your counsel for I am unclear about this.

Jesus Heals Two Demon-Possessed Men

Mattew 8:28 When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake in the land of the Gadarenes,* two men who were possessed by demons met him. They lived in a cemetery and were so dangerous that no one could go through that area. 29 They began screaming at him, "Why are you bothering us, Son of God? You have no right to torture us before God's appointed time!" 30 A large herd of pigs was feeding in the distance, 31 so the demons begged, "If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs."

32 "All right, go!" Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. 33 The herdsmen fled to the nearby city, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 The entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.

The demons seem to be claiming that Jesus must leave them alone, until some appointed time. Does this allude to some heavenly statute that we don’t know about? Why would the demons want to enter a herd of pigs? How would that help them? Did they know the pigs would run into the water. What happened to the demons after the pigs were drowned? I know you can only guess but that is OK.

Sir John, the confused.


  1. The reference to "appointed time" far as I can conceive is the time of eternal judgment by Christ at the GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT in the book of Revelation.
    Physically the Demons are "disembodied spirits " which cannot be "drowned" since they are Evil Spirits...

    =Sir Harry

  2. Great topic, Sir John. I've always considered this one of the oddest stories in the NT. I discussed it with the family at dinner one night, to see if the kids could help break my old paradigms, since I certainly wasn't coming up with anything insightful on my own.

    I have to agree with Sir Harry's comment on the Appointed Time as described in The Revelation. I tried to think, are there rules of the spirit world that we know nothing of? I came to the conclusion no, since Jesus always responded to Satan with scripture, all the truths and rules of engagement must be explicitly stated in God's Word. It must be whole and complete, for it is perfect.
    And it is all Jesus needed to respond to Satan. So, though it is difficult for us to understand clearly, the appointed time the demons refer to must be in scripture, and moreover, must be in someway referred to in the OT as well as The Revelation, because Jesus obviously understood what the demons referred to, and He was working within the OT with perfect knowledge and understanding.

    Why did the demons want to go into the pigs? My daughter Lily (age 8) had an interesting thought on that...she said that the pigs were dirty and smelly, and the demons wanted to go there so they couldn't be noticed. I think there must be something to her insight on the "unclean" status of the swine. Perhaps they thought Jesus would leave them alone if they inhabited the swine instead of people.

    So, maybe Jesus understood their gambit, and allowed them to go, and then caused the swine to go jump off the cliff. There seems to be general agreement that the demons wouldn't have remained in the swine to be drowned...but perhaps Jesus intended all along to cast them back into hell as they left the spirits of the dying swine.

    Another theory is that the demons wanted into the swine so they could pull the stunt of drowning the swine, to then be released to go search for others to inhabit. If you take the view that the demons "outsmarted" Jesus in this way, did they win the confrontation? My wife (age 29) says no, because no matter what they did after the confrontation, two demon-possessed men had been freed and saved. So the victory was for the Kingdom.

    Regardless of why this event happened, I sure wish I could have been there to see it...

    Sir Chuck, still in the dark

  3. Great comments Sir Harry and Sir Chuck.

    I especially like Lilly’s comment:

    “Pigs were dirty and smelly, and the demons wanted to go there so they couldn't be noticed.” That is great.

    I tend to agree with Sir Harry that they were talking about the final judgment. What concerns me, however, was they the demons seem to think they had some kind of rights not to be too harshly treated before the judgment. Perhaps it is not so much a “right” as that it is simply God's time table.

    I agree with the Ray family that the demons did not enter the pigs as some kind of “outsmarting” Jesus. That would not happen. I get the impression that they like to have some corporal body to inhabit, even if it is just pigs, although I think the pigs incident was a one time event. I have seen some pretty mean animals, but I have never heard of any of them being demon possessed. Maybe this verse puts some insight into the situation:

    Matthew 12:43 "When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. 44 Then it says, `I will return to the person I came from.' So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and clean. 45 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation."

    The phrase,“…seeking rest but finding none.” , seems to imply that they are actively seeking people to inhabit, just as a man looks for a home. The bible does not really say how one becomes demon possessed, to my knowledge, however, my conclusion is that people involved in the occult sort of open the door.

    In any case, your comments have helped me. I am currently teaching the gospels in the adult class so I am expected to have some answers.

    Sir John, the somewhat less confused.

    ...Redeemed Man in Pennsylvania Mountains...! REDEEMED by THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB OF GOD...!

  5. There is "WARfare in the heavenlies" constantly....even as I write: 9/11 is a MEMORY so indelibly "etched" in our modern cuture that was seen/heard around the world and REMEMBERED even today..!
    SATAN is the Defeated Foe...the KING OF KINGS has WON..!!!

  6. Thank your Happy Domain and Anonymous.

    We welcome posters

    Sir John, the welcomer.